I don’t see any near term recovery – that is, recovery within the next 10 years. We need to be planning for business as it is now, at least in the mining sector. Retail merchants and service businesses are working harder to gain the customers and the business we have here by offering products and a level of consumer service targeted toward keeping more of our dollars locally as opposed to having people drive to Reno. Small businesses are also working together to put on promotions.
We’re also trying to diversify business, looking for markets outside what may have been our normal area in the past few years. Some of the machine shops and businesses that relied heavily on the mining industry are finding other markets they can penetrate, and they’re looking farther away than they used to. A number of people are working on some form of e-commerce, so we’ve seen an increase in that sort of activity.
Since the IMF decided not to sell substantial portions of its gold reserves, the Elko community has taken a sigh of
relief. We think the price of gold has probably stabilized.
In the meantime, Barrick, Newmont, Anglo Gold and Midas Joint Venture have all made solid commitments to our community. We’re weathering the dip well. We formed a new economic development organization, the Elko County Economic Development Authority, and Elko County committed $110,000 in additional funds to ensure the community diversifies. Those funds and the ECEDA will help service industries that supply mines to diversify, so we’re not dependent on one industry.
“We’re weathering the dip well – Barrick, Newmont, Anglo Gold and Midas Joint Venture have all made solid commitments to our community.”