Carson City liberals hurt their economy
1960s television actor Max Baer, Jr. is at it again. For the uninitiated—and anyone younger than the age of 40—Baer’s notoriety was gained playing the goofy-nephew-with-a-six-grade education, Jethro Bodine in CBS’s The Beverly Hillbillies between 1962 and 1971. (That would be back in “the dark ages” of television, when there were only five channels to watch.)
Since 1999, he’s been trying to build a themed casino and resort based on his character and the television show. He’s been shot down by the myopic in Stateline, Reno, and lastly in Carson City, wherein he ponyed-up a cool $4.3 million of his own money to buy a closed Wal-Mart store after the business moved outside the city limits to Douglas County. That $54 million plan was torpedoed when the other shopping center owners decided they really didn’t want a casino there.
So Baer dug in and not only refused to sell out but also posted a sign on the property that read, “This Building is Not for Sale or Lease.” (How’s that for moxie?)
In 2003, Baer unsuccessfully tried to get the courts to allow him to build his resort.
In 2005, Carson City briefly considered using its powers of eminent domain to acquire Baer’s property and add it to its redevelopment district—which calls for more retail space. The city has been so successful at attracting retailers that some 460,000 square feet is moving in—but into Douglas County, not Carson City.
Now, four years later, the property is still vacant.
“I’ve lived in Douglas County since 1978, and I’ve wanted to build this casino for a long time,” Baer says.
Now Baer’s following Wal-Mart’s lead by selling that location and moving outside the city limits to Douglas County to pursue his 23-acre project. (Anyone else see a pattern here?) He plans to build a 240-room hotel and casino about the size of Boomtown.
“[Carson City] not only lost this project, but where I’m going, there will be a lot of retail stores,” Baer said. “It has cost Carson City millions in lost tax revenue.”
And he’s right. Baer estimates as many as 600 new jobs will be created by the resort. Not to mention the overflow of tourists into the rest of the area for shopping, dining and the like—which, of course, leads to more jobs, economic stability and the holy grail for idiot politicians (and their liberal friends), the almighty tax dollar. But to get to that, one must first have a working understanding of what actually creates and drives an economy.
Seems the people in Douglas County may actually get “it.” According to the 2006 State of the County report, “The financial health of Douglas County is tied directly to our economy.”
And what drives the economy?
Oh yes, that would be people like Max Baer willing to pony up and create a business from nothing. I mean, museums and trains are nice, but they will only get you so far.
The same report states that tourism is the county’s single largest industry. It represents seven of the top 11 employers and the Leisure and Hospitality industry accounts for 40.7 percent of the job base.
So now Carson City’s loss is Douglas County’s gain. Hopefully, Douglas will continue to have more brainpower going for it than Carson City.
And that, perhaps, brings us back to Coulter’s statement.