Gerlach-Empire is a census-designated place (CDP) in Washoe County, Nevada. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its population at the 2000 census was 499.
Tourism in the nearby Black Rock Desert and hunting are the economic mainstays of the CDP now. Till January 2011, gypsum mining was the historic staple of the local economy. It was essentially a company town for the United States Gypsum Corporation. The other major industries are a Union Pacific switching station in Gerlach and public services of Washoe County. Burning Man is a a week long countercultural festival that contributes around 20% of the sales at the few commercial establishments in the area.
The population has a majority of White Americans. A significant percentage of the population comprises people of Hispanic origin, and a small percentage of the population comprises Native Americans.