Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Welcome to the new!

If you have questions, feedback, or encounter issues as you explore, please fill out our Feedback Form.

The Story of Empire: What Happens to Small Towns When Their Main Industry Shuts Its Doors


The USG Corporation announced it would close its local operations. That would be fine - except it employs nearly everyone who lives in Empire, NV. If USG leaves, what will happen? Will its schools shut down? And where does that leave small towns next door like Gerlach, NV: pop. 465? We talk to one struggling town about what happens next.

Tom Harris, Resource Economics Prof, University of Nevada-Reno
Tammy Sparkes, owner, Empire Distributing grocery store
Cleo Smith, waitress, Bruno's Coffee Shop

  • Gawker: Nevada's 'Burning Man' towns face burn out
  • Stay Connected