Ely Nevada is a small town (population 4,255) although it is the largest town for well over a hundred miles in any direction from it's location in sparsely populated Eastern Nevada. Ely has primarily been a mining town since it was founded in the 1870s. There are still a few active mines in the area (copper). It's also the commercial center for a vast region and has a large services for travelers economy. Ely has an abundance of cheep motels, some have seen better days, some might not have. Ely didn't seem particularly, economically depressed, however much of the recent development and activity I saw was happening away from the historic core of town. This left the older Western part of town looking kind of ragged. Ely is the closest place to get supplies if you are visiting the Great Basin National Park. It is also the largest city on the "Loneliest Road in America" route 50.