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Southwest to offer daily nonstop Reno-San Jose flights starting in June
THE BIG ONE
Tesla Motors Gigafactory
Costing $5 billion and projected to employ 6,500 people once up and running, Tesla Motors' gigafactory at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is considered one of the biggest wins in economic development history. The gigafactory is the linchpin in Tesla's plans for expansion, manufacturing an estimated 500,000 battery packs for the company's electric cars each year when operational. It will also allow the company to eventually scale up its Tesla Energy line of storage batteries for homes and businesses. Just as important as its raw numbers, however, is its impact on Reno's reputation as a place to do business for companies looking to expand.
Switch SuperNAP Tahoe Reno Industrial Campus
The colocation data center at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is a huge undertaking, projected to cost $3 billion and comprise of 6.49 million square feet. Once finished, the SUPERNAP will be a key part of Switch's "Superloop" system, allowing incredibly fast connection speeds for clients in a circular area bordered by Reno, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It will also be the largest data center campus in the world and house the largest single data center building at 1.2 million square feet. Switch's clients number more than 1,000 and includes high-profile names such as eBay, Xerox, DreamWorks and Shutterfly.
UP IN THE CLOUD
RACKSPACE DATA CENTER
San Antonio-based Rackspace plans to build a $422 million, 150,000-square-foot data center at Reno Technology Park, which will be serving clients on the West Coast. The company is projecting $95.5 million in payroll as well as a projected economic impact of $323.4 million. Rackspace is a managed cloud services company with 300,000 clients in over 120 countries.
TAKING A BITE
Apple Data Center
The one that started it all. The Reno area has had its fair share of economic development triumphs, including distribution centers for some well-known companies. Apple's $100 million data center, however, was the first sexy project to really put Reno on the map while making it a viable location for data centers at the same time. Since Apple's arrival, the area has racked up a nice list of data center facilities as well as high-profile projects such as Tesla and Switch. The data center also continues to expand years after its announcement and is poised to get 100 percent of its power from renewable energy.
Amazon Reno Fulfillment Center
Amazon operated a fulfillment center in Fernley for years before deciding to do a horizontal move to Reno by building a new 630,000-square-foot facility. Compared to the old Fernley center, the new facility in Reno literally got supersized to handle larger packages while also featuring the latest technology in Amazon's warehousing arsenal. The facility processes tens of thousands of items per day.
Unmanned Aerial Systems Designation
On December 2013, Nevada was one of six sites chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration to be an approved test site for developing technology for drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles and systems. Since then, the state has leveraged the federal designation to kickstart various research programs in the north and south while also attracting companies specializing in the technology. Research firm Teal Group Corp., projects drones to become an $11.5 billion industry by 2025.
NUANCE DRONE & VIRTUAL REALITY LAB
A joint venture between NASA and the University of Nevada, Reno, the NextGen Collaborative Environment Laboratory or NUANCE Lab is located at the Reno-Stead Airport Freedom Flight Terminal. The facility tackles airspace management research and also connects to NASA's airspace simulation system. In addition to work on unmanned aerial vehicle software, the NUANCE Lab also features a workshop for building drones and other unmanned aerial systems. The facility was officially unveiled publicly on April 6, 2016.
Described as Whole Foods meets Costco, the online retailer for natural and organic products relocated its Commerce, Calif., distribution center to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in 2016. The 325,000-square-foot facility will be staffed with 400 employees within its first five years. It is also projected to provide the region with a total economic impact of $870.5 million during a 10-year period, $227.2 million of which will come from employee payroll.
The e-commerce giant doubled down on its Northern Nevada presence by expanding its facility and announcing in 2014 that it will ramp up employment to 1,000-plus jobs. The expansion of its Tahoe Reno Industrial Center facility to 707,000 square feet represented a $40 million investment and a job commitment record for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada at the time.
MARY'S GONE CRACKERS
The growing manufacturer of organic and gluten-free items announced in 2016 that it will be building a manufacturing and R&D facility in Reno as well as moving its headquarters to The Biggest Little City to boot. Mary's Gone Crackers plans to invest $35 million in capital expenditure for the project while hiring 200 workers by the end of 2017 at an average wage of more than $21 per hour.
GET THE LEAD OUT
AQUA METALS AQUAREFINERY
The world's first commercial-scale electro-chemical lead battery recycling plant, Aqua Metals' AquaRefinery uses clean technology to recycle lead from lead-acid batteries at lower cost and nearly zero emissions compared to the traditional method of smelting. The company also acquired a $10 million loan from Green Bank backed by a loan guarantee from the USDA. The funding will be used to further expand capacity at the refinery, which is located at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.
Dairy Farmers of America Plant
Not every economic development win for Northern Nevada is limited to the new economy. In 2014, the Dairy Farmers of America opened its new Fallon plant, boasting a sustainable facility that uses fewer natural resources while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. The operations' scope also is nothing to scoff at. The dairy plant processes 1.5 million gallons of raw milk daily and turns it into 250,000 pounds of whole milk powder that's shipped worldwide.
Reno is getting a new Silicon Valley connection.
The Reno-Tahoe International Airport announced on Thursday afternoon that daily flights between the Biggest Little City and San Jose on Southwest Airlines are scheduled to start in June.
The addition of more flying options to San Jose is good news for a region eager to forge connections with Silicon Valley companies while also nurturing startups.
Southwest originally operated its Reno-San Jose route from 1993 to 2012. Alaska Airlines has since filled the route following Southwest’s departure, but having another option is good news for passengers, said Marily Mora, President and CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.
“The airport heard from the community that they want options for flying to and from the Silicon Valley,” Mora said. “Now Southwest is offering another option for our passengers. but it is up to the community to fill the seats in order to keep this vital service from both Alaska and Southwest.”
To celebrate the route’s return, Southwest is offering deals for as low as $39 one way between Reno and San Jose.
The Southwest flights between the two cities will use Boeing 737s with 143 seats. The flight departs daily, Monday to Friday, from Reno-Tahoe International Airport at 9:50 a.m. and arrives in San Jose at 10:55 a.m., with the return flight departing from San Jose at 4:15 p.m. and arriving in Reno-Tahoe at 5:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday flight times will vary slightly.
This is the latest in a string of new flights for the Reno airport, which is celebrating its latest new
on Jan. 7. route to Dallas Love Field
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