By Garrett Estrada

Ely Times Staff 

Kenna Almberg is the owner of Desert Mountain Realty in Ely. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Kenna Almberg is the owner of Desert Mountain Realty in Ely. (Garrett Estrada photo)


Signs for Desert Mountain Realty can be found all over downtown, in the windows of closed up stores or in the yards of houses waiting to become homes.

Owner and broker Kenna Almberg said she sees the town on a slow but steady uptick after the housing bubble of 2008.

“You just hang on to the ride and see where it takes you. I think we are on the rebound now,” Almberg said.

Like many small businesses in Ely, Almberg learns from the experience of family to keep things in perspective. Her mother, Vivian Almberg, has been in the housing business long before Kenna, and knows how the market can grow or shrink in a town that relies heavily on the mines.

“With my mom being around as long as she has, she has definitely seen the ups and downs of the real estate market,” Almberg said. “It is a huge benefit to have her experience and knowledge.”

She remembered being amazed when her mother would tell her that she had “sold the same house several times” through the years. After having been working in real estate now since 2002, Almberg said she has come full circle and has the same kinds of stories.

“It’s getting to that point where these houses are coming back around and I’m reselling them for a second time,” she said.

And that’s not the only family Almberg gets to work in close proximity to. Her husband, BJ Almberg, works in the office right next door as the county’s head engineer. While they often have plenty on their plate with their work schedules during the day, they still find time to share a plate or two on breaks.

“We actually get to eat lunch together during the day, right here in the office,” Almberg said.

With the opening of the Pan Mine by Midway Gold coming later this year, Almberg said she wishes she could go out and build new apartments herself. It’s no secret in the community that finding housing can be difficult for those that move to Ely, especially ones looking to rent.

“Rentals are few and far between and that is the difficult part,” she said. “That’s definitely what we are going to see a problem with when there is an influx of Midway employees. I wish I had a solution.”

It’s a challenge that keeps her busy, she said, but that she always finds enjoyment in finding a family a new home.

“It’s very rewarding for the young couple that is just starting out that didn’t dream they could buy a home and you help them out with that first purchase. It’s just very rewarding to help people.”