Evolving Historic Communities with New Tech
As one of the oldest towns in Nevada, Genoa attracts visitors from all over the state, nation, and world. Genoa’s historic charms as well as its famous events are getting a modern edge with a Wi-Fi mesh network across the downtown area, allowing visitors to learn more about the town’s past and its new happenings. Douglas County, the first Connected Certified community in Nevada, is working with the town manager to get the network up and running in time for the Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Faire in September and reveal a new and cutting-edge side of Genoa to all its residents, businesses, and visitors.
The Wi-Fi mesh network covers all of Genoa’s most popular hotspots and provides wireless, public Internet to any visitor that logs in via their computer, smartphone, or other device. This new technology has been cleverly implemented. When new light posts, streets signs, monuments, and kiosks were added as a part of the Genoa Main Street Destination project, a downtown renewal initiative, items were ordered that would blend seamlessly with wireless broadband technology.
“One team member working on the (Genoa Destination) project said it would make sense to order street lights with electric outlets on them, and we could add Wi-Fi at some point,” said Lisa Granahan, Economic Vitality Manager for Douglas County. Beginning three years ago, this foresight through the Destination project allowed new devices to be added to the street lights which transmit wireless signals throughout the town.
Wireless Internet access not only makes a more immersive and colorful experience for visitors, but also helps the vendors that flock to Genoa each year for the Genoa Candy Dance Art & Crafts Faire and the Genoa Cowboy Festival. Genoa generates approximately 80% of its revenue each year from the two popular events, and new Internet capabilities will bring in more sales and vendors.
“It will make it easier to attract vendors and improve the overall quality of the vendors,” said Granahan. “It will improve competition and ensure the success of those events.” Wireless Internet access allows vendors setting up for the events to accept credit purchases through mobile credit processing devices like Square. While credit processing is a fixture of brick-and-mortar business locations, festival vendors were limited to cash until the addition of Wi-Fi. With more payment options available, visitors can purchase their preferred items with a swipe of their credit cards.
Learn more about the many new and inventive ways that towns large and small across the nation are building up with broadband. For more information and to get your community involved, visit www.connectmycommunity.org.