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Impact of Eldorado Resorts deal to purchase Caesars Entertainment remains unknown to Lake Tahoe’s South Shore

STATELINE, Nev. — It’s been more than four weeks since an announced merger that, if approved, would create the largest gaming owner and operator in the U.S., and potentially consolidate a majority of South Shore’s major casinos under one corporate umbrella.

However, it’s unclear how the purchase of Caesars Entertainment by Reno-based Eldorado Resorts will impact Tahoe’s gaming market — if at all.

So far the parties have been reluctant to share or speculate on finer-level details of the merger.

Currently Caesars owns Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe in Stateline. Eldorado acquired MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa in 2018 as part of a larger, $1.85 billion deal to purchase assets owned by Tropicana Entertainment.

In late June, Eldorado announced it would be purchasing Caesars in a deal valued at $17.3 billion. Ownership of the merged companies will be split between Eldorado and Caesars shareholders, 51% to 49% respectively.

The new company would retain the Caesars brand, which is among the most iconic in the gaming industry, but the executive leadership will come from Eldorado. The corporate headquarters will be in Reno.

In detailing the strategic reasons for the merger, the companies said the new Caesars would be the largest U.S. gaming company, with roughly 60 owned, operated and managed casino-resorts located across 16 states.

According to a press release, Eldorado expects to achieve approximately $500 million of synergies in the first year after the deal closes, with additional revenue synergy opportunities in the future. It’s unclear if those “synergies” will translate to layoffs at individual properties.

However, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun, some in the industry are already ringing alarm bells over the projected cost savings.

“Eldorado announced cost-savings of $500 million in the first year of the combined company,” Culinary Workers Union President D. Taylor told the Las Vegas Sun in a statement. “Where are they going to cut?”

Anthony Carano, Eldorado’s president and chief operating officer, told the newspaper it was too early to discuss specifics but that he expected very little turnover among hourly employees and management.

Similarly, an Eldorado spokesperson told the Tribune that the company had no comment on whether the merger would result in staff reductions. An inquiry to a local spokesperson with Caesars’ Tahoe properties was directed to the corporate office.

Asset sale?

Also seemingly unknown at the moment — at least publicly — is how the merger could impact the assets held by both companies.

Together, those three Tahoe properties constitute a powerful block in South Shore’s gaming and entertainment scene. If allowed to stay under the same ownership, the deal would leave Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Lakeside Inn and Dotty’s Casino to battle it out with the new Caesars.

In a conference call on the day of the formal announcement, Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg said some assets likely will have to be spun off in order to appease regulators, including those with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We know there are assets that we intend to prune and in a couple of cases that likely helps the SEC argument,” Reeg said.

However, much of that conversation on the conference call focused on the Las Vegas Strip, where Reeg said the new company would likely have more properties “than we would need to accomplish our goals.”

Tahoe was not mentioned during the conference call.

Among Nevada’s gaming markets, Tahoe’s South Shore trails both of the state’s major cities — Reno and Las Vegas — as well as Washoe and Clark counties, where each city is located, when it comes to gaming win.

In response to a question asking if discussions have taken place on the Tahoe assets, Richard Broome, executive vice president of communications and government relations for Caesars, told the Tribune that question would need to be directed to Eldorado Resorts.

Caroline Coyle, Eldorado’s vice president for advertising and brand marketing, told the Tribune the company had no comment.

Ultimately, any decision to sell local assets comes down to the various regulatory agencies, David G. Schwartz, gaming historian at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, told the Tribune.

While three casinos under the same ownership might seem like a lot, it depends on the region and how the market is defined.

He said there are potential negatives and positives with owning a heavy concentration of properties in one area.

In this deal in particular, Eldorado takes ownership of Caesars’ rewards program, which is viewed as the leader in the industry. It also could help in booking entertainment talent.

On the negative side, saturated ownership in one market would likely mean less competition, which would be bad for customers.

“Any time you have less competition, customers have one fewer place to go,” Schwartz said.

History of changing hands

In Tahoe’s history, casinos changing ownership can seem as casual as putting a $20 in a slot machine.

The South Shore gaming scene underwent a titanic shift in 2001 when Harrah’s announced it was buying Harveys. As the Tribune reported at the time, the two casinos located across the street from one another were started as competing roadside gambling parlors — one owned by Harvey Gross and the other by Bill Harrah.

In 2005 Harrah’s acquired Caesars Entertainment Inc., which had sold its Caesars Tahoe property — now known as MontBleu — to Columbia Sussex. Columbia created a subsidiary, Tropicana Entertainment LLC, which owned MontBleu until it was sold to Eldorado Resorts in 2018.

At the time of the transition from Caesars Tahoe to MontBleu, Columbia Sussex owned the Horizon Casino across the street.

The Horizon, which has since changed ownership, is now Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Harrah’s changed its corporate name back to Caesars in 2010, but the two Tahoe properties’ names — Harrah’s and Harveys — remained unchanged.

Operating impact

While the deal is being finalized, it is not expected to have an impact on the Tahoe properties owned by Caesars and Eldorado.

“It’s business as usual for us now (until the deal closes),” Broome said.

That means Caesars’ paid parking policy, which was instituted at Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe in 2018, will not be changing in the immediate future.

According to a presentation, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Once the deal is complete Reeg said the biggest change will be in management style. Caesars structure is much more corporate-down, while Eldorado generally gives management at the local level more decision-making power.

“The further you get from the fundamental interaction between your employees and your customers where you make your money … the more people you put in the middle of that the worse you do,” Reeg said on the conference call.

In terms of the magnitude of the deal, gaming historian Schwartz noted that it takes Eldorado — which started with one casino in Reno — from a regional operator into and industry powerhouse.

“It’s a big deal,” he said.

Carson City restaurants work to reduce food waste

At first glance, it looks like any other restaurant garbage can: a medley of cauliflower stems, cabbage stems, carrot tops and onion skins.

But these kitchen scraps atop the trash at Gather, a farm-to-table eatery tucked on the corner of Carson and Telegraph streets in downtown Carson City, are not headed for the city landfill.

This disposed food is heading for a farm 40 miles away in Wellington.

“This stuff gets picked up by the farmer every day — he feeds them to his animals,” Gather Chef Howard Jachens says. “It’s pretty cool.”

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and Jachens, prepping for the dinner rush, is in the middle of breaking down a hunk of lamb meat as he talks about the restaurant’s table(scraps)-to-farm waste stream.

It’s one Gather’s many sustainable practices. From using compostable takeout containers to 8-ounce water glasses to, most recently, giving food waste to farmers, Gather has operated in a green manner since opening its doors in July 2018, said owner Angela Bullentini Wolf.

“When I opened this restaurant, I wanted to open with greener procedures that had an eye toward being more environmentally friendly,” Wolf said. “I try to practice environmentally-friendly practices in my personal life. And I thought, if I could translate that to the restaurant that would be really ideal.”

Pausing, she tacked on: “I know restaurants can be terribly environmentally unfriendly.”

She’s not kidding. Zooming in on food waste, the average restaurant produces 100,000 pounds of garbage per year, according to the Green Restaurant Association. What’s more, roughly 95 percent of restaurants’ waste could be recycled or composted. All told, the restaurant industry generates about 11.4 million tons of food waste annually at a cost of $25 billion per year, according to Restaurant Hospitality.

“That makes me cringe,” Wolf said. “Mostly, because that’s a wasted resource that can be diverted elsewhere.

“When we designed our menu, we had in mind the issue of food waste, and we definitely wanted to control food waste.”

FINDING green solutions

Which is why Gather is one eight restaurants on Carson Street that signed on to be a part of the green dining district in Carson City. Launched in late April, the pilot program is being led by Donna Walden, president of greenUP!, a Northern Nevada-based nonprofit that provides environmental education to businesses. The project was funded by the $20,000 Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources’ Division of Environmental Protection’s (NDEP) Sustainable Materials Management Recycling Program grant announced in December 2018.

Walden said the goal of the program is to help restaurants reduce all waste streams, with a strong focus on food waste. In fact, the eight restaurants in the program have committed to having their food waste measured throughout the year. A researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno, will analyze the collected data and perhaps look at what — and how — other cities are doing food waste-wise, Walden added.

Meanwhile, with the guidance of greenUP!, Gather and its fellow green dining district participants will be exploring solutions for reducing and diverting their food waste. Hence, a farmer taking scraps off Gather’s hands and into his animals’ mouths.

“Typically, food waste goes into the landfill and that creates a lot of greenhouse gases,” Walden said. “Reducing food waste is good for the environment and it’s good for the restaurants because it saves them a lot of money. If we can get the restaurants to change their behavior and not throw their food in the landfill, that will be a success.”

At Scoups Ice Cream and Soup Bar, owner Kimberly Landry said they joined the Green Dining District for that very reason. Like Gather, Scoups’ food waste and scraps are being diverted to a farm.

“I cringe just in seeing anything that we waste in this shop,” Landry said.

Offering what she called a simple menu of 16 ice cream flavors and three soup flavors per day, Landry said her establishment does “pretty well” in not wasting food.

“When I purchase things for use in my store, it’s not a super large volume,” she said. However, “It’s important to do our part in trying to reduce garbage that is filling the landfills. If everybody could do that, that’s a plus. It also helps in that we’re paying attention and keeping our food waste in one container and recyclables in another.”

As part of the green dining district launch, greenUP! provided recycling guides to at least 30 restaurants on Carson Street, between Stewart and Winnie Streets. The guides encourage the establishments to eliminate straw usage, discontinue use of Styrofoam containers, practice energy saving measures and compost their food waste.

For Jeanne Dey, owner of Artisan Café, joining the green dining district was a no-brainer. Since opening in 2011, the restaurant and bakery has been serving up sandwiches, salads and baked goods with the environment in mind. And food waste is no exception.

“We repurpose anything and everything,” Dey said. “If we have (kitchen) scraps that can be remade into soups or things that we can donate that are extras, we do that. There’s really nothing that we have that goes to waste.”

Dey said the café also repurposes containers and uses biodegradable paper products and biodegradable cleaning products. Additionally, Dey said Artisan has eliminated the plastic drinking straws “as much as possible.” She added: “It’s kind of hard to take their straws; people are like, ‘This isn’t California!’”

HURDLES TO GOING GREEN

Running a greener restaurant, however, has its challenges. One is the cost — it’s more expensive to buy biodegradable products, Dey said.

Another challenge is time, said John Arant, owner of the Martin Hotel restaurant in downtown Carson City. At the Basque restaurant, bus and wait staff members aren’t swiftly scrapping off plates as they clear tables. Instead, they separate the food waste from the recyclables, which can take “considerably more time,” Arant said.

“The real challenge is the mechanics,” he continued. “On a very busy night, it is difficult to separate consistently all the time because of the rush of clearing tables and providing customer service at the same time. It’s getting used to that change.”

For Wolf, her biggest food waste challenge at Gather is predicting what the market is going to be and how many hungry folks are walking through her restaurant’s doors.

“This is especially true when you are serving foods that aren’t easy to freeze,” she added.

Yet, the green dining district restaurants are rolling up their sleeves, repurposing their food, separating their garbage, and taking the extra steps to help make a difference, no matter the size.

“Carson is just another small spot on the map, but if we could start here and have it grow, the better it is for the environment,” Landry said.

Added Dey: “It’s important for our small town to get more modernized as far as being green and participating in initiatives that moves us into a more progressive community,” Dey said.

Offering a lighter perspective on what the green dining district achieves, Artan quipped: “Our food waste is recycled into bacon — it’s a wonderful thing.”

Washoe County evaluating parking regulations around Incline Village

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Washoe County is in the process of exploring changes to its parking regulations that, among other concerns, aim to crack down on boat trailers and RVs parked along area roads for weeks at a time.

County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler told a group of community members Monday during a meeting organized by the Incline Village Crystal Bay Community 1st group that she hopes changes will come before the full board of commissioners in October.

The move is in response to growing frustrations in the Incline Village area over a number of parking issues, including the lack of any limitation on how long a vehicle or trailer can be parked on the side of a road.

Residents say it is common for vehicles to be parked on the roadside for months at a time. In some cases they appear completely abandoned. During the summer, boat trailers are parked along some roads for most of the season. Those parked trailers can force bicyclists and pedestrians to walk on the actual roadway in order to get around them.

“This is unacceptable,” longtime Incline Village resident Pete Todoroff said during Monday’s meeting.

The parking of boat trailers is an issue Berkbigler said she has been trying to address for the last two years and is finally making progress on.

Asked by the Tribune what stopped the issue from moving forward during those two years, Berkbigler said it was an issue of funding. Specifically, she said there needs to be a place where the boat trailers can be parked.

“The issue is, where are they going to go?”

Although some residents said they shouldn’t have to worry about finding parking for boat and RV owners, Berkbigler said the reality is they are not going to stop coming to Tahoe.

“People are going to come to this lake and we can’t stop them,” Berkbigler said.

One suggestion put forward Monday was using the parking lot at Diamond Peak Ski Resort, which isn’t used during the summer, for parking.

Berkbigler threw the issue to Steve Pinkerton, outgoing general manager for the Incline Village General Improvement District, who in turn said the issue of parking is a land-use and regulatory issue, which makes it a county issue.

Although IVGID would be happy to participate, Pinkerton said it was really up to the county to get the ball rolling.

“It really has to start with the county, because these are county issues.”

As for the parking lot at Diamond Peak, Pinkerton said IVGID’s land at the resort falls underneath a special use permit that does not apply to summer. A change to that special use permit, according to Pinkerton, would require action by both the county and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Berkbigler told the Tribune she was unaware of the limitation on Diamond Peak, adding that she planned to investigate the issue to see if the county could initiate action to allow for parking in the summer.

She also said that county officials are explored many different ideas regarding the possible changes to Washoe County’s parking regulations.

For the time being, the county is working with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District on installing “no parking” signs in places where parking poses a safety hazard. In order to do that, officials need to conduct a survey to determine if the parking is unsafe.

Mark Regan, NLTFPD fire marshal, said it recently took them about three months to conduct surveys for two or three streets.

While increased signs were one of many suggestions made during Monday’s meeting, several residents pointed out that it comes down to enforcement.

In a separate matter — but one several residents said contributes to parking issues — Berkbigler said she expects the first draft of proposed short-term rental regulations to come out later this month. From there it will be presented at a series of hearings and community meetings.

Nevada Public Employee Retirement System earns 8.5 percent return

Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System earned a whopping 8.5 percent interest on its investments in Fiscal Year 2019.

That is higher than the system’s 8.3 percent benchmark and well above the 7.5 percent rate of return the system projected for the year — a rate that critics of PERS said at the time was unattainable.

PERS finished the year with assets totaling $44.1 billion. By comparison, California’s PERS plan earned 6.7 percent on its investments during FY2019.

In fact, Nevada’s plan not only bested California’s in the current year but in the three-year, five-year and 10-year cycles. Over the past 10 years, Nevada PERS has achieved a 9.9 percent return on investment.

In 2016, a Wall Street Journal analysis praised Nevada PERS as one of the best run public pension plans in the nation. In the three years since that article was published, total PERS assets have grown nearly $10 billion and its percentage of assets compared to potential liabilities has improved for four years straight.

The analysis pointed out that, while many public pension plans in the country are only funded well enough to cover a small portion of their total projected liabilities, Nevada PERS was at that time able to cover about two-thirds of its liabilities.

For the FY2018 cycle, the most recent report of system actuaries, the PERS funding ratio was 75 percent — leaving an unfunded liability of 25 percent.

That number is the shortfall PERS would face if the system was dissolved and it had to pay retirement benefits to its more than 100,000 state, local, school district and other public employee members.

The FY2019 valuation won’t be completed and presented to the board until the November meeting but is expected to improve even more.

That, however, is still well short of the 100 percent the American Academy of Actuaries recommends.

The PERS portfolio is spread across a variety of investments with the largest amount — just over $20 billion — in U.S. stocks and another $8.1 billion in international stocks. The system has some $11.1 billion in U.S. bonds and a small amount of cash in private markets including real estate.

Nevada Treasurer’s office returns record $44 million in unclaimed property to owners

The Nevada Treasurer’s Office returned nearly $44 million in unclaimed property to Nevadans in fiscal 2019.

A spokesman said that is $3.8 million more than the previous fiscal year and a record for single year individual payouts.

While the average amount was about $1,500, the largest single payout to an individual was $928,000.

Unclaimed property is collected by the treasurer’s office from sources including bank accounts, court settlements, life insurance, safe deposit boxes, uncashed checks, utility deposits and stocks. All such property is held in perpetuity by the office and used to help fund programs benefitting the state such as the Millennium Scholarships.

Treasurer Zach Conine suggested that both businesses and individuals visit the treasurer’s website to see if they have property that they can claim. The office is at NevadaTreasurer.gov.

BLM approves Burning Man permit

Final approval of a 2019 Burning Man permit capping the population of Black Rock City at 80,000 was published on Wednesday.

Those are the same conditions as the permit approved in 2018, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

“Burning Man is one of the most recognized and unique events in the world,” BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby said. “This event not only showcases the incredibly creative talent of thousands of attendees, it’s also a celebration of one of the most beautiful places not just in Nevada, but in the entire United States. The BLM is extremely pleased about reaching this milestone and look forward to working with event organizers to ensure this year’s Burning Man event safely celebrates its core values and the spirit of human individuality, the environment and a sense of community.”

The Burning Man event has been held every year since 1991 in Nevada’s Black Rock National Conservation Area, in the BLM Winnemucca District. The event population does not include government personnel, government contractors or BLM-permitted vendors.

“The successful process to prepare for Burning Man would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Black Rock City, the sponsors of the event,” Raby said.

The BLM Team will continue its work with Burning Man 2019 organizers up to and throughout this year’s event.

“BLM and Black Rock City teams will be out on the playa, just like we have been in previous years, and focused on health and safety related issues for all of the attendees,” Raby said. “We want to ensure the attendees are able to celebrate in the spirit of this event and do so in a safe environment.”

The event site, which will be within an approximately 3,400-acre pentagon-shaped area, will be within a “Closure Area,” the physical space that will be temporarily closed during the event. The Closure Order will last up to 74 days. There will be two phases of the Closure Order. Closure Order Phase 1 will last the entire duration and will take effect approximately 40 days before Labor Day 2019. Closure Order Phase 2, which will include a larger area for the event itself, will occur 14 days before Labor Day and will last approximately 21 days.

Each year, the event starts at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday the weekend before Labor Day and ends at noon the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Miles Construction honored at Summit Awards for Bently Heritage redevelopment

RENO, Nev. — On April 13, Carson City-based Miles Construction was among several local companies honored with the Redevelopment of the Year Award during the 14th Annual Summit Awards at the Renaissance in Downtown Reno.

The 2018 Summit Award was given for the company’s work on the construction of the Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Minden.

“The Minden Flour Mill & Creamery buildings are 100-year-old structures and viewed as a mainstay to the Carson Valley community, not to mention listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” according to information provided by Miles Construction, which served as general contractor for the project. “When the transformation to Bently Heritage Estate Distillery was complete and opened in the Winter of 2019, it included a comprehensive renovation of these historic structures updating it to an advanced manufacturing operation to modern LEED certified standards.

“The renovation process was challenging and required expertise in construction, historic preservation and manufacturing. Miles worked to achieve a best-in-class outcome using the highest quality materials, equipment, processes and installation techniques. A primary focus included a visual experience designed to add to the appeal of the distillery’s product and the tasting experience for customers. Detail work included the structures and the routing of the mechanical systems completed in a way to deliver a powerful visual impact in concert with the building’s other elements. It really has to be seen.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The annual Summit Awards is the premier annual event that recognizes the success of distinguished commercial agents, brokers, developers and property managers, as well as commercial projects in the Northern Nevada region. The awards and event are sponsored by the CCIM Northern Nevada Chapter, NAIOP Northern Nevada, CREW of Northern Nevada, and the Nevada Builders Alliance.

This Redevelopment of the Year Award was among those included in the 2018 Summit Awards publication, which was inserted in the June 24, 2019, edition of the Northern Nevada Business View. The project is highlighted in page 17; unfortunately, Miles Construction was omitted from the information provided to the NNBV to to publish. The NNBV apologizes for the error. Go to summitawards.org to learn more.

Nevada unveils new interactive fire info site

Following a year with over a million acres burned in fire season, the Nevada Fire Board, made up of representatives from federal, state and local fire agencies and organizations, has built a website to provide all wildland fire information for Nevada in one place.

This site, www.nevadafireinfo.org, hosts near real-time interactive fire and fire risk maps, updates on fire restrictions, information on large active fires and links to University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismology Lab ALERT Wildfire cameras.

The newest feature in testing is an interactive map with a dashboard of important statistics, updated in real time from a variety of services. The Nevada Wildfire Information Map has existed for two years, but these

dashboards (built for both desktop and mobile) are only weeks out of development.

The public is encouraged to use these resources to stay informed of incidents as well as find helpful fire prevention information. During the fire season Nevada Fire Info will be primarily used for sharing up to date fire information and in the winter, it will also have career information for those interested in pursuing a future in wildland fire.

Fernley Victory Logistics District to develop 4,300 acres of industrial land

Plans to develop a 4,300-acre premier distribution, manufacturing and commercial center east of Fernley were announced Tuesday at a press conference by Mark IV Capital, a privately held real estate company based in Newport Beach, Calif.

Mark IV Capital acquired the Crossroads Commerce Center and rebranded it as the Victory Logistics District. The $45 million purchase consists of more than 4,100 acres of industrial land including about 4,000 acres in the Crossroads Commerce Center and additional industrial-zoned land on the west end of Fernley owned by the Logan Family Trust. CEO Paul Cate said the process to acquire the property took about eight months, and the project is exciting because it’s unique. The entire project is within an Opportunity Zone that offers tax incentives to both tenants and investors through deferrals and exemptions of capital gains taxes.

What makes the development strategic is that it sits between two major transcontinental highways, U.S. 50 Alternate to the south and Interstate 80 to the north. Eventually, Nevada Pacific Parkway will link the major highways. Two major rail lines, BNSF and Union Pacific, will provide access for the center’s users. Black Gold Terminals is partnering with Mark IV Capital to construct a full service transload rail facility for the first phase of development.

A study from The Boyd Company, Inc., considers Fernley an ideal location for warehousing and distribution because of low costs, location and business climate. The analysis of comparative distribution warehousing costs in port and intermodal-proximate cities cites Fernley as one of the top 25 “logistics-friendly” cities in the country.

Cate said they’re looking forward to working with the businesses that may want to relocate to the center. According to Mark IV Capital, the district will be developed in phases. Approximately 7.5 million feet of industrial space constitutes the first phase, and should be built out within 7 to 10 years. The first building will be a speculative cross-dock distribution building consisting of about 800,000 square feet with 40-foot clear heights.

“We’re creating a first-class business park that’s well branded, well recognized and those in the community can be proud of,” Cate said, adding Mark IV Capital is anticipating the “Victory Logistics District will deliver robust and well-planned growth that will contribute to a thriving local economy with a larger employment base.”

Cate and other speakers said the district will eventually employ thousands of workers from around the region in good-paying jobs. Fernley Mayor Roy Edgington said Fernley offers opportunity for development and growth in the area’s job base.

Evan Slavik, president of real estate for Mark IV Capital, said the last eight months have been busy in working with engineers and consultants as well as with Fernley and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

“We’re on our way to bringing commerce and job growth to Fernley,” he said.

During the past 10 years, though, no development has occurred except for one business. Polaris broke ground for a distribution center in August and recently finished the center.

EDAWN President and CEO Mike Kazmierski said the region is expanding, and Fernley is a 30-minute drive from the Reno-Sparks area. He touted Tuesday’s announcement as a huge win for not only Fernley but also for Nevada. He reiterated the addition of thousands of jobs primarily in manufacturing and logistics, but said “Fernley will feel the lion’s share of this growth.”

“The addition of a business park with a rail connection is something this region desperately needs, and now we have an additional piece to our puzzle to make us even more attractive to some of the great companies looking at the area,” he said.

Kazmierski said Fallon will benefit for this new development because of the rail park at Hazen. Black Gold Terminals located west of Hazen will serve both new and existing rail customers in the Victory Logistics District as well as customers throughout the region.

“Certainly, there’s a rail demand in this area, and the rail growth is responding to that demand,” Kazmierski pointed out. “Fallon is a community that can take advantage of the growth in this area and become a partner with that growth.”

Nathan Strong, CEDA’s executive director, agrees.

“Black Gold Terminals recently relocated here, and they will pick up new business,” he added

Strong also said Mark IV Capital will be aggressive in sales and working with EDAWN.

A selling point to the Fernley area is the abundance of land for large-scale projects. Kazmierski said available land at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Fernley is running out. He said water is not an issue at this time in northern Lyon County, but future housing and crowded schools could be.

“Housing is a big deal, and we’ve talked about it for five years now,” he said.

Kazmierski suggested developers could set aside some land for affordable housing.

Daphne Hooper, Fernley’s city manager, addressed the water availability and the potential increase in school enrollment.

“Water is already assigned to the site already,” she said.

Hooper, however, said thousands of Fernley residents commute outside the area, and if they’re successful in obtaining jobs at the Victory Logistics District, then it may not tremendously impact local schools. Likewise, she said commuters from Fallon and Silver Springs, for example, have children currently attending schools in those communities, and that shouldn’t affect Fernley.

Strong said U.S. government figures show about 3,000 Churchill County residents, except military, commute daily to jobs around the region.

BLM to hold 32,000-acre oil and gas lease sale in Northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management is holding a competitive oil and gas lease sale on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

According to a press release provided by the BLM, the agency will offer 28 parcels for lease totaling 32,342.43 acres in Elko and White Pine counties in north central Nevada.

The BLM will hold the lease sale online at www.energynet.com; parcels will be available to view there in the coming days, according to the press release.

The open bidding period will begin at 7 a.m. PDT on Sept. 10, and each parcel will have its own unique open bidding period, according to the BLM.

According to the BLM, the sale complies with the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court of Idaho in W. Watersheds Project v. BLM (No. 1:18-cv-00187-REB).

“Responsible energy development includes consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as potential resource impacts for each parcel,” according to the BLM. “Additional environmental review will take place during processing of an Application for Permit to Drill, when site-specific Conditions of Approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the stipulations already attached to the lease at the time of sale.

The sale results will be posted on the www.energynet.com website and the BLM Nevada State Office website at https://www.blm.gov/nevada.

The next oil and gas sale is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2019. 

By statute, the BLM is required to offer quarterly oil and gas lease sales of available federal lands. BLM state offices conduct lease sales quarterly when parcels are available for lease. These lease sales represent parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment.

The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. The leases may earn an extension if the lessee establishes production, otherwise they pay annual rentals.

The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The oil and gas industry on public lands in Nevada contributed $3.1 million in total economic output in FY 2019.