UNR’s College of Business hosts online economic forum

UNR’s College of Business hosts online economic forum

Economic experts from across the state and from the U.S. Economic Development Administration are set to take part in this year’s Vision 2021: The Nevada Economic Forecast, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22. The virtual event is hosted by the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno.

This year organizers say Vision 2021 is as much about the pandemic as it is about the economy.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Nevada’s economy in a number of unprecedented and difficult-to-predict ways,” Frederick Steinmann, assistant professor in the College’s economics department and conference organizer, said. “Vision 2021 is an attempt to understand how the pandemic has impacted the state’s economy and how the state’s economy will continue to be affected.”

In addition to pandemic impacts, presentations will cover key industries within the state including housing, agriculture, healthcare, mining and tourism. Steinmann said these industries left the state “particularly susceptible to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic” because of their integration into the national and global economy.

As an example, Steinmann said that continued community spread of COVID-19 throughout Nevada, coupled with significant reductions in domestic and international tourism to the state, has led to significant increases in statewide and local unemployment rates as well as growing fiscal stress on the budgets of local municipal and county governments throughout Nevada.

“In Las Vegas alone, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, overall visitor counts have declined from an estimated total of approximately 3.7 million total visitors in October 2019 to an estimated 1.9 million total visitors in October 2020, a net reduction of nearly 1.8 million total visitors or 49 percent in just one year,” he said.

Speakers for Vision 2021

Keynote presentations:

  • Nancy Gilbert, senior program analyst with EDA’s Economic Development Integration; Carleen Herring, Idaho and Rural Nevada EDA representative; Doug Lynott, director of EDA’s Economic Development Integration; and Frances Sakaguchi, EDA Regional Economic Development Integrator. All four speakers will examine the current state of the larger western and intermountain western United States economy and the Economic Development Administration’s priorities for this region for the coming year.
  • Nevada State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, who will present a budgetary and fiscal outlook for the State of Nevada for the coming biennium
  • Patricia Herzog, director of Rural Economic Development for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tatjana Vukovic, director of Business Development with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, who will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state’s overall economy since March 2020 and will discuss how the ongoing pandemic will continue to impact its economy, economic development and recovery efforts in 2021.

Industry presentations:

  • Brian Bonnenfant, program manager with the College of Business’s Center for Regional Studies
  • Jennifer Ott, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Alan Olive, chief executive officer with Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center
  • Michael Visher, administrator with the Nevada Division of Minerals
  • Brenda Scolari, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

Registration for Vision 2021 is $25 with registration online. Attendees are asked to register by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Due to current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on large meetings, Vision 2021 will be held online, live, via Zoom. Upon registration and in order to prevent unauthorized and disruptive access to the event, registered participants will be sent a website link for the event.

Questions about the event or requests for a full program registration packet with a complete agenda, are available from Frederick Steinmann, assistant research professor, at fred@unr.edu or 775-784-1655.

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