2019 summer busiest ever for Nevada Airbnb bookings with $53.3 million in income
LAS VEGAS — Short-term rental company Airbnb announced last week that Nevada’s Airbnb host community welcomed roughly 321,800 guest arrivals and earned a combined $53.5 million in supplemental income from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
It marked the largest summer ever in Airbnb bookings for the Silver State, according to a Sept. 13 news release from the company.
“The Airbnb community continues generating significant, positive economic impact across Nevada,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Senior Policy Director for Nevada, said in a statement. “With more guest arrivals this summer than ever before, hosts and small businesses are receiving an economic boost from this expanded tourism economy.”
According to Airbnb booking data from May 24 through Sept. 2, the top five city destinations for guests to Nevada were, in order: Las Vegas, Incline Village, Stateline, Reno and North Las Vegas.
The top five origin cities for travelers to Nevada were, in order: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose.
Below is a county-by-county breakdown of the top 2019 summer bookings and revenue by area in Nevada, according to the company, with host income in the first column and number guest arrivals in the second:
Carson City (city)
Since Airbnb was founded in 2018, hosts have earned over $65 billion. Hosts hosts keep 97 percent of what they charge.
New Ormsby House buyer: ‘It will never be a hotel-casino again’
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Joe D’Angelo has a different vision for the long-shuttered Ormsby House, one he says will be unique in Carson City.
D’Angelo is in escrow to buy the 48-year-old hotel-casino but is having some trouble convincing city officials of his idea because they still see the Ormsby House as a hotel-casino.
“This property will not survive under the old conditions,” he said Tuesday while sitting down with the Nevada Appeal. “It will never be a hotel-casino again.”
Escrow is supposed to close Oct. 17. He said he agreed to the asking price of $15 million for the property. He’s buying the Ormsby House, the attached parking garage and the small block to the south that is now occupied by the closed ARCO gas station.
He said the money to develop the project will come from a long list of benefactors.
“I have no investors,” D’Angelo said. “I have benefactors.”
Those benefactors, he said, include corporations and foundations that get tax benefits from supporting such projects.
He said his preliminary budget to fully develop the project is north of $75 million.
D’Angelo says key to the deal is what happens Oct. 1 at the city’s Major Plan Review.
“The city’s trying to force me into a special use permit, which I do not believe I need,” D’Angelo said. “With a special use permit they lock you in. They want their nose inside my business.”
He said the property really isn’t changing to a different use because it will still be a hotel with several restaurants. It just won’t have gambling, alcohol or smoking.
As head of the nonprofit Joshua’s Community for some 30 years, he said, “I don’t feed addictions; I treat them.”
Kim Fiegehen, who represents the sellers, said D’Angelo has proved that he has enough money to buy the building.
D’Angelo said he took care of one major city concern: that since Joshua’s Community is a 501(c)3, he would escape room, sales and property taxes. He said he has never filed for a tax exemption and won’t if he gets the Ormsby House.
“So they will collect their 11 percent room tax,” he said. “Property taxes are $73,000 a year.”
He said Carson City also would get money from construction work on the project as well as from the estimated 350 jobs the project will create.
Fiegehen said inspectors have gone through the building and that the reports have come back “stellar.”
D’Angelo said Don Lehr did “a beautiful job” of rebuilding and preparing the Ormsby House for what he wants to do and he’s hoping to close the deal in October.
Fiegehen conceded that other potential buyers have started escrow and failed to close the deal but she said that D’Angelo is farther along than any of those parties ever made it.
D’Angelo said contrary to what some people have said, the project isn’t for the homeless and isn’t a convalescent center. He said the first four floors will be public with restaurants, convention and meeting rooms, showroom space for shows, concerts, plays and even graduations.
He said he is looking into making what was the casino area into “a sunken living room with a water feature and a domed ceiling above it.”
He has interested businesses including a butcher shop and an old-fashioned New York deli with an organic salad bar, a coffee house with pastries and a complete burger bar as well as a family restaurant.
At the north end of the main floor, he envisions a culinary arts school. On the second floor, he wants to restore the showroom and wants to use the original name, the Crystal Terese Ballroom.
In fact, while it will be called Joshua House, he plans to honor and preserve the Ormsby House history with a museum on the first floor.
On the third floor, he said there will be 25 hotel rooms available to the public and upstairs, another 25 rooms potentially for legislators during session.
The rest of the floors, he said, will be suites for rent to anyone 18 and up, not just seniors.
D’Angelo said he believes those suites will get the interest of baby boomers who no longer need a big house to take care of and, since some of those people come with medical issues, he is hoping to provide internships for medical students from area colleges who could then provide services to some of them.
On the fourth floor where there was once a swimming pool — that leaked for years — he said he wants a hydroponics and horticulture “extravaganza.”
Along with that, the separate ARCO property, he said, would become a commercial hydroponics farm.
This isn’t the first project D’Angelo has proposed. In 2010, Joshua’s Community proposed a community near Pahrump along Clark County’s border he said would house up to 30,000 people on 6,400 acres of land including a convention center, fairgrounds and sports complexes.
The project was never built, at least in part because it was proposed on BLM land that already included an electric transmission corridor and protections for the Desert Tortoise, according to a spokesman for Nye County.
D’Angelo said the Ormsby House plan is ambitious but that he knows how to make it work.
“It’s basic business,” he said. “If you have what people need, they will be there.”
He said he already has a significant number of people interested.
“Before I open, we will have a line out the door,” he said.
Regulators probing pot labs in Vegas after tainted cannabis cases
LAS VEGAS — Nevada regulators have started an investigation into marijuana testing labs after tainted cannabis batches have triggered two health advisories.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Department of Taxation started the investigation Monday after discovering potentially doctored THC levels by cannabis laboratories and products with high levels of yeast and mold on store shelves.
Department officials say marijuana products must be tested by state-licensed labs for potency, yeast, mold, pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins before being sold in dispensaries.
Officials say products from the same cultivators were tainted and discovered on shelves sold between July 10 and Aug. 28 in Las Vegas at Acres Medical, The Apothecary Shoppe and Blackjack Collective.
According to the state, the affected marijuana was cultivated by D. H. Aldebaran Inc. and Las Vegas Natural Caregivers, LLC and harvested between 5/28/19 and 7/10/19.
“There is no reason to believe that the dispensaries or cultivators had any knowledge that the products exceeded allowable limits,” state officials said in a Monday statement.
Officials say mold exposure can lead to stuffy nose, wheezing and itchy eyes or skin.
Business cards in Braille: Nevada state staffer takes lead for blind community
CARSON CITY, Nev. — When Erik Jimenez of the Nevada treasurer’s office hands you a business card, you can’t help but notice that it’s all lumpy.
That’s because, in addition to the usual name and number, his contact information is embossed into the card in Braille.
“I think I’m the first state employee to get Braille business cards,” he said.
Jimenez, senior policy director to state Treasurer Zach Conine, said he feels the blind community is too often cut off from easy access to government information.
“I do a lot of outreach to the blind community, which I would argue is one of the most underserved communities,” he said.
Whether it’s job postings or laws and regulations, they simply can’t access a lot of state government materials and information.
“I’m hopeful we have a conversation about how we make our materials and outreach accessible,” he said. “It’s a big step, at least with this community.”
Jimenez said the cards are designed to let visually impaired people know that someone is listening.
“If nothing else, they’ll at least be able to contact me if they have questions about government,” he said.
The card includes not only the normal contact information but his name, cellphone number and email address in Braille.
“If we go and take the first step like we legitimately care, they’re more inclined to listen and ask for help,” he said.
Jimenez said his boss, the governor and Legislature are pushing to make state agency websites accessible to the visually impaired.
He pointed out that the last Interim Finance Committee approved four positions to begin the process of coding websites to be more accessible to the blind.
He said he has also been contacted by some lawmakers interested in how to make state materials accessible.
“Maybe some one has done this before but I’ve never heard of it,” he said. “It starts the conversation.”
Jimenez thought the Braille was so important, he paid for the cards himself.
‘Hip, cool’ luxury Midtown apartments to charge $1,400-$1,800 in rent
RENO, Nev. — Last week, Pilot Real Estate Group introduced Haskell Row, Reno’s newest luxury rental and retail community that has development roots in both New York City and upscale Connecticut.
According to a Sept. 10 news release provided by The Abbi Agency on behalf of the project’s developers, Haskell Row — located on Haskell Street in the city’s Midtown district — encompasses 30 luxury residential rental units, in addition to 4,000 square feet of new retail and office space.
“The property will be the only ground-up luxury rental project in the Midtown District,” according to the release.
The multi-use community offers 22 duplex two-story units, at 840 square feet, with one bedroom and a 1.5 baths. Each unit has a private side yard, a small office area, a laundry-storage room and a walk-in closet.
In addition, there will be a building with eight 1-bedroom apartments (at 540 square feet), with the four ground floor units each having a 180-square-foot private yard. Ample onsite parking is available for both the residents and commercial tenants, according to the release.
“Haskell Row brings a modern, hip, cool, new residential and retail experience to Midtown, something we felt would be a great addition to the neighborhood,” said George Graham, a New York real estate investor who partnered with Greenwich, Connecticut-based Pilot Real Estate Group to develop the project. “As Connecticut and New York City-based real estate developers, we hope to bring the same modern and trendy live-work experience to Reno that we have successfully created in our Brooklyn projects.”
While those prices may seem high to locals who balk at the region’s mounting housing crisis and its subsequent rising rental and home prices (Reno’s median home price has hovered around $400,000 for the past several months), Graham says Haskell Row offers an urban lifestyle that more and more people with disposable income are seeking.
“Reno is now attracting people at a higher income level but it currently doesn’t have enough luxury rentals in Midtown to support them,” Graham said in the Sept. 3 RGJ story. “I don’t think there’s enough new luxury rental units in Reno and we believe there’s real demand for it.”
According to the Sept 10 press release, the property will feature modern and urban finishes with stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, and polished concrete and vinyl wood flooring. Exteriors will have Bodie Ghosttown wood accents, among other amenities.
“Our target resident is someone who wants to live an urban lifestyle while renting a duplex or apartment unit that is an accurate reflection of their style,” Graham said in the press release. “We feel like Haskell Row will do just that in Reno.”
The Haskell Row property also includes Coffeebar Roastery, which opened in November 2018 at 1030 Haskell St.
In $7 million deal, city of Reno closes on Reno Gazette Journal office sale
RENO, Nev. — Real estate firm CBRE recently announced the sale of the Reno Gazette Journal building and property to the city of Reno closed in late August.
sale price, as first reported by the RGJ this summer, is just under $7 million.
to a Sept. 13 news release from CBRE, Aiman Noursoultanova, of
the company’s Reno Investment Properties Group, represented the seller, Gannett
(parent company of the RGJ), which has owned the 75,600-square-foot building
since its construction in 1981.
property, including parking, encompasses 7.71
The building at 955 Kuenzli St. was designed by famed Reno architect Raymond Hellman, who is perhaps best known for designing the Fleischmann Planetarium building on the University of Nevada, Reno campus in 1963, among other notable buildings.
According to the CBRE press release and previous reports from the RGJ, the newspaper decided to sell its building in 2017 after a move to outsource printing operations — among other business decisions, including decreasing staff size — led to the building no longer suiting the news organization’s needs.
The city of Reno eventually opted to move forward this summer and purchase the property with the intention of turning it into its new police headquarters. It will replace the police station at 455 E. Second St., which the Reno Police Department has outgrown.
“The city has been looking for a new building for some time and this acquisition allows them to be strategically located and service the needs of the community,” Noursoultanova, a senior vice president with CBRE in Reno, saidn in a statement. “The building at 955 Kuenzli will not only allow for the Reno Police Department to consolidate all of their services into one building, but will require less of an investment to rehab and customize than building a new facility from scratch.”
“We are pleased that the city of Reno, CBRE and Gannett completed this sale quickly given the urgent space needs of our Police Department,” Reno City Manager Sabra Newby said in a statement. “We recognize and honor the decades of groundbreaking journalism that happened inside this building.
“We’re proud that our public safety personnel can carry on their critical duties as Reno expands and grows.”
According to the RGJ, the cost of the purchase plus moving expenses and building new facilities and workspaces at 955 Kuenzli St. are expected to total $33 million. RPD anticipates a move-in date of June 2021, with an estimated 450 personnel affected by the move.
“While it’s never easy to say goodbye to a newsroom that’s been our home for nearly 40 years, we are excited about the next chapter for the Reno Gazette Journal,” RGJ Executive Editor Brian Duggan said in an Aug. 29 story. “We are actively looking for a new office in downtown Reno that will better suit our digital future as a news organization.”
Bay Area mortgage firm expands to open Reno office
RENO, Nev. — Bay Area-based lending and mortgage firm Bay Equity Home Loans has expanded to open a branch at 200 S. Virginia St. in downtown Reno.
Basin Street Properties, owners of the 200 South Virginia high-rise property, announced the move in a Sept. 10 news release.
Representing Basin Street Properties in the 2,922-square-feet office space lease was Dominic Brunetti and Scott Shanks of Dickson Commercial Group. Representing Bay Equity was Matt Grimes of CBRE.
Based in Sausalito, California, Bay Equity is a “family-owned and community-minded mortgage lender,” according to the company’s website.
It’s licensed in 32 states, with retail branches in 23 states.
Mike Richardson serves as branch manager of the Reno office, where Brian Dansereau also works as a loan officer.
“Bay Equity is a perfect addition to 200 South Virginia,” Scott Stranzl, Chief Portfolio Officer for Basin Street Properties, said in a statement. “It will fit well with our mix of technology, real estate, telecom and coworking tenants.”
Bill Pearce Motors, Reno Mayor Schieve among 2019 EDAWN Arts & Business Awards winners
RENO,Nev. — On Sept. 12, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada announced winners of its 2019 EDAWN Arts & Business Awards, including Bill Pearce Motors as large business of the year and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve as Elected Arts Advocate of the Year.
According to a news release from EDAWN, 10 awards were doled out among 34 local business, organization and individual nominees in Greater Reno-Sparks “that have demonstrated exceptional support and engagement with the local arts and culture community.”
EDAWN’s fourth annual Arts & Business Awards ceremony — held in partnership with the cities of Reno and Sparks, Sierra Arts Foundation, and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Liberal Arts — took place Sept. 12 at the Silver Legacy Casino and drew more than 400 attendees.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and especially the winners,” Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of EDAWN, said in a statement. “We are very fortunate that Greater Reno-Sparks has the support of so many who are passionate about and understand the positive impacts that the arts have on our community.
“In our world of economic development we strongly support the arts, its impact in fueling a vibrant economy and the important role it plays in our efforts to attract new businesses and talent to our region.”
The full list of winners this year are below:
Double Scoop: Business of the Year, Microenterprise
Great Basin Brewing Company: Business of the Year, Small
Bill Pearce Motors: Business of the Year, Large
Marc Johnson and Karen Penner–Johnson, University of Nevada, Reno: Leadership
Larry Engstrom / University of Nevada, Reno: Lifetime Achievement
Reno Philharmonic: Excellence in Arts Business Management
Brian Bolton / Reno High School: Arts Education
Nancy Fennell–Dickson Realty: Business Community Arts Advocate of the Year
Mayor Hillary Schieve, City of Reno: Elected Arts Advocate of the Year
Reno–Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority: Community Arts Partner of the Year
Nevada farms, ranches can apply for annual Centennial Awards
SPARKS, Nev. — The Nevada Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2019 Nevada Centennial Ranch and Farm Awards through Oct. 20.
According to a press release from the state, Nevada farms and ranches in operations for 100 years or longer may apply.
To qualify for recognition, an applicant’s ranch or farm must have belonged to his or her family for at least 100 years and must be a working ranch or farm with a minimum of 160 acres.
Operations with fewer than 160 acres must have gross yearly sales of at least $1,000.
The application is available online at agri.nv.gov/Centennial_Awards and can be submitted via email, or by mailing a hard copy to the NDA at 405 South 21st St. in Reno, NV 89431.
According to the state, 52 families have been awarded this distinction since the program began in 2004.
The NDA partners with Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Nevada Agricultural Foundation and Nevada Farm Bureau to honor inductees.
Junior League of Reno donates $30,000 to Girls on the Run
RENO, Nev. — The Junior League of Reno recently awarded $30,000 to Girls on the Run Sierras to sponsor six Washoe County Title 1 schools.
According to a news release from the Junior League of Reno, the grant gives more girls the ability to participate in the nonprofit, which focuses not only on physical activity but teaches skills in character development, teamwork and community service.
The curriculum runs for 10 weeks from September to November and culminates with a celebratory 5K event at the University of Nevada, Reno on November 17.
“The mission of the Junior League is to build a better community by empowering women and children,” Julianne Bradford, President of the Junior League, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Girls on the Run, because they teach the skills the next generation of strong, female leaders, community advocates and role models will need.
For Fall 2019, of the 30 Washoe County schools participating Girls on the Run program, 12 are low-income schools.
“This partnership with Junior League Reno allows Girls on the Run to expand our unique programs and allow for more low-income girls to have access to lessons on healthy lifestyle choices, building confidence and identifying avenues to help their local community,” said Girls on the Run Executive Director Joy Heuer.
The Junior League of Reno, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Go to jlreno.org to learn more.