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tv   Nevada Newsmakers  NBC  February 24, 2016 12:00pm-12:30pm PST

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>> welcome to "nevada newsmakers," on the program today with growth across the silver state, we talk to marsha berkbigler, the washoe county county on the whole show. >> "nevada newsmakers" is brought to you in part by the tahoe reno industrial center,
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retail association >> closed captioning of "nevada newsmakers" is brought to you by the nevada trucking association, trucking moves america forward. this is "nevada newsmakers," with host sam shad, a no holds barred political forum. now from the "nevada newsmakers" broadcast headquarters, here is sam shad. >> back on "nevada newsmakers,"
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to the program marsha berkbigler, a washoe county commissioner. pleasure to have you back. >> nice to be here. >> we are in the process of moving studios, we're taping shows in advance, this is being tapeod february 2, so people will know what is going on. interesting times with all the things going on across the state with faraday, tesla, switch in northern nevada. before the recession, there were companies like station casino looking at building one property in northern nevada and building two. two hotels with 500 rooms a piece, looking at investing a billion dollars in the marketplace. that went away with recession and the bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy is long gone. station casino system looking great, they are potentially looking at an ipo down the road. do you see a point in time where, you know, the market is right for them or other companies to come back into the
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>> you know, gaming is an interesting part of nevada and will always be part of nevada. it is our history and will always be a part of nevada. gaming is never going to be something really big in northern nevada again. so i think they'll make a business decision as to whether or not they come back into this market. you'll see other growth up here. other types of businesses are coming in, a lot of new high-tech businesses, car, as you know, it-type businesses, there are a number of other things. apparently, there's a very large project, which i know you have interviewed mr. gilman and there is a large project on the cusp of whether or not it will come here or not. that's not a gaming property. i think these guys really know what they are doing as far as investing in markets go. they will look and see whether or not it is worth while to come up here. my understanding is the station casino property that was out on -- at mount rose highway and
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up for grabs. >> no, actually the steamboat property, the one you couldn't build on because of mitigating the water. they sold that property off. >> the other piece they still have. >> the other piece, they still have. another thing i would point out, when we talk about gaming companies, they're really not gaming companies anymore. >> no, they are hotels. >> hiker percentage in northern nevada than in southern nevada, probably 60% versus 32%, but these companies are all expanding into lots of other areas beyond gaming and that is where the money is. grand sierra spent $15 million on a night club. the pricing to go into the night club -- >> you have been? >> i have. >> quite nice, isn't it? >> not at night, sadly, beyond my bedtime. it's a beautiful property, they are charging huge prices for the vip and bottle service and all this. it is about a tenth of what it is in las vegas, they are doing very well with the quality
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frel san francisco and sacramento, but isn't the same cost. >> the growth factor of people moving in here, not nearly fast enough to seek some of the people who are -- during the prognostication on the numbers, but there are people move nothing for the jobs and a lot of them, that type of thing appeals to a different group of people than here in northern nevada. we've been cowboys for a long time, so we're growing and we're a different economy. >> well, the other interesting thing is that, you know, now that the gaming machines are changing from the old slot machine type things, they have gotten so complicated, i don't blame them, i have no clue what i'm doing. >> you can't just pull the handle. >> there is no handle. video poker is about it on the strange occasion i do it. games more like the video games people have been playing for 25 years now. >> right. >> that will attract a different
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>> it is. >> also the development, we have acreage, grand sierra sits on 150 acres. city center is on 63 acres, so you can do a lot with 150 acres. >> and they've got beautiful cement pond there, a lot of things they could do besides hits golf balls into it. >> it is a huge reserobberingvoir. >> it is beautiful, though, the lovely water there. you are right, it is not just the old gaming property, one other thing i notice in casinos now, how much quieter they are than they used to be, you don't have digging of the slot machines. they are much quieter, that is appealing, again, to a different mentality of people who are starting to grow into nevada. i think there's real chance that we will see more gaming properties here in northern nevada because they are really hotels and conventions are very
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talk to the rscva, they restructured and are interested in bringing in new conventions. i think you will see that happening, but again, you will see those guys who spend that kind of money sitting back and taking a look and saying when is the right time to step in and is that this year, five years, i don't know the answer. it has grown. >> one thing that is interesting and occurring, the number of hotel/casinos, large hotel/casinos renting rooms to construction workers, visiting guests. we had the boss of whitney peak hotel who says their place is busier during the week than the weekend and they are slammed on the weekends. do you think that will fill up rooms in the construction phase? >> not only in the construction phases, but ela musk bought one apartment building to house employees once they start getting that plant up and running.
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>> on south virginia, not sure exactly which one it is, it is on south virginia. i think he's looking at doing other things like that. he's looking at housing people in those types of hotels. one of the kinds of hotels you will see, i think you will see growth of like the mini-marr mini-marriot's and it is more like somebody comes in, they have a small kitchen, maybe serve continental breakfast. i think you will see that n. fact, i know you will see that, that is being looked at. a couple -- one already out at try, i think one other one looking there and one looking in closer. so i mean, i think those kind of things you will see growth, also, and that is to house a lot of people. the thing about switch and tesla, not everybody who is going to be working there is going to be living here because there are people coming in and
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with the project at tesla right now. you will see a lot of that housing coming in also. >> let's take a break, more with marsha berkbigler when we get back. >> to contact "nevada
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or g >> closed captioning of "nevada newsmakers" is brought to you by the nevada trucking association, trucking moves america forward. >> now back to "nevada newsmakers" with sam shad. >> back on "nevada newsmakers," we continue our conversation with washoe county commissioner marsha berkbigler. we're talking about the effect of growth. i moved to reno in 1978, just after the mgm had opened, now the grand sierra. there were people living in tents on the truckee rivers, the construction workers. you had to get a party line. you pick up the phone line and there was somebody else on there. there weren't enough apartments.
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developers have engaged now fully with this? there were some developers holding back saying, i'm thinking 50% of what is being forecast here. do you think reality is sink nothing now? >> i think for some developers, they are realizing they need to start moving forward in a manner, but not everybody. certainly there's still that fear of being over belt and now i have all these places and what do i do with them. there are some developers concerned about that, although we're hearing, i am seeing a lot more come to talk to me about different projects that are going on. one thing we're working on right now is getting some land from the blm transferred and senator reid is working on that with us and trying to help us get quicker transfer. when you get lands transferred, the process can take 10 years or longer and of course we don't have 10 years or longer. we're looking for a school site specifically, looking for
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for two different locations for expanded growth of both industrial sites, as well as some growth of housing in the north values and these are in the north values. so, i think are we ready? no, we aren't close to being ready. we're at least forward thinking, so we're not reacting as much as i think we tended to do in the past. we've reacted. lots of things have to be done. obviously water is a really key issue, we do have water in the north valley. how much has not been proven yet. >> there was quite a scuffle a couple weeks ago when new project was announced for verdi, and people were saying, you know, our well is already low, we don't have water for this. it was passed anyway. >> it was passed by the city council, correct. >> your thoughts about that? >> i think one thing i've asked that we need to know when we approve housing developments, what's the water situation like,
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where is the closest fire station and how -- what condition is the school in? and those are for extremely important things that we really housing developments. i have had some concerns about the development at ranchera. >> just for southern nevada listeners and viewers, a large property in the center of reno owned by the late william developer. >> they are going to develop some beautiful homes. i was at the mansion when they did the program and i had the opportunity to walk through with the owners and i feel less nervous about it now, they have done lots of community meetings, but that's part of my district. a lot of people living in that area knew me personally and know me because i'm commissioner now. they -- a lot of them called me and said, we're worried about how the traffic is going to be, that is the fifth leg of the four i talked about. the fifth leg is traffic. where is traffic going to run
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not creating problems on a two-lane road in a country neighborhood like that one, for instance. that is the situation in verdi. >> the wells are low because of the drought. as the community drought turns around, which hopefully it will do in the next couple years, that probably might resolve itself because there is more water in that area generally thought to be anyway. i mean, there is a lot of factors that have to be looked at with housing growth. >> are there other water plans on the books or being looked at at this point in time? the one that has taken over 20 years was fish springs ranch finally came to the north valley. >> right. >> not being used yet. >> i know, >> potential for growth is there with the water. >> i think it can be used. >> it was incredible process of watching that thing happen from when franklin gene owned it, you have to have patience if you develop pipelines for water.
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there is more water further north, bob marshall has claims to have great deal of water, which i don't know all that has been proven yet, but he and his family have worked on water at their ranch. there is a couple other ranches out there that clearly have water. there is more water in the north valley, we think more water in the north valley than we are aware of right now. >> the truckee river operating agreement. >> fabulous. >> that would be helpful. >> thank goodness we had that done. >> another 30-year project. >> it takes a while to do things. >> let's take a break, more with marsha berkbigler when we come back. >> "nevada newsmakers" is brought to you in part by the tahoe reno industrial center,
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>> this is "nevada newsmakers." >> back on "nevada newsmakers," we continue our conversation with marsha berkbigler, she's the washoe county commissioner. you were talking about roads.
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southeast connector that is on the way to being finished finally, all the lawsuits are done. >> another 10-year project. >> my goodness. that's going to be a big relief. i should ask the question, not make a statement. do you believe that is going to be a relief for the spaghetti bowl? >> without question, it's going to be relief for the people of sparks to be able to get to south valley faster, it will relieve a lot of traffic in the spaghetti bowl. it will not fix the spaghetti bowl, there are other things they need to do to fix that. trucks, i don't know if trucks will use the northeast/southeast connector, i don't know if they will or not. a lot of people aren't happy about it, they will have vehicles running past their six-lane highway running past their front door all the time. if i lived in that area, i'd probably be a little concerned myself about that. but it is necessary. it is part of the growth of the valley and, you know, we've got to be able to get from one point
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i think that is very important. there are other roads we need to look at in the north valleys. we need some way to get from interstate 80 to 395 without going through the spaghetti bowl, that will also relieve a lot of pressure on that area. so i think, you know, if you talk to mr. casmirski, that is a project he's looking at and working with rtc. i got recently assigned to rtc in january of this year. that is something we're going to work on and look at what can we do to relieve the traffic. >> do you think u.s.a. parkway being extended will be helpful to shift some traffic coming through the spaghetti bowl? >> it will. >> to go to las vegas. >> it will. as you are aware, in the federal transportation legislation that was just passed, there is, although not money designated for i-11 from vegas to reno, acceptance to i-11 will come
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in time. another 10 or 15-year project. ultimately that is where it will probably come in is right at u.s.a. parkway, up there and catch i-80. it is necessary, not just for us, but it is necessary for california. one problem california is having is that there is so much traffic, truck traffic on i-5 that it's just too heavily used and they need to relieve that. i think that is one reason we're getting this approved. california wants something that is close to them that will allow transportation of freight that isn't going to be in the state of california. something that will relieve some of the pressure they've got from all of the freight traffic they have over there. >> it is interesting, tahoe reno industrial center two-thirds of story county and lance on the program a couple months ago was talking about they are looking for more land. >> they are. if this latest project goes
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used almost all of the useable land on that ranch that they bought. so yeah, they're looking for more land. i think the same thing is happen nothing washoe county, i continue is. we're talking to people about where we can put industrial land. the time will come when try will be full and once it is full, what do we do with the growth that wants to come here and so we are looking at a number of different parcels. >> it is interesting, roger norman quoted in the las vegas journal in 1998 after he bought the ranch, saying it would not be completed in his lifetime. i since jokeed with him, i think he is wrong on that. >> i think he is, too, i don't think anybody really expected the attraction that northern nevada presents to a lot of different businesses. we have a good tax base, you know, it is easy to get in and out of this, we have the freedom coming all the way through, 395, we've got the potential for additional freeway, u.s.a. parkway is there.
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about northern nevada, they had the sense to forethink traffic getting around. putting putting mccaron around the city was a huge battle. >> the western portion was a mighty battle. >> yet it absolutely is the best possible thing we could have done. a lot of people were unhappy with that bridge going out to carson city, but i tell you, i go to south shore a lot because tahoe reno industrial center, the washoe county part of tahoe reno industrial center is part of my district. it has saved me 45 minutes going to south shore and i go there generally once a month for meetings that relate to trpa or ttd, tahoe regional planning district. it is amazing what that has done. a lot of people thought, why are you wasting that money here. that money is going to be proven it is not wasted with all the growth we have. >> i think the bigger issue with that was putting on the side of the hill. i think there would have been
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through pleasant valley. the locals at the time had a lot of influence and it went up on the side of the hill. one point, having problems building, it almost got to the point they were going to have to put it in the valley. >> look how happy people are in pleasant valley, their properties have skyrocketed, they no longer have a freeway in the middle of their properties, they are happy now. >> yes, they are. i will not comment further on that. but going back to the mckaren boulevard, think of the courage it took for that commission at that time to force that issue through because reno would be up the creek -- >> what a disaster. >>-- if that did not exist. >> worse than las vegas g. down to las vegas for a meeting, an hour across town. it is better now that they put in 215, whatever that number is. better now, but it used to be horrible down there. that is the way reno would be if we didn't have mccarron. >> project neon will be a
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built, but when it is done, it will be fantastic. marsha berkbigler, always a pleasure, we'll be right back. >> to get a dvd copy of any
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the cost is >> as always, watch "nevada newsmakers" 24 hours a day at "nevada newsmakers" dot com. download podcasts of the show
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