Local Economy Continues To Shift

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Nevada casinos hit the jackpot in October with a record $1.16 billion dollar profit.

However, the gaming industry in Washoe County tells a different story.

A new study unveiled by the Nevada Gaming Control Board shows an eight percent drop in Washoe County profits compared with last October.

Experts say the dive is a product of an out with the old in with the new approach to the local economy.

"It's not everything about gaming," says Chuck Alvey, President and CEO of EDAWN or the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. "It's also about recreational experience and restaurants. There's a lot more to that."

Alvey says the sagging gaming revenue shows the economy is branching out.

"Any economy that's not diversified is at issue," says Alvey.

Alvey says tribal casino expansion in California led many local businesses to start looking beyond the gaming industry because valuable tourist dollars from the Golden State were now being spent back home.

EDAWN started encouraging businesses to capitalize on other features that are unique to the Silver State, like the Sierras.

"I think everybody comes to the Sierras to get out and enjoy it," says Lynette Laccert, from Bobo's Mogul Moose, a Reno Snow and Ski Shop. "And we see a huge return in our business."

Laccert's business is going up as the gaming business goes down and Alvey says that's a sign the economy is taking advantage of all that Northern Nevada has to offer.

"The quality of life is still pretty high," says Alvey. "It's a good opportunity for people to come here."