News 4-7-07 Grand Sierra Staff Report Links Posted

4/7/07 - STAFF REPORT LINKS POSTED FOR MEETING REGARDING GRAND SIERRA - It looks like the City or Reno and Grand Sierra MIGHT enter an agreement where they both do feasbility studies etc, and the end result is the City of Reno if possible and feasible might assist the Grand Sierra with possibly a STAR Bonds (as in Cabella's Case, or special district (that was my prediction) The expansion listed includes an indoor water park, Bellagio-style water show, exotic auto museum, professional health spa, and commercial retail facilities.

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Posted by: Melissa - 4/7/2007 11:17:02 AM
What's a STAR Bond?

Posted by: Mike Van H - 4/7/2007 11:55:50 AM
A STAR Bond stands for Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue Bond, but beyond that I am not sure. One interesting note is when you type 'STAR bond for development' into google, 80% of the results have to do with Kansas. But no clear concise definition of what it is. Anyone care to chime in with an answer?

Posted by: doofus - 4/7/2007 6:04:58 PM
I'm going by memory here, so don't hold me to all the numbers. STAR bonds are designed to draw in retail operations that currently do not have a local presence. I believe the "new" retailers have to represent at least 50% of the project (not sure if that is number of retailers or based on square footage). As an incentive to locate here, a percentage of the sales tax generated by the new retail is returned to the developer to finance "infrastructure" improvements. In the back of my mind I think it is 80% of the sales tax revenue for a 20 year period, I'm on the edge on whether STARE is a good thing or a bad thing. Without STAR, we (probably) wouldn't have Summit Sierra, Cabella's, and the Legends at Sparks Marina. But the sales tax contibution to our economy to fund basic services - police, fire, schools and all the rest, are severly limited. With this focus on new retail faces (give me Nordstrom's), we are getting 500,000 SF of hunting-fishing-outdoor living retailers with Cabella's, Bass, and Schell's. The STAR process does not seem to distinguish new from sustainable retail enterprizes. I am very curious about what the GSR is planning that would entail STAR bonds,

Posted by: Justin - 4/7/2007 7:55:31 PM
I dont believe The Summit Sierra project got funding from Star Bonds. As for GSR, I wish them well and think they have a very good vision for the property. Itll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Posted by: indamernreno - 4/9/2007 9:48:43 AM
In some cases STAR bonds make good sense, although the city needs to be careful about how many developments they grant this favor to. The Grand Sierra Project plans are spectacular and has the potential to really boost Reno's tourism. Reno has seen gaming take a dive, yet, Reno is strong. Improving tourism and gaming to go along with the strong economic diversification would be fantastic. The waterpark is a huge step for the GSR as it would be the attraction that allows it to grow. Making a deal with the city to get the park built is an excellent idea as the park will benefit both the GSR developers and the city of Reno. I have seen way too many projects die or get scaled back and as we learned from vegas, go big or dont go at all. There is a wild island in every semi major metro area, but there isnt something on the scale of the GSRs plans in every metro. Gotta have something the draw people. on a side note: Everything works in cycles. In the late 60s Reno was the classy high roller place to go. Then, as vegas began to explode, Reno became more of the working class gaming destination which, IMO, is why Indian gaming and tough economic times sank the gaming industry in Reno. Now we see kind of a shift toward reclaiming some of the "high roller" type and it make sense to me as Reno/Tahoe has so much to offer, and that kind of tourist helps the downtown condo market big time. Especially with the high rise condo project that havent made it off the drawing board yet. The City of Reno needs to be carefull,The potetial for Reno is huge so it(city of Reno)needs to do what it can to help the GSR and the montage/Fitz developers. These developers are investing huge in Reno and will go a long ways in determining Reno's future.

Posted by: Steve - 4/9/2007 1:00:20 PM
Below is a link to the minutes of a Dec 2006 meeting regarding the use of STAR bonds by RED Development at the Sparks Marina. It is rather lengthy, but gives a good idea of the magnitude of some of both the RED proposal and the complexity of STAR bonds. 20MTG121106.pdf The state and cities are committing A LOT to try and attract and create major tourist destinations. It will be interesting to see how Grand Sierra fares in its attempt to also access this "free money".