Retail continues to climb |

Retail continues to climb

by Susie Vasquez

Taxable sales in Douglas County have increased significantly, up 91.1 percent, from $400 million in 1995-96 to $750 million in 2004. By contrast, gaming has increased just 3.9 percent and room tax revenues just 13.3 percent during that same period, according to County Manager Dan Holler.

Taxable sales have grown by 71.5 percent regionally.

Holler addressed commercial growth, sales taxes and more before a room filled with business people, state and local officials at the 11th Annual Critical Issues Conference Thursday.

To date, commercial development in North Douglas County totals 870,000 square feet, not including the many small shops, new offices and medical facilities throughout The Carson Valley and South Lake Tahoe.

Gaming revenues peaked in 2000 at $352 million and room tax revenues peaked in 2000 and 2001, at close to $7 million, Holler said.

Tourism is experiencing a transition and to be successful, Douglas County will have to diversify its customer base through an expanded events calendar and new venues, he said.

The following outlines a few highlights from Holler’s economic overview.

— Manufacturing has reached just 42 percent of its projected build-out in Douglas County.

The 10-year planning horizon is expected to include over 800,000 square feet in the business parks and another 500,000 square feet at Minden-Tahoe Airport, primarily hangars and other business activities.

Holler expects the assessed value of manufacturing to grow 8-10 percent over the next 10 years.

Nevada provides substantial tax advantages which draws these businesses, but the lack of a skilled workforce and affordable housing could seriously curtail that growth, Holler said.

— Retail-Commercial development has reached about 40 percent of capacity in Douglas County, according to the 20-year projection which includes a total of 1 million square feet of commercial/retail space in Minden and the same in North Douglas County. Gardnerville is expected to increase to about 500,000 square feet.

A drop in job growth and an artificial limit in housing development and continued economic growth could slow that development, Holler said.

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 213.