Sparks, Nev., sits in dry air just a few miles east of Reno on I-80. It’s home to the Mustang Ranch — one of Nevada’s legal brothels. And the Rail City Casino offers a $5.95 turkey dinner. The same investment gets you authentic Baja fish tacos.
This city of about 90,000 is the future home Tesla Motors’s “Gigafactory,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, announced Thursday.
“The Gigafactory is really vital for the future of Tesla,” Musk said of the facility he claimed will produce more electric car batteries than all the other battery factories in the world — combined.
Nevada offered tax incentives of up to $1.3 billion to get Musk to plant his $5 billion factory in a Sparks suburb, according to the Associated Press.
Though this wasn’t the best offer he got, Musk said, his enthusiasm for Sparks tipped the scales in favor of the Silver State.
“What the people of Nevada have created is a state where you are very agile … it’s a real ‘get-things-done’ state,” Musk said.
“I know that many of you are asking yourselves the same question: ‘Is this agreement good for us?’ I can answer that today, and say emphatically, ‘Yes, this meets the test,’ ” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said.
What Nevada stands to gain: 22,000 new jobs bringing $100 billion into the state in the next 20 years. Since Sparks has an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, this is nothing to sneeze at.
“It’s going to definitely help the small business, for sure,” said C.J. Sanders, a landscaper in Sparks, told the AP. “We’ve been in such a slump these last three, four years, it’s nothing but positive to have a big company like that come. ”
Tesla took bids from five others states — California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The losers were salty.
“Tesla’s demand for taxpayer-dollars up front, without substantiated guarantees in return, was a bridge too far,” said California State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D).
“I think it’s a shame that New Mexicans were overlooked for 6,500 potential careers because this administration refuses to face the harsh realities that working families face everyday,” said New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Gary King told KOB4.
The Gigafactory is set to open in 2017.