House2Home™ Test Marketed in Nevada
Two House2Home™ stores opened in September in southern Nevada to market home furnishings in four broad categories: outdoor living, including patio, nursery and garden items; indoor living, including flooring, lighting and storage; home décor and accessories; and seasonal/holiday items. House2Home™ is an offshoot of HomeBase, Inc., a home improvement chain with 88 stores in ten western states. Its new venture is being test marketed in five stores, including the two Nevada locations as well as three in southern California. The House2Home™ stores are conversions of existing HomeBase stores in Henderson and on South Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas. Company officials estimate they will employ approximately 300 people. According to a recent industry report, home furnishings sales represent a $125 billion national market.
Ballard Communications Among Fastest Growing in U.S.
Ballard Communications, Inc., Nevada’s largest independent public relations firm, almost doubled the volume of its public relations fees from the first half of 1999 to the first half of 2000. The firm’s annual growth rate, which had averaged 48 percent over the last four years, increased to 97 percent during this period. “At this rate, we’ll be among the five fastest growing public relations firms in America,” said Mike Ballard, founder and president of the firm. In 1999, only three firms in the nation posted gains of more than 90 percent, according to the Council of Public Relations Firms. Ballard credits the firm’s phenomenal success to the overall growth in the Las Vegas area, and said it has seen its greatest growth in the areas of technology, health care and professional services.
Wells Fargo Launches Business-to-Business Portal
Jay Kornmayer, executive vice president for Wells Fargo & Company in Nevada, recently announced the bank’s new Internet service for mid-sized companies and large corporations. The Commercial Electronic Office(sm) allows commercial customers to conduct transactions, access information, and receive service online for their credit, cash management, electronic payments, foreign exchange, and trust and investment needs. Clients can choose appropriate access levels for authorized persons linked to the various accounts. Later this year, Wells Fargo plans to extend the system’s capabilities to include business-to-business invoicing and e-procurement as well as wire initiation, institutional account access, payments, paydowns, loan advances, and customized content.
Geothermal Development in Nevada Funded
A government initiative called Geopowering the West will bring at least $12 million in private and public funds to Nevada companies and sites over the next few years. The Geopowering the West initiative seeks to provide ten percent of the electricity needs of the western states by 2020 by funding private-public partnerships to study selected geothermal sites. According to the geothermal energy industry, Nevada has the highest geothermal power potential of any state in the nation. The largest projects in Nevada will be located in Empire (Empire Energy LLC), U-boat (Coso Operating Company of Ridgecrest, Calif.), Rye Patch (Mount Wheeler Power Company of Ely), Blue Mountain (Noramex Corp. of Carson City), and Steamboat Springs (SB Geo, Inc. of Reno).
Foundation Announces Grants to Nevada Institutions
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation recently announced grants of over $17 million for three major Nevada projects. The Boulder Dam Area Council, Boy Scouts of America will use its grant award of $5.8 million to construct a two-story, 35,000 square foot Scouting Resource Center in south central Las Vegas. The Nevada Museum of Art in downtown Reno received a capital grant of almost $10.5 million to build the 65,000 sq. ft. Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts. The center will be four times larger than the museum’s existing facility, and will house expanded gallery space, an educational resource center, a roof-top garden, a lecture hall, gift store and restaurant. The Nevada Press Foundation received just over $1 million to purchase, renovate and furnish the historic Rinckel Mansion in Carson City, which will be known as the Donald W. Reynolds Press Center. The 3,800 square foot mansion will be home to the Nevada Press Foundation and the Nevada Press Association, and will contain space for news conferences, seminars and leased offices. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in Nevada in 1954 by the founder of the Donrey Media Group. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S.
Miners to Fund Environmental Cleanup
The first payments are due this month into a fund that will be used to protect the environment in the event a mine operator declares bankruptcy. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) adopted a regulation in August to develop a trust fund to provide money to manage fluids at bankrupt mine sites. Metal mine operators, who supporting the NDEP action, will make three annual payments into the fund until April, 2002. The fund will eventually total approximately $1 million. Some small mining companies have declared bankruptcy due to low metal prices over the past several years. In the future, if a mining company declares bankruptcy, NDEP will use the trust fund to ensure that any remaining fluids used in the mining process are properly managed and the mine site is rehabilitated. The fund will be used to cover the period between the time a bankruptcy occurs and the surety bond is collected.
AGA to Organize Gaming Trade Show
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has ended its support for the World Gaming Congress & Expo, which has been organized for the last 14 years by International Gaming & Wagering Business magazine. AGA will hold its own Global Gaming Expo on October 1-3, 2001. Proceeds from AGA’s show will be used for research, education and advocacy of the gaming industry, according to AGA president and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who said the trade show revenue is needed to fend off gaming opponents. The companies that belong to the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, including IGT, Anchor Gaming, WMS Gaming, and Aristocrat Leisure, voted in August to exclusively endorse the new trade show. However, organizers of the World Gaming Congress & Expo say they will continue with plans to hold a 15 th annual show in the fall.
Nevada Airports to Make Improvements
The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted almost $19 million to four Nevada airports to improve their facilities. Reno/Tahoe International Airport will receive more than $13 million in federal funds to reconstruct an existing taxiway and two runways, and to provide soundproofing for noise compatibility in the Huffaker Hills and Persimmon/Alder neighborhoods. Henderson Sky Harbor Airport was granted $2,650,000 to construct a new runway and improve an existing runway, to help relieve congestion at McCarran International. Minden/Tahoe Airport was granted $1.6 million to construct a new access road and improve runway safety. In Mineral County, Hawthorne Municipal Airport will receive $1.25 million to extend its runway, which is currently too short for some larger cargo planes to land. County commissioners hope the new runway will help them close a deal with Delta Star, a company that builds transformers. The company is considering relocating to the Hawthorne area and bringing as many as 250 new jobs to Mineral County, but needs access to an airport that can handle large planes.