January 31, 2003
Carson City is fighting for its life.
Last year they lost Wal-Mart and the significant sales tax revenue it generated. Several empty big-box stores litter the town, signaling an additional revenue drain as well as a depressing visual impact.
Even their struggles to alleviate traffic headaches with a freeway bypass looks to drag on for many years.
Now the city to the north stands to lose Kmart, a strong business that’s getting axed by a faceless — and apparently heartless — corporate bankruptcy court.
No wonder Carson City officials can’t let go of their protest to the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed auction of land in Douglas County.
However, stopping the sale won’t keep the town afloat. Actually, all they really stand to gain is delaying the inevitable.
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Whether the sale happens soon, whether an auto mall is constructed as city officials fear, the property is inside Douglas County, not Carson City. It now belongs to the BLM, which is looking to sell for the best price.
The time, money and energy spent on the hopeless battle to the south, could be better expended elsewhere.
Carson City is fighting the battle on its northern front to keep Kmart. Although it looks grim right now, there’s at least a chance it could turn around. Move the resources north.
Step up the battle to get a store into the old Supply One building by fixing the problems that keep potential retailers from taking a second look.
Clean up the areas to the east.
And get state officials on board to finish the bypass.
Carson City, the capital of Nevada, deserves better than what economics and politics have thrown at it lately.