Truckee Meadows — Theory vs Reality (Renaissance Edition)

Earlier this week, a friend of mine sent me an article from a Las Vegas magazine touting the comeback potential of my current city of Reno. Interesting read; the article’s jump-off point talked about how Apple was approved to open a large data storage facility in town back in the summer. This is on the heels of NJVC opening a 20,000 square foot data center (advantageous location per Homeland Security). One thing I’ve found is that Reno is an ideal location for data centers and distribution centers. It works for the former because cool nights and low humidity are efficient in cooling heat dumping data centers, easy access to multiple fiber-optics lines, and plenty of high voltage infrastructure. The latter takes advantage of tax abatements, no matter how dicey those are. It’s a combination of Sacramento (130 miles west) and the Bay Area (the outskirts of which are 180 miles southwest) being nearby and those tax incentives. The existence of data and distribution centers are all to the good, but I wonder what the educational requirements are. Distribution centers do not need a lot of employees. (In Clark County they only have to be parked at one space per 1000 square feet of floor space). I haven’t done a lot of research on data centers, but it doesn’t seem that educational requirements are that high. (Anyone who reads this, please feel free to correct that statement). I bring up the education thing because to get companies to move here with industries that can move wherever they please, they need a larger talent pool to pick from. To me, that means multiple colleges, not just UNR. The Truckee Meadows comes off as a college town and a good low mid-sized city, but not good at either. It feels like the former, but it’s not like everyone went there. Santa Barbara, Calif. is more of a college town–well, Isla Vista is–but SB isn’t. That’s how Reno feels to me. There should be a higher rate of college graduates in town for me to feel Reno-Sparks is in reach of being a big city. I cannot be sold on Apple doing something major in the Truckee Meadows when their new headquarters in Silicon Valley will be this tricked out. Ultimately, the 775 comes off as too provincial. That is something that I can work with, but don’t try to act like you’re all urbanized when wearing this and this is like having a death wish. Then you can get your big city card.

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