Ely, Nevada

Ely, Nevada
Downtown Ely, Nevada

Ely was originally a stagecoach stop and post office. Then copper was discovered in 1906 and Ely became a supply center for the many copper mines in the surrounding area. Then the copper market crashed in the mid 1970's. When cyanide heap leaching became popular as a method of removing gold from very low grade ores, the next boom was on for Ely. Companies came into the area and started processing the massive piles of overburden that were left over from the copper mines. Some companies even expanded the open-pit copper mines. The gold boom kept Ely reasonably prosperous through the 1980's and 1990's, then the copper market picked up again and Ely is once again a copper boom town. Only this time, there's no local smelter. But copper prices are high enough that shipping the ore to Seattle and then to Japan for smelting is still profitable.

One popular business locale in downtown Ely is the Hotel Nevada. First opened in 1929, Nevada's first fire-proof building was also the tallest building in the state up into the 1940's. Among the celebrities who have hung out here were Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Ann Rutherford and Wayne Newton. Each of them had their favorite rooms and those rooms are still decorated in the manner that each celebrity liked. The Hotel Nevada is still providing tourists and locals with fine dining, lodging and gaming.

Another popular local business is the Ghost Train, an authentic, still-operating, usually steam-engine-driven train that usually runs from April through October on the tracks of the Nevada Northern Railway. One route is from Ely through Ruth to the Robinson Mining District (usually steam powered but may be diesel). The other route is from Ely north to McGill Junction (always diesel powered).

Hotel Nevada, Ely, Nevada
Hotel Nevada in downtown Ely
Fast Facts about Ely, Nevada
Ely, White Pine County, NV 89301, 89315
Founded: 1870
Elevation: 6,437'
Latitude: 39.2533°N
Longitude: 114.8773°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 75.9%
Hispanic: 17.9%
Native American: 3.2%
Asian: 0.7%
Two or More Races: 2.3%
High School or Higher: 83.1%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 14.8%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 4.9%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 4,049
Males: 2,006
Females: 2,043
Median Resident Age: 40.7 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $43,760
Estimated Median Home Value: $99,100
Population Density: 568 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Ely: 80.9
Major Industries:
Government, Lodging & Food Services, Health Care, Mining, Educational Services, Construction, Social Services, Retail Services, Religious Organizations
Unemployed: 10.3% logo
Photo of downtown Ely courtesy of Vidor.
Photo of the Hotel Nevada in Ely courtesy of Wikipedia userid Adamsofen, CCA ShareAlike 3.0 License.
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