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Carson City

Former U.S. Mint, now State Museum, 1869

Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an independent city and the capital of the U.S. state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. Carson City is roughly 60 miles (97 km) south/southwest of Lake Tahoe and 120 miles (190 km) north of Las Vegas. The population was 55,274 as of the 2010 census. Carson City is the site of the Nevada State Capitol building, as well as the Nevada Museum of Art and the Old Nevada Capital Courthouse. It is in close proximity to Eagle Valley, home to world-famous ski resorts such as Ski Bunny at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe; Squaw Valley; Northstar California; Diamond Peak; Heavenly Mountain Resort & Casino, and MTR Gaming’s Edgewater casino. The city also contains a historic district with over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Significant Nevada landmarks within the city include Fort Churchill, the site of the Pony Express station; the Nevada State Museum & Historical Society and its adjoining Nevada Historical Marker series; Virginia City, an old mining town famous for its history as a silver boomtown; Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park; the headquarters of significant casino companies such as MGM Resorts International, Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment Corporation), Wynn Resorts, Boyd Gaming Corporation, and Station Casinos. The nearby towns of Genoa and Hamilton have larger populations than Carson City but are less prominent due to their proximity to Carson City.

In 2010, Carson City was named as one of the safest cities in the country in the national SafeWise report.

The City of Carson City is a Council-Manager governing body, with the Mayor nominated by the City Council and appointed by the Governor of Nevada. The current mayor is Lori Bagwell. Lori took office on January 1, 2020, and is the first female mayor of Carson City. The city has several boards and commissions responsible for governance beyond the council-administrator relationship. These include the Housing Advisory Commission; Planning Commission; Airport Authority Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Arts & Culture Board (a Community Development Block Grant-funded board); Downtown Development Board, which oversees downtown development activities such as construction projects, business incentives or promotion of downtown events; Golden Aces Waterworks District (which provides water to Carson City), and numerous others – all focused on protecting or promoting various aspects of its citizens’ quality of life. Each elected office has term limits of two terms (four years). Elections are held every two years with staggered terms in odd-numbered years, electing three council members and one mayoral seat along with partisan elections for county offices, including the sheriff.

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Karen Conrad

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