109 Empty Stores

Kirk Caraway at the Nevada Appeal took a drive up and down Carson Street recently, and made an informal count of 109 empty storefronts along the capital city’s main street. That includes the big boys, like the old Kmart and Mervyn’s spaces, as well as the Ormsby House, empty strip malls, and even the little empty places downtown. He confirmed something that I had noticed while driving through town, that there is an entire building at Carson and John streets, with about four or five storefronts, where the whole building is vacant. And he mentioned the mall attached to the old Kmart building, which was built something like 11 years ago but still has a whole stretch of storefronts that has never been occupied, ever.

He also uncovered that the Carson City Chamber of Commerce doesn’t care about small business. “I had no idea that so many small businesses were no longer operating or that we did have so many empty small spaces because we tend to concentrate on the big box stores,” says director Ronni Hannaman. Maybe that could be part of the problem.


  1. I think your characterization of Ronni Hannaman’s words to mean the chamber doesn’t support small business is incorrect. In my experience working with the chamber, they are very focused on small business, and Hannman knows more about what is going on with all of these small businesses than anyone you can find here in Carson. And the “we” Hannaman is referring to in that sentence is the city and the public, who tend to focus on the big-box stores, not the chamber.

  2. Kirk, Maybe you should have clarified that quote. I get the same impression as Scott that the chamber doesn’t pay much attention to small businesses. The “we” does sound like she is referring to the chamber.

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