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Planning Commission cites organization's extensive cleanup efforts

February 7, 2004 Reno, Nevada. – The Washoe County Planning Commission has granted Black Rock City, LLC two special use permits that begin to clear the way for organizers of the annual Burning Man event to use property in the Hualapai Valley as a staging area for the event.

"We've spent the last year addressing our neighbors' concerns, removing 95 dumpsters of debris, and reseeding vegetation," said Marian Goodell, Director of Business and Communications for the Burning Man organization. "As a result, there was no opposition by the previous appellants to our permit applications and we're not expecting an appeal."

When reviewing the permit applications, Washoe County Planning Commissioners specifically cited the organization's extensive clean up efforts in the Hualapai Valley.

Burning Man organizers cooperated with the Washoe County Community Development Department and one of the key changes from last year is that organizers will be housing and feeding their seasonal employees at a separate location.

Phase One of Black Rock City's Comprehensive Development Plan calls for bringing the 200-acre Black Rock Station's operations into compliance with county ordinances. This includes establishing a residence, installing a septic system and improving the water system. These improvements are already underway.

Phase Two calls for construction of a new shop building—authorized by one of the Special Use Permits. Phase Three focuses on storage, including applying for another Special Use Permit for vehicle storage.

"Washoe County benefits financially and culturally from the tourism generated by the Burning Man event," Goodell said. "Having these permits ensures that these benefits will continue well into the future."

The Special Use Permits authorize BRC to operate wood, metal and automotive shops on Black Rock Station. The wood and metal shops will be used to assemble items for the event, including Black Rock City's lantern spires, road signs, stakes, burn platforms and the signature 40-foot Burning Man. The automotive repair shop will be used to maintain BRC's fleet of transportation and safety vehicles.

About Burning Man
For 13 years, the Black Rock Desert outside of Reno, Nevada, has been home to the increasingly popular and influential Burning Man event. The annual art event, which began on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, has grown to attract more than 30,000 participants annually, from every state of the Union and more than 20 countries worldwide. The organization contributes an estimated $10 million annually to Washoe County, including real estate taxes, vehicle and equipment rental, and money spent by participants on groceries, supplies and lodging on the way to and from the event. The organization also paid more than $600,000 in 2003 to the Bureau of Land Management for use of the land where the event is held.

For more information please contact:
Ray Allen, Executive Project Manager
Black Rock City, LLC
(415) 865-3800, ext. 137