Blue skies and pain

I've seen all the rebuttals, complaints, critiques and questions that have surfaced since the state put together its swift and extremely friendly “Welcome to Nevada!” wine and cheese basket for Mr. Musk and his dreamy little battery barn. Many good points have been made, and yes, one does wonder how this deal is ultimately gonna work out for both Reno and Nevada. One wonders and hopes like hell for the blue sky.

But I'm still supportive, and I'm still optimistic. Sure, it could get ugly if consumers turn their backs on Tesla's cars when those mid-range 35k models get rolled out in a few years. But let's not forget how badly this state and our town needed to win something big. Let's not forget that ever since the dogdoo hit the blades back in '08, Nevada has been the worst of the worst in terms of real estate values and unemployment. The Depressing Recession hit everybody hard, and it happened to hit us the hardest. So just as a way to tell the country that we're still alive, we're still conscious, we're still kickin', and we're still a player in some way, we needed to win the Tesla Sweepstakes. We needed not just to compete with, but to put a little whoopass on Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and, of course, our neighbors to the west. We needed some relevance, we needed some mojo, and goddammit, we needed to show people that there's more to this place than goddamn Reno 911! with its constant national imprinting about meth heads, strippers and gun nuts. Hell, probably half of the morons out there in TV land still think Officer Dangle is our chief of police or some damned thing!

So we needed Tesla to choose us. Badly. And I don't even think of the 3,000 construction jobs or the 6,000 20-bucks-an-hour regular jobs when I think of the upside for Nevada. I think the payoff for us could well be in some way that we can't even predict or foresee at this time. Maybe it will be in 2020, when Forbes magazine puts Tesla on the cover after a record year in sales, and Forbes goes ahead and gets all crazed and raving with a cover calling Reno the new Detroit. Maybe it will be when the research and development section of Tesla finds a way to build a battery that boosts the range of an electric car to 500 miles, thereby putting the final nails in the coffins of dirty little fossil fuel suckers. Maybe it will be when Tesla announces its brand new and very affordable line of Jetson type flying saucer air cars. Hell, I don't know. But you get the point. Obviously, the state of Nevada is betting on something spectacular, or at least really good, coming out of the gigafactory. We wanted and needed to be part of something hot, hip, and happening. And who do you wanna bet on in this exciting and treacherous modern world—Elon Musk or Steve Wynn?