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Old 12-14-2012, 03:57 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 1,379,100 times
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I've been living out here for over 10 years and love it on many levels, yet the lack of growth, and decent services and amenities is troubling. The local businesses can demand any price they choose, and service is poor, because they have no competition. I see it as kind of a catch-22, businesses will not relocate out here because there are not enough people, and people will not relocate because of lack of businesses and services, how do you break the cycle? Don't get me wrong, I would hate to see the place turn into a major metropolis, yet there has to be a happy medium.

I have my ideas/opinions on what some of the problems are, just wondering how others see it?

Best example I can give today is that a plain double meat hamburger costs $12, thats just a burger and fries, no drinks or extra toppings, and thats the price before a tip is included. I travel a lot and in most towns I can get a better burger and a few beers before I hit that kind of price.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:30 PM
 
1,071 posts, read 1,597,265 times
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I'm not so sure it's exactly a catch-22 or not. It's not the lack of businesses and services that prevent people from moving there. I think it's the lack of jobs.

Every time I pass through Ely, I am actually kind of surprised that it is as bustling as it is. Aren't most of the mines that were once active now shut down? There has to be some industry or large employer locating to Ely that would bring jobs to the area before any new competition amongst retailers or service providers can be garnered.

Also, Ely is rather isolated in comparison with larger towns in the state as it's not located on an interstate. I'm thinking that White Pine county will not have a great amount of growth unless the mining industry drastically picks back up there. Then Ely may see the growth that Elko is experiencing. But Elko is so much bigger than Ely to begin with so I really can't imagine it would ever become another Elko. And again, Elko is located on the interestate.

So, you're probably stuck with what you have ...for awhile, anyway. My opinion only.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:04 PM
 
401 posts, read 1,339,086 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpme View Post
I've been living out here for over 10 years and love it on many levels, yet the lack of growth, and decent services and amenities is troubling. The local businesses can demand any price they choose, and service is poor, because they have no competition. I see it as kind of a catch-22, businesses will not relocate out here because there are not enough people, and people will not relocate because of lack of businesses and services, how do you break the cycle? Don't get me wrong, I would hate to see the place turn into a major metropolis, yet there has to be a happy medium.

I have my ideas/opinions on what some of the problems are, just wondering how others see it?

Best example I can give today is that a plain double meat hamburger costs $12, thats just a burger and fries, no drinks or extra toppings, and thats the price before a tip is included. I travel a lot and in most towns I can get a better burger and a few beers before I hit that kind of price.

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. I've been here 8 years myself and have seen the same thing. Much of it has to do with those in leadership positions in this town are also small business owners who dont want to see competition from "outsiders". There have been plenty of people that tried new businesses in Ely who have failed because they dont have the blessing of the powers that be. Since I've been here, I heard of a few businesses that tried to come out here but got shot down by the city and/or county. There is the (as far as I know, unsubstanciated) rumor that Walmart was looking to put a store somewhere in the Ely area, as it is on one of their major shipping routes, but it got shot down by the county comission. I'm not so sure that I believe this one, as I dont believe we have the population to support a Walmart, but Im sure if and when they do try to put one here they will have nothing but trouble from the county and city. Amazon had consitered putting one of their warehouses here at one time, but once again I heard there was opposition from the city and county on that. It went to Fernley and has been nothing but a boom to their local economy. Honestly, I dont think it would have came here anyway due to the proximety to interstates and major shipping hubs. When AT&T tried to bring a fiber optic line thru Ely, the city wanted to charge them a $200/foot enterprise fee. So AT&T routed the cable around town, and now the chances of FiOS type services are pretty much out of the question for Ely. About the only thing you can do is vote with your wallet. There are plenty of businesses I wont go to in town anymore. On the same train of thought, there are plenty I will support with my money as much as I can. People complain about Ridleys, but compaired to Gormans, it's night and day. I really enjoy All American Pizza and the theater, and will go there as often as my budget allows.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:07 PM
 
401 posts, read 1,339,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopskooper View Post
I'm not so sure it's exactly a catch-22 or not. It's not the lack of businesses and services that prevent people from moving there. I think it's the lack of jobs.

Every time I pass through Ely, I am actually kind of surprised that it is as bustling as it is. Aren't most of the mines that were once active now shut down? There has to be some industry or large employer locating to Ely that would bring jobs to the area before any new competition amongst retailers or service providers can be garnered.

Also, Ely is rather isolated in comparison with larger towns in the state as it's not located on an interstate. I'm thinking that White Pine county will not have a great amount of growth unless the mining industry drastically picks back up there. Then Ely may see the growth that Elko is experiencing. But Elko is so much bigger than Ely to begin with so I really can't imagine it would ever become another Elko. And again, Elko is located on the interestate.

So, you're probably stuck with what you have ...for awhile, anyway. My opinion only.
Mining has picked up significantly in the past few years, with a couple of more mines going fully operational in the coming years as well. You hit the nail on the head with the interstate. Someone in town wrote a well worded letter to the editor of the paper a few weeks back. Before the interstate, Ely and Elko were about the same size. Look at the growth the interstate has brought to Elko, while Ely and WPC have contracted in size and tax base.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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Hi Uli, I guess we are both from the "growth" years of wpc. I came out here in 2002 when BHP had just shut down and the community was desperate for souls, and housing was cheap enough I just paid cash for my home. A lot of good folks ripped up roots and moved out here at that time, a year or two later some RE guru wrote an article saying Ely was the fastest growing town in America, and the prices went nuts, basiclly pricing themselves out of the market. Sadly a lot of those new folks have given up and left in recent years. I think one of the biggest things holding back growth today is the price of homes and raw land, sure I could sell and make a dime or two, but I like it here. I stopped and looked at a local RE agents window a few weeks ago, sure seems like a lot of homes for sale for such a small town, the craziest was a 1960's/70's poorly maintained single-wide mobile home for only $98,000.

I think the mine in Ruth is only expected to operate until 2016, I hear rumors of others coming online, but that is still dependent on the metals markets. The Walmart deal was just going to be a distribution center, I guess someone was worried that once they had a toe in the door a Walmart store was next. The Amazon deal was dependent on the ATT fiber optic line, it was just going to be an Amazon data center, once the ATT deal fell through, so did the Amazon deal. There was a home builder a few years ago trying to purchase land from the city to build new housing, city was trying to get premium price for it (even though nothing had ever been built on it since the beginning of recorded time) and they wanted the developer to pave the existing county road to it. The county commisioners also decided no one in Ely could afford $250,000 homes, so why bother, the developer finally threw up his hands in disgust and walked away.

Like I said in my original post, I really like it here, and I see it as a community with lots of opportunity for entrepreneurs. It's the closest town to Great Basin National Park (sorry Baker does not count), we have the NNRY with National Historic Landmark status and its considered the best preserved short line railway in America. There are innumerable square miles of BLM and NFS land for every conceivable outdoor sport, and world class glider/sailplane soaring weather. Spring/Summer/Fall weather is just beautiful, ok I'll admit winter is a bit cold, but if your into snow we could have had a ski resort and snowmobile trails too, except somebody killed that idea too.

When it comes to City Council and County Commissioners, I always vote for the new guys with no old ties

Last edited by wpme; 12-21-2012 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:38 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 1,379,100 times
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Oh yeah, the street down to the NNRY (a National Historic Landmark) is a complete embarrassment to the community, the only way it could look any worse is if you added a couple of burned out and overturned cars to the empty lots
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:45 PM
 
165 posts, read 375,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uli2000 View Post
You pretty much hit the nail on the head. I've been here 8 years myself and have seen the same thing. Much of it has to do with those in leadership positions in this town are also small business owners who don't want to see competition from "outsiders". There have been plenty of people that tried new businesses in Ely who have failed because they dont have the blessing of the powers that be. Since I've been here, I heard of a few businesses that tried to come out here but got shot down by the city and/or county.
Perhaps it's time for new leadership from citizens who would like better services that can only come from greater competition?

Anytime I hear of a situation such as this one, I wonder why politicians would make seemingly irrational decisions that are not in the best interests of the citizens of the community. Sounds like the current businesses have a good thing (e.g. no competition resulting in above market prices and higher profits). I wonder if maybe the current businesses are making things cozy for the politicians who are the gate keepers of outside businesses wanting to establish a foothold in the community?

An enterprising reporter or even citizen reporter might be able to get to the bottom of it by "following the money" to see if there is corruption or undue influence.

But, that's just my two cents as an free market type outsider.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 7,661,371 times
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Jeez guys, you live in one of the few towns in America that has not been destroyed by big boxes and national chains, enjoy it while it lasts.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:50 PM
 
165 posts, read 375,846 times
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Originally Posted by .highnlite View Post
Jeez guys, you live in one of the few towns in America that has not been destroyed by big boxes and national chains, enjoy it while it lasts.
I guess I just have a different opinion on this one...

As a consumer, I think big box stores like Walmart are great--lots of jobs, tax revenues, and the competition to bust the existing monopolies (in small towns like Ely) that leads to low cost goods on a wide variety of goods not previously available for consumers.

But, there doesn't even need to be a large store like Walmart. It sounds like the local politicians have been so anti-growth that they have barred the addition of any new stores and housing that would greatly benefit the 4200 citizens of Ely.

There doesn't have to be an all or none proposition where you either have Walmart or nothing. But, it seems as if the politicians have for some reason dug in their heels and opposed all growth, which seems on the surface to be irrationally detrimental to the people in the town. My question is why did they decide what they decided, and that raises suspicions of corruption.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:22 PM
 
165 posts, read 375,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpme View Post
I have my ideas/opinions on what some of the problems are, just wondering how others see it?
1) Replace local politicians who are anti-growth or force them to do the right thing (with threats of voting them out).

2) It sounds like supply (of housing, groceries, and goods) is low while demand is high resulting in very high prices. Heck, it even sounds monopolistic to me. Lack of free markets means little to no competition allowing existing businesses to make large profits at the expense of consumers. It's a shame because with competition and lower prices, everyone would have more disposable income, which would attract other businesses to open up, such as restaurants and entertainment.

3) There is profit to be made if any of the following entities would open up in the town: Walmart, OSH, Target, Costco, a housing developer or just someone willing to build new housing units, grocery store chain or even a small market, or a sporting goods store to exploit the outstanding outdoorsman environment like a Bass Pro Shops or REI Outfitters type of place selling hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping gear.

But, that's just my humble opinion as an outsider with the potential of moving there.
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