"Directions" Points the Way for 2013 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

"Directions" Points the Way for 2013

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It's the area's biggest crystal ball. Over 700 filled every chair at a Grand Sierra Resort convention room, for the 21st year of seeing just where we're headed…what 'direction' the economy will take in 2013. The word comes down from folks like Len Stevens of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. He told us, "It's going to be a better year. You know, great doesn't happen in one year."

It's a given…the yearly message at "Directions" is unfailingly positive, with one now-familiar economic goal: diversity. It's something that has been sought after for decades. When is it really going to happen? Stevens told us, "I think we're seeing sings of it."

Local businessman Jon Edmondo is starting to see it too. But to really shine and attract outside investment, he says Reno needs to fix up downtown. "I think people from outside this community don't view downtown, you know, as well as it should be viewed."

As for 2013, Jon is upbeat. His business, I Graphics, supplies goods to local industry. Orders are way up. "We saw our business grow 10% last year, and we've started off this year great. And the projections for our customers are very good for growth."

There's an ulterior motive to this big event. Many attend from out of town. The Chamber puts on the event to promote Reno as a great place to do business. But you get an interesting insight from those out-of-towners of what more Reno can do. Kathie Novak is a former Colorado mayor, now with the University of Colorado Denver. She told us, "I think the keys to Denver's success really is about the attitude of collaboration."

Besides everyone working together, Kathie Novak says Denver's recipe for success, was again, diversity. 25 years ago, Denver was overly dependent on the oil and gas industry, much like Reno has been dependent on gaming. The energy sector had a deep recession years ago, triggering a change. Today, Kathie told us Denver "has got everything from aerospace to life sciences, education, high tech..."

Things Reno would like to have too. Kathie says that's where collaboration, between business and civic interests, really has to take hold and not be just talk. But for the short term, what is the direction for 2013? As Jon Edmondo put it, "Great. And our customers that we work with in northern Nevada, they all see it as being positive."

-written by John Potter

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