Reno, nicknamed "The Biggest Little City in the World," is the third-largest city in Nevada with a population of about 215,000. It is the county seat of Washoe County, and it's a short drive away from Carson City and Lake Tahoe. Reno is often paired with the smaller city of Sparks to form the Reno-Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the two cities often combine their large festivals and events to include residents from both areas.
As the birthplace of several large casino companies, Reno was once better known than Las Vegas for its gambling. Although it is still home to several well-known casinos, Reno's areas of expertise have expanded to include outdoor recreation, education, and family-friendly festivals.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
About 65 percent of Reno's jobs are in the service and trade sector. Due to Reno's history as a major gambling center, this should come as no surprise. In fact, gaming still has quite a presence in the city. Some of the large gaming companies with headquarters in Reno include the following:
- International Game Technology
- Bally Technologies
In more recent years, other industries have bloomed in Reno. Warehouses and manufacturing companies have cropped up in the city and about 25 percent of the workforce is employed in the construction, transportation, communication, finance, manufacturing and utilities industries. The state's lack of personal and corporate income tax helped Reno reach number one on the list of "Best Places to Do Business in America," as determined by Inc. magazine in 2005.
Reno's largest employers include Washoe County School District, University of Nevada, Reno Hilton, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Eldorado Hotel-Casino and Washoe Medical Center, Inc.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Downtown Reno is going through major redevelopment. Many of the downtown casinos, such as Comstock and Sundowner are closed and are expected to get converted into upscale condos. Apart from converting old properties, the developers are also planning to build new structures.
Reno has a Neighborhood Advisory Board which consists of nine members. These members with the help of the citizens, City Council and City staff try to improve the living conditions within the neighborhoods.
- Old Southwest Reno: With houses dating back to the early 1900s, you will find both giant mansions and small brick cottages in Old Southwest Reno. It's a quiet neighborhood, known for its big, old trees.
- Donner Springs: Most homes here were built in the 1970s and '80s. Unlike other areas, there are no businesses inside the neighborhood. This was originally a planned sub-division and is all houses and big trees.
- Hidden Valley: Started in 1960 as a development surrounding the private Hidden Valley Country Club, this neighborhood is quiet with no through traffic.
University of Nevada, Reno: Established in 1874, this university is the oldest in the state. Its 16,681 students can choose from among nearly 100 degree programs, including graduate degrees.
Truckee Meadows Community College: This two-year school enrolls about 13,000 students and offers more than 50 areas of study.
Career College of Northern Nevada: This vocational school focuses on technical fields ranging from a medical assistant program to paralegal studies.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Nevada Museum of Art: This museum focuses on both art and the protection of the area's land. Its unique architectural style, offering sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is considered art in itself.
- Reno Pops Orchestra: This group is composed of more than 65 musicians of different ages and musical levels. The touring group performs for free about seven times per year in both Nevada and California.
- Nevada Shakespeare Company: This theater provides residents with performances of plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights.
- The Peppermill: This hotel and casino has more than 1,600 rooms, 10 restaurants, a cabaret, a salon, 17 bars, and a 10,000-square-foot nightclub.
- Grand Sierra Resort: This resort features nearly 2,000 rooms, an 80,000-square-foot casino, a shopping center, a wedding chapel, a bowling alley, 10 restaurants, and a golf course.
- Atlantis: This is a 1,000-room resort that has the most spacious gaming floor in the city, along with eight gourmet restaurants.
- Artown: This annual arts festival has been held each July in Wingfield Park for more than 10 years. It includes plays, dances, concerts by local bands, and art programs for children.
- Hot August Nights: Started in 1986, this car show celebrates classic cars every summer for the entire month of August. Musical entertainment, contests, and food specials abound.
- Reno Air Races: This event has occurred every September since 1964 at the Reno Stead Airport. While the show is entertaining to watch, these high-speed plane races have resulted in 19 pilot deaths since the event began.
- The Great Reno Balloon Race: This free hot-air balloon competition has been held every September at Rancho San Rafael Park for nearly 30 years.
- Skiing: There are several notable ski resorts within close driving distance of Reno, most of which are in the Lake Tahoe area. Such resorts include Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, and Northstar-at-Tahoe, to name a few.
- Golf: Rosewood Lakes Golf Course embraces the nearby wildlife on its more than 60 acres. Men's and women's golf clubs provide opportunities to meet other golfers of all levels.
- Lakes and rivers: Nearby lakes abound, from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. Waterskiing, fishing, parasailing, swimming, and more activities draw Reno residents to such lakes. Part of the Truckee River runs through Reno, eventually meeting with Pyramid Lake. Kayaking on the river is a popular activity.
- Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden: This free garden is located between the Great Basin Desert and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It exhibits the beauty of desert trees, plants, flowers, and birds.
- Basketball: Reno Bighorns, NBA Development League
- Baseball: Reno Silver Sox, Golden Baseball League
- Hockey: Reno Raiders, East Coast Hockey League
- Football: University of Nevada Wolf Pack
- Roller Derby: Battle Born Derby Demons, Flat-Track Roller Derby League
- Highways: U.S. Highway 395 runs north-south through Reno, while Interstate 80 runs east-west.
- Air travel: Reno/Tahoe International Airport serves this area, with Allegiant Air, Delta, United, Southwest, US Airways, Horizon Air, and American Airlines flying passengers to surrounding states.
- Public transportation: RTC RIDE is Reno's bus line-it transports residents to nearby cities such as Sparks and Carson City. Amtrak trains and motor coaches also service the city.