Nevada Recognized for High-Tech Growth
Nevada led the nation in growth of high-tech exports between 1997 and 2000, according to Cyberstates 2001: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry, an analytical report released by the American Electronics Association and the NASDAQ Stock Market. Nevada exported $191 million in high-tech goods in 1997, a figure that jumped to $697 million in 2000 — an increase of 264 percent. The report also recorded that the high-tech industry added 9,033 jobs to the state’s economy between 1994 and 2000. Starting in 1994 with 10,770 jobs, Nevada’s technology employment had almost doubled by 2000. The increase of 84 percent ranked Nevada third in the nation in employment growth rate among states with fewer than 25,000 tech workers. Cyberstates 2001 also reported that the average worker in Nevada’s high-tech sector earned an annual salary of $47,593.
Barrick Gold to Buy Homestake Mining
Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. has agreed to acquire Homestake Mining in a $2.2 billion transaction that will create the world’s second-largest gold mining company. Both companies have Nevada operations – Barrick operates the Goldstrike Mine near Carlin, while Homestake owns and operates the Ruby Hill mine in Eureka. It also has partial interests in the Marigold mine near Winnemucca and another mine near Round Mountain. The new company is expected to produce 6 million ounces of gold worldwide, second only to South African mining giant Anglo American PLC. Barrick officials said the merger, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2001, will allow $55 million in annual cost savings starting in 2002.
Siena Hotel Spa Casino Opens in Reno
Developer Barney Ng has completed a vital piece of the downtown Reno redevelopment effort with the grand opening of the $70 million Siena Hotel Spa Casino on the banks of the Truckee River. The 214-room boutique hotel near the city’s cultural arts community features a full-service day spa, 23,000-square-foot casino, riverside fine dining and the Enoteca (“wine cave”), containing an 18,000-bottle wine cellar and retail shop. For the convenience of business travelers, guest rooms offer high-speed Internet access, two-line speakerphones, Web TV, data lines, and safes containing chargers for laptop computers and cell phones. Designed by architect Mark Whipple of The Russell Group, the Tuscan-themed hotel features an all-suite floor with butler service, as well as luxury sedan or limo service to and from the airport and a professional concierge.
Interactive Gaming Institute Established
Even before Gov. Kenny Guinn signed into law a bill legalizing Internet gaming, the Internet Business Alliance of Nevada (IBAN) announced the creation of the Interactive Gaming Institute (IGI). IGI is an independent, non-profit agency to provide professional support for the development of guidelines and business practices, to help ensure that interactive gaming meets the rigorous standards of agencies charged with regulating gaming in Nevada. Richard Fitzpatrick, CEO of both IBAN and IGI, said, “We have formed IGI to serve as a bridge between the gaming licensees in Nevada who will be eligible to apply for an interactive gaming license, and the technology companies that have the capability to make the licensees’ plans a reality.” IGI is sponsoring the first-ever Interactive Gaming Exposition and Conference from September 26-28 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Irwin Union Expands into Las Vegas
Irwin Union Bank, FSB (Federal Savings Bank) held a formal grand opening for its Las Vegas office in June. The bank, located at 401 N. Buffalo Drive, actually began operations in January, and in just five months it ranked as its parent company’s second largest deposit market. With $91 million in deposits, it showed the fastest growth rate in Irwin Union’s history, nearly double the average among branches in Las Vegas, according to Rod Dunnett, president of the Las Vegas market. A private bank specializing in serving the needs of businesses and their owners, Irwin Bank, FSB is a subsidiary of Indiana-based Irwin Financial Corporation, a family-run company with $1.7 billion in assets. A sister bank, Irwin Union Bank, serves Carson City from offices at 1717 E. College Parkway.