Incline Village at Lake Tahoe, Nevada Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 9, 2018


I am proud to have sold one of the 15 most expensive homes in Reno in 5017. 885 Hill Lane, Reno.

The rising cost of housing in the last few years is making home ownership a tough proposition for Reno home buyers. We look at what’s fueling the Biggest Little City’s housing crisis and potential options for people looking for a new place to call home

Top 15 Reno home sales of 2017

If you had the dough in 2017, Reno had some mighty fine digs.

The most expensive home sold in the city this past year, an 8,600-square-foot number on Bordeaux Drive, fetched $3.4 million. To make this list of the 15 priciest pads took a sale of nearly $2 million.

No. 2 on the list was perhaps the year's most high-profile sale: the art-filled architecturally-distinctive home sold by gallery owners Turkey and Peter Stremmel. The home, with its earthen yellow and red exterior, has long been a landmark in the West Reno foothills.


Juniper Hill Road featured three homes among the year's 15 most expensive sales, including this residence at No. 655. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

A Juniper Hill Road property commanded the top price per square foot -- nearly $518 -- though that figure reflected a high purchase price (because of acreage) combined with a relatively smaller residence.

Five of the top 15 sales were in Montreux Golf & Country Club, four lay in the posh precincts south of Windy Hill, three were on Juniper Hill Road in West Reno, and one home each was in Verdi, Arrowcreek, and the North Valleys.

Dian VanderWell, a Realtor with Stefani & Associates, gathered information for this story from public property records and from the Northern Nevada Regional MLS.

Square foot figures do not include unfinished space, garages or guest houses. Indicated sales are as of record through Dec. 15.


20282 Bordeaux Drive sold for $3.4 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

1. 20282 Bordeaux Drive sold for $3.4 million. 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 8590 square feet.


339 Anitra Drive sold for $3.25 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

2. 339 Anitra Drive sold for $3.25 million. 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 6515 square feet.


155 Juniper Hill Road sold for $2.65 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

3 tie. 155 Juniper Hill Road sold for $2.65 million. 3 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 5119 square feet.


20 Lurie Lane sold for $2.65 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

3 tie. 20 Lurie Lane sold for $2.65 million. 5 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 7155 square feet.


905 Juniper Hill Road sold for $2.5 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

5. 905 Juniper Hill Road sold for $2.5 million. 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 3290 square feet


5915 Lausanne Drive sold for $2.45 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

6. 5915 Lausanne Drive sold for $2.45 million. 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 5089 square feet.


5820 Lausanne Drive sold for $2.42 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

7. 5820 Lausanne Drive sold for $2.42 million. 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 6618 square feet.

8. 655 Juniper Hill Road sold for for $2.375 million. 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 6715 square feet.


8395 Panorama Drive sold for $2.33 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

9. 8395 Panorama Drive sold for $2.33 million. 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 6635 square feet.


14700 Sto Lat Lane sold for $2.3 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

10. 14700 Sto Lat Lane sold for $2.3 million. 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 4815 square feet.


20162 Bordeaux Drive sold for $2.295 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

11. 20162 Bordeaux Drive sold for $2.295 million. 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 6346 square feet.


885 Hill Lane sold for $2.25 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

12. 885 Hill Lane sold for $2.25 million. 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 6640 square feet.


6070 Lake Geneva Drive sold for $2.125 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

13. 6070 Lake Geneva Drive sold for $2.125 million. 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 7193 square feet.


11155 Boulder Glen Way sold for $1.998 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

14. 11155 Boulder Glen Way sold for for $1.998 million. 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 6006 square feet.


10047 Trailside Court sold for $1.95 million. (Photo: Provided to RGJ Media)

15. 10047 Trailside Court sold for $1.95 million. 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 8743 square feet.

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 9, 2018


INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... The last week of the year gave us the encouraging report that Pending Home Sales, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) index of contracts signed on existing homes, edged ahead 0.2% in November. The chief economist of a major financial services firm said this suggests that "December existing sales will also their highest annual sales pace since 2006." Indeed, even though the monthly gain was modest, the index notched its highest read since June, and is 0.8% ahead of last year.

The NAR chief economist concurred: "The housing market is closing the year on a stronger note...backed by solid job creation and an economy that has kicked into a higher gear." The NAR predicts existing home sales will end the year at 5.54 million, up 1.7% from 2016's 5.45 million sales. But they see 2018 sales at 5.52 million, with price growth moderating to around 2%. However, the senior economist of a national listing site expects continued demand: "An economy that keeps adding jobs, and wages that continue to grow, both have consumers feeling confident."

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Some keys to success--always follow up; put clients' interests first; listen closely; communicate clearly; hone negotiating skills; stay in contact with clients and your business sphere.

>> Review of Last Week

HAPPY OLD YEAR!... Four days of trading on Wall Street ended with the three major market indexes down for the week, largely from a late-Friday sell-off at very light volumes, as many investors took off for the holidays. This ended a year that was anything but down. In 2017, the Dow went up 25.1% after setting 71 closing records the past twelve months, a record in itself. The S&P 500 went up 19.4% during the year, while the Nasdaq gained 28.2%. This was its sixth straight yearly increase, its longest streak since the one from 1975 to 1980.

We follow where stock prices go because over the years market performance has proven to be a leading indicator of where the U.S. economy is headed. And as the economy goes, especially jobs and incomes, so goes the housing market. We also have economic data to consider. Last week saw Consumer Confidence hit a 17-year high, and the Chicago PMI measure of Midwest manufacturing reach 67.6, the best read in more than six years. Its New Orders Index was the highest in three and a half years and its Production Index the highest since 1983!

The week ended with the Dow down 0.1%, to 24719; the S&P 500 down 0.4%, to 2674; and the Nasdaq down 0.8%, to 6903.

Bonds, led by Treasuries, ended the year broadly higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week UP .31, at $104.59. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates edged higher in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 28. But their deputy chief economist noted, "rates are still below the levels we saw at the end of last year and early part of 2017. Mortgage rates have remained relatively low all year." Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The NAR reports that sellers' use of real estate agents hit an all time high in 2017. For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transactions were only 8% of sales, their lowest share since the NAR began tracking this in 1981.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 26, 2017


Last week saw three housing market reports that surprised to the upside. Existing Home Sales shot up 5.6% in November, to a 5.81 million annual rate, their fastest sales pace since 2006. Demand stays strong (44% of homes sold in less than a month), though supply in many areas is tight. November New Home Sales exploded up 17.5% to a 733,000 annual rate, and are now up 26.6% the past year, to their highest rate in ten years. Housing Starts grew 3.3% in November, to a 1.297 million annual rate, up 12.9% for the year.

Builders are upbeat--the latest National Association of Home Builders confidence index is at its highest level since 1999. Friday, the President signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. For homeowners, the capital gains exclusion on home sales, and the mortgage interest deduction on existing mortgages were left unchanged. But the interest deduction on new mortgages is only available up to $750,000 (down from $1 million), and all state and local tax deductions are capped at $10,000. As always, please check with a tax professional before making any tax-related decisions.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Plan for success in 2018. Write down your goals--revenue, number of prospects, clients, projects, new referral partners. Lay out these goals by month, quarter and for the year, then check your progress at the start of each month.

>> Review of Last Week

HOLIDAY CHEER... All anyone on Wall Street wanted from Santa were some tax cuts, and Friday morning the President obliged, signing into law the biggest tax code overhaul in more than thirty years. Its centerpiece is a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, plus cuts in individual tax rates.Critics of the bill say lower taxes will raise the deficit, supporters claim the boost in economic growth, jobs and wages resulting from the tax cuts will ultimately increase government revenues. Investors sided with the supporters, cheerfully sending all three major market indexes ahead for the week.

Even before the new tax cuts kick in on January 1, the economy keeps showing signs of decent growth. Last week we saw those impressive housing reports covered above. In addition, Personal Spending bumped up 0.6%, a key indicator, since 70% of the economy is driven by consumers. The Core PCE Prices index, the Fed's favorite inflation measure, is up 1.5% year-over-year, edging closer to the central bank's 2% long-run target. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index remains up there, with its average of 96.8 for 2017, the highest since 2000.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.4%, to 24754; the S&P 500 UP 0.3%, to 2683; and the Nasdaq UP 0.3%, to 6960.

Bonds edged lower as Friday's good economic data was capped with the blow-out New Home Sales report. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week down .38, at $104.28. For the week ending December 21, Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey had national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates inching up. But their Deputy Chief Economist noted rates are "below...last year at this time." Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Freddie Mac's November 2017 Outlook says 2017 is on track to be the best year in housing in a decade, with 6.13 million home sales and 1.2 million housing starts..

>> This Week's Forecast

PENDING HOME SALES OFF, MIDWEST MANUFACTURING, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE GROW... Contract signings on existing homes measured by the Pending Home Sales index, are forecast to slip a bit in November after the prior month's strong gain. But Consumer Confidence and the Chicago PMI reads on factory activity in the Midwest are expected to continue showing strong expansion

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 18, 2017


INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... The big news last week wasn't actually news to anyone, as virtually no one was surprised that the Fed hiked rates a quarter percent at the FOMC meeting, to the range of 1.25%-1.50%. The Fed's "dot plot," released at the last meeting every quarter, projects three more rate hikes next year. The latest increase was widely seen as reflecting the Fed's confidence in the U.S. economy. Their policy statement said: "the labor market has continued to strengthen" and "economic activity has been rising at a solid rate," plus they revised their GDP growth projection higher.

In fact, GDP has grown at better than 3% for two quarters, job growth is at a 10-year high and unemployment at a 17-year low. Plus, economists say low unemployment means businesses have to pay more for labor, putting upward pressure on wages, good for the housing market. Also good, national average 30-year mortgage rates went down last week. (See below.) Truth is, the Fed Funds Rate does not always lead to higher mortgage rates. Economists say it's tied to short-term consumer interest rates, although next year's three projected Fed hikes should nudge mortgage rates higher.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... The holidays are a season of giving, a good time to think of ways we can give back to others and further serve our communities.

>> Review of Last Week

CLOSING IN ON TAX CUTS... Investors were clearly buoyed by the prospect that tax-cut legislation would soon be passed by both houses of Congress. The three major stock market indexes closed at record highs, with the Dow and the S&P 500 registering weekly gains for the fourth week in a row. By Fridayafternoon, it appeared that Republicans had enough support to pass their tax reform bill, but the final vote won't happen until early this week. Once both the House and Senate vote on the finalized bill, it will go to the President, who has already said it's his intention to sign it before Christmas.

One portfolio analyst noted, "There is definitely a momentum in the market thanks to the prospect of tax cuts, but let's not forget that the economic growth is also pretty good and has been supporting the market all year." More evidence of that growth came last week as Retail Sales shot up in November by 0.8%, following upwardly revised gains of 0.5% in October and 2.0% in September. Retail Sales are now up 5.8% from a year ago. Manufacturing continues to grow steadily, with factory capacity utilization at its highest level since 2008. Plus, both weekly and continuing jobless claims fell for the week.

The week ended with the Dow UP 1.3%, to 24652; the S&P 500 UP 0.9%, to 2676; and the Nasdaq UP 1.4%, to 6937.

It was a mixed week in the bond market, with shorter dated Treasuries down, but the long bond up. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week down just .04, at $104.66. In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 14, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates edged lower, remaining measurably down from a year ago. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... There are an estimated 83.1 Millennials in the country, the largest age group, representing more than a quarter of the U.S. population.

>> This Week's Forecast

NEW HOMES DIP, EXISTING HOMES BLIP, GDP STRONG, INFLATION WEAK... We get a complete look at the November housing market in a single week. Home building is forecast to slip a tick in both Housing Starts and Building Permits. Likewise, New Home Sales are predicted off for the month. But analysts see Existing Home Sales back up over the 5.5 million annual rate. The GDP - Third Estimate is expected to show economic growth still a solid 3.3%. Core PCE Prices, the Fed's favorite inflation measure, is forecast to barely budge.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 18, 2017


This Tiny Nevada Town Is One Of The Happiest Places In America

Sometimes it’s hard to know what constitutes a “happy place”. There are happy residents in every tiny town across the country. But in this case, we have referenced data sites like Movoto, in order to find out which towns rank the happiest according to particular factors. Having solid amenities, high quality of life, low crime rate, low unemployment rate, stellar weather, a good education system and low poverty rates are all good indicators of happy places to live. And when we took a look at the happiest tiny towns in Nevada, one answer was most glaringly obvious.

Right in the heart of Washoe County, Nevada you’ll find the town of Incline Village.


It’s really easy to see why Incline Village would rank at the top of Movato’s list for best places to live in the state.


On the north shore of Lake Tahoe sits the census-designated place of Incline Village which is enjoyed by all no matter the season.


With a population of less than 8,000 residents, Incline Village stays fairly small throughout the year, yet come tourist season, explodes with opportunity.


A few simple, yet easily explainable reasons why Incline Village is such a happy Nevada town include…


…eating at a renowned steakhouse like the Lone Eagle Lounge for lunch and dinner.


…traipsing the shoreline of Sand Harbor and enjoying the crystal clear blue waters.

Flickr Ken Lund

…hitting the slopes for an epic skiing adventure at Diamond Peak Ski Resort.

…grabbing a hot cup of coffee to start your day from the neighboring coffee shop IV Coffee Lab.

…snagging a local beer from Alibi Ale Works & Brewery with your friends.

…or just hiking through the woods and experiencing complete silence and total immersion in nature.

If those reasons aren't enough to understand why Incline Village is one of the happiest spots in Nevada, then you may just have to visit and see for yourself.

Posted in Community News
Dec. 11, 2017


Credit DOs

Here are some ideas to help on your home ownership journey!

Mortgage lenders use a credit score (most often called a FICO Score) along with other factors, such as your debt to income ratio, employment history, and credit history to determine your credit worthiness. To improve your credit rating, DO the following:

DO pay your bills on time. If you missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your credit score.

DO correct any errors on your credit report. This is a fast way to raise your credit score.

DO reduce any high balances on credit cards. This is also a fast way to improve your credit rating. Pay balances down to below 50% - you do not have to pay them off in full.

DO contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor if you're having trouble paying bills. This won't improve your credit score right away, but if you start paying on time, your score will eventually improve.

DO keep balances low on credit cards. Lots of outstanding debt can hurt a credit rating.

DO use credit cards, but manage them responsibly. Having cards and installment loans and paying them on time will raise your credit score. People with no credit cards are usually a higher risk than people who use their credit cards properly.

DO call or email us for help. We'll gladly take you through the ins and outs of all things "credit."

Dec. 4, 2017


INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Last week we got the good news that both New and Pending Home Sales are heading in the right direction--UP. October New Home Sales rose 6.2%, to a 685,000 annual rate, soundly beating forecasts for the second month in a row. That puts sales of new single family homes up 18.7% over a year ago, at their highest level since 2007. And this isn't just an artificial rebound from the hurricanes. All major regions saw sales gains, with the smallest actually coming from the south. The average sales pace for the past three months is also the highest since 2007.

For October, the Pending Home Sales measure of contracts signed on existing homes rebounded to a 3.5% gain following the 0.4% dip in September. This suggests existing homes sales should move up in November and December. Prices in many markets edge higher, as national measures continue to go up. Consequently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are increasing the conforming loan limits in 2018 for most of the mortgages they insure. The baseline limit will go to $453,100, while the limit in "high-cost areas" will be $679,650. These conforming loan limits vary by county, so check with your mortgage professional.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Always set goals in everything you do. In any activity, setting a goal will steer your direction.

>> Review of Last Week

BULLISH ON TAX CUTS... The Senate kept sending signals it would pass its tax reform bill by the end of the week. While the vote didn't happen by Friday's market close, there was enough progress to fuel this week's stock rally. The Dow logged its biggest weekly gain this year, the S&P 500 its best since September, though the Nasdaq fell after profit taking on high flying tech stocks. The S&P 500 has been up (including dividends) 13 straight months, the longest streak in history, and the longest without as much as a 3% correction. Why? The economy keeps improving and corporate profits are up 6.1% the last quarter.

There was no stronger evidence of an improving economy than the latest Q3 GDP report. Real GDP was revised up from the original 3.0% estimate to 3.3% annual growth, beating expectations. Especially good was the gain in business investment. This suggests that healthier economic conditions are driving the rebound in capital expenditures our economy needs. The ISM Index dipped a bit in November but, at 58.2, shows manufacturing activity is still moving along briskly. In October, Personal Income was up 0.4% and Personal Spending up 0.3%, while Core PCE inflation is up only 1.4% the past year.

The week ended with the Dow UP 2.9%, to 24232; the S&P 500 UP 1.5%, to 2642; and the Nasdaq down 0.6%, to 6848.

With the tax bill vote delayed in the Senate, bond traders pushed Treasuries higher, though other bonds lost ground. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week down .25, at $104.53. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates inched lower again in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending November 30. But the survey closed before rates gained after the GDP report. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The average first time home buyer is 32 years old with $75,000 household income, and buys a single-family suburban home for $190,000 with a 5% down payment, while still carrying $29,000 in student loan debt.

>> This Week's Forecast

JOBS GAIN, SERVICES GROW, CONSUMERS POSITIVE... The big data this week will be Friday'sNovember Employment Report, and economists predict another near-200,000 gain in Nonfarm Payrolls. This is less than October's blow-out number, but solid job growth nonetheless. Equally important to the housing market, Hourly Earnings are forecast to get back to their gaining ways. ISM Services should remain solidly in growth territory, well above 50, and important, since the services sector provides the bulk of our jobs. Analysts expect Michigan Consumer Sentiment to keep booking historically high numbers

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 1, 2017


As the latest housing data shows an uptick in sales, Case-Shiller's 20-City Composite index surged 6.19% YoY in September - the fastest rate of gain since July 2014.

As Bloomberg notes, the residential real-estate market is benefiting from steady demand backed by a strong job market and low mortgage rates. The ongoing scarcity of available houses on the market, especially previously-owned dwellings, is likely to keep driving up prices.

Eight cities have surpassed their peaks from before the financial crisis, according to the report.

All 20 cities in the index showed year-over-year gains, led by a 12.9 percent increase in Seattle and a 9 percent advance in Las Vegas (slowest gains in Washington area at 3.1 percent, Chicago at 3.9 percent)

Nov. 30, 2017


INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We keep hearing concerns that tight existing home inventories and rising prices will shrink sales, but the latest data lays those worries to rest. October Existing Home Sales increased 2.0%, to a 5.48 million annual rate. Sales grew in every major region, with single family homes leading the way, although condos/coops went up a bit too. Yes, sales are down (less than 1%) versus a year ago, but we're still seeing the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which sidelined home buyers. Once we start getting reports not colored by these storms, many expect an upward sales trend.

Nearly half the homes sold In October were on the market less than a month, indicating demand is there. This is put to increasing incomes, a strengthening economy, near historically low mortgage rates and a growing appetite for home ownership. Freddie Mac's November 2017 Outlook expects this to be the best year for housing in a decade, with 6.13 million homes sold and 1.2 million housing starts. Their chief economist said, "construction will gradually pick up, helping to supply more homes in inventory-starved markets." The Fed's latest data reveals home equity hit $13.9 trillion in mid-2017, an all-time high.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... If there aren't enough hours in the day for everything you want to do, get to bed earlier so you can get up earlier. Then use that quiet time for the things that make you happy and healthy--reading, meditating, yoga, the gym, whatever.

>> Review of Last Week

HAPPY HOLIDAYS... The holiday season kicked off nicely on Wall Street, with the three main indexes returning to their winning ways. The broadly-based S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq, in fact, finished Thanksgiving week at new all-time highs, while the Dow ended less than half a percent off its all-time record. There's no question stock prices are up both because a high percentage of corporate earnings reports are beating expectations, and because the economy appears to be in solid territory. The evidence? Higher wages, lower unemployment, high consumer confidence and rising home values.

Consumers are even continuing their big-ticket spending on things such as vehicles, appliances and home renovations. Last week's economic data pretty much surprised to the upside, including the Leading Economic Index (LEI), Existing Home Sales covered above, and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment. Durable Goods Orders Excluding Transportation moved up too, 0.4% in October, following an upwardly revised 1.1% September gain. Some analysts expect household holiday spending to be up about 4% over last year. Heck, online shoppers spent $1.52 billion, just on Thanksgiving Day.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.9%, to 23558; the S&P 500 UP 0.9%, to 2602; and the Nasdaq UP 1.6%, to 6889.

In the bond market, Treasuries ended lower, but other bonds inched ahead. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week UP .05, at $104.78. In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending November 22, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates dipped slightly. This put them below their year-ago level for the first time in 2017. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Overall, 25% of people surveyed said they use their dining room for other purposes, such as an office, game room or craft room. And among Millennials, 65% use it that way.

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 25, 2017


Keeping you informed on the economic news in Northern Nevada as it impacts the Incline Village Real Estate market as well:

To legions of kids around the world, Santa Claus arrives on Christmas Eve.

For the players who make northern Nevada's logistics and distribution sector go 'round, however, Old Saint Nick arrives much earlier.

"Here in the airport, Santa Claus comes every night for three to four weeks straight before Christmas," said Brian Kulpin, spokesman for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. "We get excited when we see big aircraft coming in that are bigger than the ones we typically see."

Last year, 156.4 million pounds of cargo came through Reno's airport, an all-time record for the facility.

The airport isn't the only player in the region that is seeing its shipping traffic take off. An improving economy combined with the increasing adoption of e-commerce is helping fuel an increase in the number of new warehouses and distribution centers in the area since the recession. Add a growing manufacturing base that produces items ranging from cheese and pet food to electric batteries, and northern Nevada continues its transformation as a key player in the storage and transportation of goods to and from the western United States.

Did you recently order coconut oil from natural retailer Thrive Market? If you live on the West Coast, it's highly likely that it came from the company's distribution center located east of Reno-Sparks.

Have you bought an oversized item from Amazon in the last couple of years? There's a good chance the product came from Amazon's Reno facility, which specializes in large and bulk goods and has been described as a mini-city.

That paperback copy of "Murder on the Orient Express" from Barnes & Noble? The Reno warehouse is the company's only major distribution center in the western U.S. and one of only two in the country in addition to the retailer's New Jersey facility.

With the worst recession in the region's history still fresh in some people's minds, northern Nevada's growing list of logistics operations is part of the area's ongoing success story of recovery and remarkable growth. Northern Nevada saw its number of logistics firms grow from 486 in 2009 to 531 in 2015, an increase of more than 9 percent, according to the Center for Applied Logistics Management at Truckee Meadows Community College.

The facilities stretch across the region from Reno-Sparks and Carson City all the way to Humboldt and Elko, said Brian Addington, director of the TMCC program.

During the same period, the number of workers employed in the sector, as well as total wages paid, saw a significant increase, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Logistics staffing in northern Nevada — which includes warehousing, trucking, air service and courier operations such as FedEx and UPS — grew by nearly 46 percent from 10,238 employees in 2009 to 14,908 employees in 2015. Total wages paid rose by nearly 50 percent from $438 million to $656.4 million.

When breaking down the region's rise as a player in the logistics space, its success is often attributed to three things: location, location, location.

"You can reach 11 western states within one day with ground transportation," said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. "This makes us unique and attractive, especially as consumers' expectations for shorter delivery times continue to accelerate."

Although being able to reach more than 60 million consumers within a day is a huge advantage, however, northern Nevada's growing reputation as an ideal place for warehousing and shipping is also something that is nearly three-quarters of a century in the making.

To see what kick started the rise of logistics in the region, one first needs to read a certain document called the Nevada Constitution.


As the Second World War was coming to a close, Edwin Bender was busy starting a new chapter in his life. Armed with a 60,000-square-foot warehouse and a few trucks, the Reno-Sparks entrepreneur launched his own company, Bender Moving and Warehouse, in 1945.

Just four years later, Bender was one of the driving forces in the creation and passage of a law that would change Nevada's warehousing industry. The 1949 Freeport Law allowed the state's warehouses to store goods tax-free if they were going to be shipped or sold outside of Nevada. Legislators doubled down two years later by passing another law — one that allowed goods that were assembled in certain areas of the state and eventually sent out of Nevada to be tax-free as well.

Frank Bender, Edwin's son, would pick up the torch after his father's death in 1952 by helping convince state legislators to make the warehousing law part of the Nevada Constitution. The amendment passed in 1957 and was approved by Nevada voters in 1960.

At a time when Sparks' railroad sector was in the throes of a steep decline as steam locomotives fell out of favor, the law's timing could not have been better.

Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, described the Benders' efforts as a stroke of genius. The law helped lay the foundation for the state's warehousing industry, allowing its influence to stretch far beyond Nevada's borders.

"That law really gave Nevada a leg up on warehousing," Enos said. "That law helped create a lot of jobs."

The law continues to pay dividends for the state today, especially when paired with Nevada's regulatory environment, which is not as strict as California's. The combination has allowed Reno — as well as Las Vegas — to benefit from its proximity to the Golden State by serving as a more cost-effective staging area between its neighboring economic powerhouse and the rest of the country.


Despite the significant growth seen in northern Nevada's logistics and distribution sector in recent years, several challenges are threatening to place a speed bump in the industry's path.

One is manpower.

Trucking, which accounts for a big chunk of the logistics sector for the region, is in the midst of a driver shortage. The industry is short 50,000 drivers nationwide, said Enos of the Nevada Trucking Association.

Northern Nevada is no exception.

"If we were given 20 to 30 drivers right now, we could have them out on the road next week," said Dingman of ITS Logistics. "From delayed production, to idled unloading crews, to parked trucks, few have been spared from the current driver shortage."

Technology, meanwhile, is turning logistics and distribution from a blue-collar job to a gray-collar job that goes beyond simply handling packages, Kazmierski said. Logistics in northern Nevada used to be at the lower end of the pay scale at around $10 per hour. Today, logistics employers need to pay $18 per hour to remain competitive, Kazmierski said.

One positive development for northern Nevada's logistics sector is the recent completion of the $75.9 million USA Parkway extension project, which connects I-80 with U.S. Highway 50. The "Infinity Highway" is especially vital for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, which is where the Gigafactory is located and has transformed into a major hub for logistics and manufacturing.

Discussions are also in the works for improving the region's multi-modal transport capabilities, including improved rail service to make the area more conducive to large-scale manufacturing. Northern Nevada is primarily a trucking region and is more of a pass-through market for rail.

One bright side for northern Nevada is that its infrastructure issues are not as severe as some other areas, according to Kazmierksi.

"Every community has challenges with infrastructure but ours has more to do with the need for additional infrastructure and not with failing infrastructure," Kazmierski said. "We clearly have transportation issues but we're looking at partners we can work with in order to address that."

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