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Towns near Burning Man site face uncertain future

GERLACH, Nev. (AP) — Two tiny northern Nevada towns near the site of the annual Burning Man festival are facing an uncertain future when the largest regional employer closes in January.

Citing a sluggish construction market, USG Corp. announced Thursday that it will halt its gypsum mine and wallboard manufacturing operations in the town of Empire.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports the move will put 92 people out of work in the town 100 miles north of Reno and could have a ripple effect on nearby Gerlach.

With few other job options, officials fear a mass exodus.

An economist says the closure could mean Burning Man might have to move. But the executive director of Friends of Black Rock/High Rock says the event relies less on the infrastructure of Gerlach than people might think.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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