Museums, a library and ... robot testing grounds? Drones and robots could become the Cultural Corridor’s newest tenants if the City of Las Vegas greenlights the top idea from the Strong Cities Strong Communities’ contest: a resource center and business incubator at Cashman Center.
Las Vegans Brandon Wiegand, Zachary Conine, Michael Russell, Sallie Doebler and Curt Carlson won a half-million dollars from the federally funded, locally judged contest for their Unmanned Aerial & Robotics Resource Center pitch. The plan aims to boost Nevada’s share of the national commercial drone industry impact from $1.5 billion over the next 20 years to $15 billion by improving local STEM education and potentially attracting new businesses to the state.
"The Unmanned Aerial & Robotics Resource Center will feature an indoor and outdoor testing facility ... manufacturing/production space ... space for up to 250 tenant companies, flexible exhibition space and an auditorium," Doebler says.
In 2012, the city received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to gather ideas to bolster the economy. Focusing on Cashman and other areas such as the medical district on Charleston, the contest received proposals from 49 states and 48 countries.
The contest also awarded proposals calling for the ballfield to become a “Mid-Strip Main Street,” a sustainable business center and a Hispanic cultural hub. City spokesperson Jace Radke says existing leases with the 51s and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority mean change is not imminent, though the UARRC group says tenants could move in as soon as a year from now. Will the craft fairs get to stay?