|â City â|
|Nickname(s): The Biggest Little City in the World|
Location of Reno, Nevada in Washoe County
|- Mayor||Bob Cashell (R)|
|- City||69.3 sq mi (179.6 km2)|
|- Land||69.1 sq mi (179.0 km2)|
|- Water||0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)|
|Elevation||4,505 ft (1,373 m)|
|- City||217,016 (303.698)|
|- Density||2,611.4/sq mi (1,008.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||0861100|
The city has a population of 217,999 (approx) and is the fourth most populous city in Nevada. Reno sits in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Reno borders Sparks, a city with approximately 90,000. Most call the metro area the "Truckee Meadows" and it has a population of about 310,000.
As early as the 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a relatively fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up a bit of business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierras began.
Gold had been discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850 and a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 led to one of the greatest mining bonanzas of all time as the Comstock Lode spewed forth treasure. The Comstock's closest connection to the outside world lay in the Truckee Meadows.
To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community to service travelers soon grew up near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community with the addition of a grist mill, kiln, and livery stable to the hotel and eating house. He renamed it Lake's Crossing. In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County; Lake's Crossing became the largest town in the county. Lake had earned himself the title, "founder of Reno."
By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California, eventually connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah to form the first transcontinental railroad. Lake, realizing what a rail connection would mean for business, deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake's Crossing. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno officially came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain.
In 1871 Reno became the county seat of the newly expanded Washoe County, replacing the previous county seat, located in Washoe City. However, political power in Nevada remained with the mining communities, first Virginia City and later Tonopah and Goldfield.
The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Reno in 1872 provided another big boost to the new city's economy. At first citizens viewed the changes as an omen, however in the following decades, Reno continued to grow and prosper as a business and agricultural center and became the principal settlement on the transcontinental railroad between Sacramento and Salt Lake City.
As the mining boom waned early in the twentieth century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities, especially Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, and today the former mining metropolises stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the state yielded 6.9 percent of the world's supply in 2005 world gold production.
The famous "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927, the arch included the words "Nevada's Transcontinental Highways Exposition" and the dates of the exposition. After the exposition, the Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway, and Mayor E.E. Roberts asked the citizens of Reno to suggest a slogan for the arch. No acceptable slogan was received until a $100 prize was offered, and G.A. Burns of Sacramento was declared the winner on March 14, 1929 with "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World".
Nevada's legalization of casino gambling in 1931 and the passage of liberal divorce laws created another boom for Reno. Ernie Pyle once wrote in one of his columns "All the people you saw on the streets in Reno were obviously there to get divorces." In Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, published in 1943, the New-York-based woman protagonist tells a friend "I am going to Reno," which is taken as a different way of saying "I am going to divorce my husband." Among others, the Belgian-French writer Georges Simenon, at the time living in the US, came to Reno in 1949 in order to divorce his first wife.
The divorce business eventually died as the other states fell in line by passing their own laws easing the requirements for divorce, but gambling continued as a major Reno industry. Beginning in the 1950s, the need for economic diversification beyond gaming fueled a movement for more lenient business taxation.
The presence of a main east-west rail line, the emerging interstate highway system, favorable tax climate and relatively inexpensive land created the ideal conditions for warehousing and distribution of goods to the growing population in the surrounding eleven western states. Today, Reno has the largest concentration of distribution related property per capita in the United States.
Reno has experienced a growing economy which has resulted in new home construction around the metro area. A direct result of this growth and the "housing bubble" has been a dramatic increase in housing prices in the area, Reno-Sparks being named the 44th most overvalued housing market in the nation in 2006. As of January 2007 Renoâs housing market has fallen by 7% bringing the median home price down to $315,000.
In more recent years, the city has gained some fame as it is the subject of the popular comedy series Reno 911! (which is not, however, filmed in the city).
Reno is situated just east of the Sierra Nevada on the western edge of the Great Basin at an elevation of about 4,400 feet (1,300 m) above sea level. Numerous faults exist throughout the region. Most of these are normal (vertical motion) faults associated with the uplift of the various mountain ranges, including the Sierras.
In February 2008, an unusual earthquake swarm began to occur with some quakes registering between 4 and 4.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. The earthquakes were centered in an unnamed fault zone in the western suburbs of Reno in the area of Mogul and Verdi. Many homes in these areas were damaged.
Reno sits in the rain shadow of the Sierras. Annual rainfall averages 7.25 inches. Despite this low amount of rainfall per year, Reno features a steppe climate due to its low evapotranspiration. The wettest year was 1983 with 13.23 inches and the driest year was 1947 with 1.55 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 5.25 inches in December 1955 and the most precipitation in 24 hours was 2.29 inches on January 21, 1943. Winter has snowfall but typically it is light, averaging 22.9 inches annually. The most snowfall in one year was 63.8 inches in 1971 and the most snowfall in one month was 29.0 inches in March 1952. Most rainfall occurs in winter and spring.
Summer highs are generally in the low to mid 90s (degrees Fahrenheit, 30s in degrees Celsius), but temperatures above 100 Â°F (38 Â°C) occur occasionally. The July high daytime temperature averages 92 Â°F (33 Â°C); the night low 51 Â°F (11 Â°C); while January high daytime temperatures average 45 Â°F (7 Â°C) and low night temperatures average 21 Â°F (â6 Â°C). The record high temperature was 108 Â°F (42 Â°C) on July 10 and 11, 2002. The record low temperature was â19 Â°F (â28.3 Â°C) on January 8, 1890. In addition, the region is frequently windy throughout the year; observers such as Mark Twain have commented about the "Washoe Zephyr," northwestern Nevada's distinctive wind.
|Record high Â°F (Â°C)||71
|Average high Â°F (Â°C)||45
|Average low Â°F (Â°C)||21
|Record low Â°F (Â°C)||-16
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.06
|Source: http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/nevada/reno/ 2008-10-27|
 The population was 180,480 at the 2000 census; in 2008, its population was estimated at 217,016, making it the fourth-largest city in the state after Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas, and the largest outside of Clark County Reno lies 26 mi (42 km) north of the Nevada state capital, Carson City, and 22 mi (35 km) northeast of Lake Tahoe in a shrub-steppe. The area of Western Nevada and the California Sierra Nevada anchored by Reno has a population of approximately 700,000 people. Reno shares its eastern border with the city of Sparks and is the larger of the principal cities of the Reno-Sparks, Nevada Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a metropolitan area that covers Storey and Washoe counties. The MSA had a combined population of 342,885 at the 2000 census. The MSA is combined with the Fernley Micropolitan Statistical Area to form the Reno-Sparks-Fernley Combined Statistical Area, which had a total population of 377,386 at the 2000 census.
Reno has a basic democratic municipal government. The city council is the core of the government, with seven members. Five of these council people represent districts of Reno, and are vetted in the primary by the citizens of each district.
In general, the top two vote earners in each ward make the ballot for the city-wide election. This is an unusual but highly effective system.
The other two members are the at-large, who represent the entire city, and the mayor, who is elected by the people of the city. The council has several duties, including setting priorities for the city, promoting communication with the public, planning development, and redevelopment.
The government's other members include the city manager, who implements and enforces the policies and programs the council approves, and is chosen by the council. He or she is in charge of the budget and work force for these programs.
There is also the city attorney, who is responsible for civil and criminal cases. He or she is elected to represent the city government in court, and prosecutes misdemeanors as well.
Lastly, the council chooses a city clerk, who records the proceedings of the council, makes appointments for the council, and makes sure efficient copying and printing services are available.
Public education is provided by the Washoe County School District.
Reno has many charter schools, which include: Academy for Career Education, serving grades 10-12, opened 2002. Bailey Charter Elementary School, serving grades K-6, opened 2001. Coral Academy of Science, serving grades K-12, opened 2000. Davidson Academy, serving grades 9-12, opened 2006. High Desert Montessori School, serving grades PreK-7, opened 2002. I Can Do Anything Charter School, serving grades 9-12, opened 2000. Rainshadow Community Charter High School, serving grades 9-12, opened 2003. Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School, serving grades PreK-8, opened 1999. TEAM A (Together Everyone Achieves More Academy), serving grades 9-12, opened 2004.
Reno has a few private elementary schools such as Legacy Christian School, Excel Christian School, and Lamplight Christian School as well as private high schools, the largest of which are Bishop Manogue High School and Sage Ridge School (SRS).
Washoe County Library System has locations throughout Reno and its surrounding communities.
Before the late 1950s, Reno was the gambling capital of the United States, but in the last twenty years Las Vegas' rapid rise, American Airlines' 2000 buyout of Reno Air and the growth of Indian gaming in California have somewhat reduced its business. Older casinos were either torn down (Mapes Hotel, Fitzgerald's Nevada Club, Primadonna, Horseshoe Club, Harold's Club, Palace Club) and smaller casinos like the Comstock, Sundowner, Golden Phoenix, Kings Inn, Money Tree, Virginian, and Riverboat closed, and some converted to condos.
Because of geographical proximity, Reno has traditionally drawn the majority of its California tourists and gamblers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, while Las Vegas has historically served more tourists from Los Angeles, San Diego, and other parts of Southern California, and the Phoenix area.
Reno casinos experience some slow days during the week, especially during winter, when mountain passes can be closed to some traffic from Northern California. The train service from California and the airline service is almost never interrupted. During weekends, holidays and special events Reno does see an increase in business. Large special events such as Hot August Nights and The Great Reno Balloon Race pack the area hotels to 100% occupancy.
Several local large hotel casinos have shown significant growth and have moved gaming further away from the Virginia Street core. These larger hotel casinos are the Atlantis, the Peppermill and the Grand Sierra Resort. The Peppermill was chosen as the most outstanding Reno gaming/hotel property by Casino Player and Nevada magazines. In 2005, the Peppermill Hotel Casino began a $300 million dollar Tuscan-themed expansion.
In an effort to bring more tourism to the area, Reno holds several events throughout the year, most of which have been extremely successful. They include Hot August Nights (a classic car convention), Street Vibrations (a motorcycle fan gathering and rally), The Great Reno Balloon Race, the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off (held in Sparks), a Cinco de Mayo celebration, bowling tournaments (held in the National Bowling Stadium), and the Reno Air Races.
Reno is the location of the corporate headquarters for numerous companies, including Braeburn Capital, Hamilton, Port of Subs, PC-Doctor, and International Game Technology, which manufactures slot machines. Bally Technologies and GameTech also have development and manufacturing presence in Reno.
The closure of many downtown casinos has sparked a movement to turn them into condominiums. Out-of-state developers have purchased the Comstock and the Sundowner, amongst others, in hopes of turning them into upscale condos. In addition to converting old properties, these developers are building new structures on formerly-vacant lots. The Comstock was redeveloped and is now home to The Residences at Riverwalk Towers.
The Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (ReTRAC) was undertaken to solve noise pollution and traffic congestion on Virginia Street by lowering the train tracks below street level. This has also added to the city's efforts to make the downtown area friendlier to tourists. The trench was listed as completed on November 22, 2005. In 2008, the city council approved spending on creating a trench cover between Virginia Street and West Street essentially creating a two-block tunnel. This cover is slated to become a plaza with proposed retail and art fixtures.
Reno has recently seen the opening of many businesses that cater to socializing and after-work activities, as new and old Reno locals have slowly reclaimed parts of downtown from the waning glut of casino-bound tourists of yore. Many bars and nightclubs have moved into the area on West 1st and 2nd Streets between Arlington and Sierra in downtown Reno. In addition, various downtown casinos host lounges and nightclubs.
Downtown Reno is Reno's most popular area for bars and clubs. However, there are a few other hotspots including East Fourth Street, Wells Avenue, the UNR area, Kietzke Lane, and all along South Virginia St. Most neighborhoods also have their local bars, sports bars, or breweries, primarily in strip malls.
The casinos, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, BrĂŒka Theatre, La Bussola, Sierra Arts, and the Reno Events Center also provide numerous concerts, art events, plays, and shows as well.
As of the census of 2000, there were 180,480 people, 73,904 households, and 41,681 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,008.3/sq mi (2,611.4/kmÂČ). There were 79,453 housing units at an average density of 1,149.6/sq mi (443.9/kmÂČ). The racial makeup of the city was 77.46% White, 2.58% African American, 1.26% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.56% Pacific Islander, 9.26% from other races, and 3.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.18% of the population.
There were 73,904 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.6% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,530, and the median income for a family was $49,582. Males had a median income of $33,204 versus $26,763 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,520. About 8.3% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Reno has an extensive bus system called RTC RIDE (formerly known as Citifare), which is provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County. The bus system has its main terminal in downtown Reno and secondary terminals in Sparks and at Meadowood Mall in south Reno. The RTC also has a service called RTC ACCESS (formerly known as CitiLift) that provides transport for disabled people. RTC INTERCITY (formerly known as PRIDE) buses link Reno and Carson City.
The RTC also provides a free bus service up and down Virginia Street in Reno called RTC SIERRA SPIRIT, which many locals refer to as "the Pinwheel bus" due to the pinwheel design on the bright yellow buses and at bus stops. This regular service is free of charge.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Reno. The city's passenger rail station is located at 280 North Center Street, East Commercial Row in downtown Reno. Amtrak train 5, the westbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Reno at 12:03 pm daily and provides service to the cities of Truckee, Colfax, Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, and Emeryville, across the bay from San Francisco. Amtrak train 6, the eastbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Reno at 2:11 pm daily and provides service to Sparks, Winnemucca, Elko, Salt Lake City, Provo, Helper, Green River, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Omaha, Galesburg, and Chicago. Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoaches also arrive and depart Reno four times daily in each direction connecting to and from the Coast Starlight, Capitol Corridor, and San Joaquin trains at Sacramento, California.
The city is served by Reno/Tahoe International Airport, with general aviation traffic also handled by Reno Stead Airport. Reno/Tahoe International Airport is the second busiest commercial airport in the state of Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Potable water for the City of Reno is provided by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. The Truckee River is the primary water source, with the purification being done at two plants, Chalk Bluff and Glendale. The Chalk Bluff plant main intakes are west of Reno in Verdi, with the water flowing through a series of flumes and ditches to the plant itself. Alternative intakes are located below the plant along the banks of the Truckee River itself. The Glendale plant is sited alongside the river, and is fed by a rock and concrete rubble diversion dam a short distance upstream.
Sewage treatment for the majority of the Truckee Meadows takes place at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility at the eastern edge of the valley. Treated effluent returns to the Truckee River by way of Steamboat Creek.
Electrical power and natural gas are provided by NV Energy, formerly Sierra Pacific. Power comes from multiple sources, including Tracy-Clark Station to the east, and the Steamboat Springs binary cycle power plants at the southern end of town.
Reno is home to the Reno Aces, a minor league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and plays in Aces Ballpark, a downtown ballpark opened in 2009. Reno has hosted multiple professional baseball teams in the past, most under the Reno Silver Sox name. The Reno Astros, a semi-pro unaffiliated baseball team plays at Moana Stadium.
Reno is expected to be the future home of an ECHL ice hockey team, currently named the Reno Raiders, but construction on a suitable arena has yet to begin as of the 2008-2009 season. The franchise has been dormant since 1998, when it was named the Reno Rage, and earlier the Reno Renegades, and played in the now defunct West Coast Hockey League (WCHL).
The Legends Reno-Tahoe Open is northern Nevadaâs only PGA TOUR event, held at MontrĂȘux Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nev. As part of the FedEX Cup, the tournament follows 132 PGA TOUR professionals competing for a share of the eventâs $3 million purse. The Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation has donated more than $1.8 Million to local charities.
In 2004, the city completed a $1.5 million whitewater park on the Truckee River in downtown Reno which attracts paddlers from all over the region and hosts whitewater events throughout the year. The course runs Class 2 and 3 rapids with safe and free, year-round public access. The 1,400-foot (430 m) north channel features more aggressive rapids, drop pools and "holes" for rodeo kayak-type maneuvers. The milder 1,200 ft (370 m) south channel is set up as a kayak slalom course and a beginner area.
The Reno area boasts 14 ski areas within two hours of the city.
Reno is also home to a roller derby team, the Battle Born Derby Demons. The Battle Born Derby Demons compete on flat tracks locally and nationality. They are the only Derby team locally to compete in a national Derby league.
Reno is home to a variety of recreation activities including both seasonal and year-round. In the summer, Reno locals can be found near three major bodies of water: Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake. Lake Tahoe, which splits the border between California and Nevada, provides visitors and locals with opportunities to fish, water-ski and wakeboard, parasail, jet-ski, and of course swim. The Truckee River runs from Lake Tahoe through the center of downtown Reno and up to Pyramid Lake. After receiving city funding, the Truckee River now draws kayakers from all over the United States. The river is also a major part Artown, held in the summer at Wingfield Park, where locals and visitors come to swim, inner-tube, raft and enjoy local Reno culture. Washoe Lake is also a popular kite and windsurf location because of its high wind speeds during the summer.
Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter sports and draw in many tourists. There are approximately eight major ski resorts, including Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Sugar Bowl, Diamond Peak, Heavenly, and Mount Rose Ski Resort located as close as eleven miles (18 km) and as far as ninety-eight miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Other popular winter activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowmobiling.
The resort region around Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada borders have formed the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition to make a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. They cited the airport, close mountains, and compact geographic area in which the games could be held. Squaw Valley Ski Resort, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, is considered a major advantage to the bid.
The Reno-Sparks wastewater treatment plant discharges tertiary treated effluent to the Truckee River. In the 1990s this capacity was increased from 20 to 30 million gallons (70 to 110 million liters) per day. While treated, the effluent nevertheless contains suspended solids, nitrogen, and phosphorus, aggravating water quality concerns of the river and its receiving waters of Pyramid Lake. Local agencies working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have developed a number of watershed management strategies to accommodate this expanded effluent discharge; to accomplish this successful outcome, the DSSAM Model was developed and calibrated for the Truckee River in order to analyze the most cost effective available management strategy set. The resulting management strategies included a package of measures such as land use controls in the Lake Tahoe basin, urban runoff controls in Reno and Sparks and best management practices for wastewater discharge.
Wetlands are an important part of the Reno/Tahoe area. They act as a natural filter for the solids that come out of the water treatment plant. Plant roots absorb nutrients from the water and naturally filter it. Wetlands are also a home for over 75% of the species in the Great Basin. However, the area's wetlands are at risk of being destroyed due to development around the city. While developers build on top of the wetlands they fill them with dirt destroying the habitat they create for the plants and animals. Washoe county has devised a plan that will help protect these important ecosystems: Mitigation. In the future, when developers try to build over a wetland, they will be responsible for creating another wetland near Washoe Lake.This area is much smaller than the wetlands destroyed.
The Truckee River serves as Reno's primary source of drinking water. It supplies Reno with 80,000,000 gallons of water a day during the summer, and 40,000,000 gallons of water per day in the winter. Before the water goes to the homes around the Reno area, it must go to one of two water treatment plants, Chalk Bluff or Glendale Water Treatment Plant. As an attempt to save water, golf courses in Reno, like Arrow Creek Golf Course, have been using treated effluent water instead of treated water from one of Reno's water plants.
Reno is a setting in various books, movies, songs and other works. In the first chapters of Anthony Horowitz's 2007 book Nightrise, two of the main characters, Jamie Tyler and Scott Tyler, perform at a theatre in Reno. Walter Van Tilburg Clark's autobiographical novel The City of Trembling Leaves has detailed descriptions of Reno, as well as nearby Lake Tahoe and the Mount Rose Wilderness in the 1920s. Author and musician Willy Vlautin, who was born and raised in Reno, has recorded numerous songs with his band Richmond Fontaine and written two books (2006's The Motel Life and 2008's Northline) that take place in Reno.
On television, Reno is the setting of the Comedy Central show Reno 911!, although the show is not filmed there. (This is proven by numerous palm trees on the set, which are not present in real-life Reno.) In the game Fallout 2, the city of New Reno is built upon the remains of Reno.
Reno appears as the setting of a number of movies. The movie Kingpin takes place in Reno at the National Bowling Stadium. In the film Balls of Fury, Randy Daytona works at the Peppermill Casino in Reno as a dinner show entertainer and wears a Peppermill jacket throughout the movie. Several scenes from the movie Mafia! take place at the Peppermill Hotel and Casino, one of which is filmed in their penthouse suite.
In addition to movies that feature Reno as a setting, many movies have been filmed in Reno. For example, The Cooler with William H. Macy was filmed in Reno at the now defunct Golden Phoenix Casino on Sierra Street, but within the movie the story takes place in Las Vegas. Movies filmed in Reno include:
Reno is a city in the state of Nevada, located along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains. A destination in its own right and a gateway for many outdoor activities, Reno is also the second largest gaming destination in Nevada, featuring quite an array of resort hotel-casinos, although the number doesn't begin to approach the scale of Las Vegas.
Reno began with a toll bridge on the Truckee River, which served traveling goldrush migrants. Apparently, the city did not emerge from diligent community planning but rather was more the offspring of men driven to make a buck. When the railroad arrived in 1868, a proper town was platted and named Reno, after a Civil War general.
Since its beginning, Reno has spread across much of the Truckee Meadows. Reno and Sparks (a smaller adjacent city) now spread across this small valley separating the Sierra Nevada mountains to the West and Nevada's expansive desert areas to the East.
The profiteering characteristic of the founders may have occasionally plagued the course of Reno's subsequent generations. Some Renoites claim Nevadans are simply of a freer nature. Others think the city has repeated the steps of the goldrush era founders. Certainly, the choices made today are what will determine the true nature of the community. Regardless, Reno enjoys a pretty decent quality of life with 4 seasons, winter and summer fun, a major university, and plenty of other entertainment.
Reno is at the western edge of the Great Basin, a zone stretching to Salt Lake City that does not drain to the sea - water is carried away by evaporation only. Average rainfall is approximately 6 inches a year, with much of that occurring in the winter in the form of snow. July is the warmest month, with an average high of 91Â°F, and January is the coldest month, with an average low of 19Â°F.
Reno is in Northwestern Nevada, at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and serves as the urban center for a region including nearby Carson City and the Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and historic mining town Virginia City, home of the Comstock Lode. Along with the city of Sparks, Reno is located in the Truckee Meadows, and together they form the Reno-Sparks Metropolitan Area.
Competition in the last years of the 20th century slowed down the gambling business in Reno considerably. Given that its downtown centered around these activities for a good 50 years, the same downtown suffered. Downtown today has weathered the storm, and is improving with projects like a baseball and entertainment district and several condo projects that were completed despite economic slowdown. Growth in the area has continued due to its livability. Reno is working hard to build a different kind of city for a greater variety of tastes, and keeping that in mind will help the visitor see the town through the right kind of eyes.
As both Reno and the Sierra Nevada are popular weekend destinations for Northern Californians, traffic can be bad coming to Reno on Friday evening, and leaving Reno on Sunday evening, especially in the ski season.
The most direct route to Reno from Sacramento is via Interstate 80 over Donner Summit (7239 feet or 2206 m). This route sees a great deal of snowfall during the winter, and will shut down for periods of up to a day several times during a typical winter. Northern California residents also use U.S. 395 in Susanville, this highway stays at a lower elevation and has less problems of traffic and weather. Residents living in the Redding and Chico areas of California find this route safer and quicker. If you plan on crossing this or any other pass in the Sierra Nevada in the winter, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and always carry tire chains if you do not have four-wheel drive.
An alternative route is US 50 over Echo Summit (7330 feet). This route follows the American River up from the Sacramento valley, and then drops into the Lake Tahoe Basin. From there you can continue on US 50 into Carson City, and from there head north to Reno on US 395, or continue around the lake to Incline Village and drop into Reno on the Mount Rose Highway. This route is two lanes only for much of the way, and traffic can be heavy both in the winter and the summer, and winter maintenance is not as good as on Interstate 80.
Passes across the Sierra south of US 50, aside from CA 88, are not maintained in the winter (from approximately November until May.) And when they are open they are out of the way and potentially dangerous.
The most direct route to Reno is via US 395. This route takes you up the Owens Valley to Bishop, past Mammoth Lakes, into Carson City and thence to Reno. The portion between Bishop and Carson City crosses three passes as high as 8,143 ft (2,482 m) that may have moderately heavy snowfall during winter storms. In that event it would be better to take U.S. 6 from Bishop over Montgomery Pass to U.S. 95 (north) which stays in much lower valleys with less snow. At Schurz beyond Walker Lake take 95(Alt) north to Fernley, then I-80 west to Reno.
Don't be fooled by the fact that Las Vegas and Reno are in the same state - there's about 9 hours of driving time separating them. Take US 95 north to Fallon, US 50 west to Fernley, and Interstate 80 west to Reno. If you're not a fan of desert landscapes, boredom is a serious risk on this trip. Winter weather will generally not be a large problem on this trip, but don't count on being able to find food or fuel outside the major towns (Beatty, Tonopah, Hawthorne, Fallon and Fernley)
During the summer the heat along US 95 can be hard on you and on your vehicle. A much more comfortable alternative to cooking in your car is to drive during the night. Many of the dark stretches between the small towns along US 95 reveal numerous shooting stars and other astral phenomenon that you might miss during the baking sun. Be sure to have a lot of rest before undertaking this trip.
The most traveled route to Reno from the east is Interstate 80. Interstate 80 follows the old Emigrant trail along the Humboldt river for most of the way across Nevada, and thus the grades are generally easy. However, it does this at the expense of swinging well north of the direct route to Reno. US 50 ("The Loneliest Highway in America") is more direct, but it crosses several large mountain ranges and thus has some tight curves, steep grades and a few switchbacks. Don't count on finding food or fuel along US 50 outside of the major towns (Ely, Eureka, Austin, Fallon and Fernley).
The California Zephyr , which runs between Emeryville and Chicago, stops once a day in both directions in Reno. The station is full service, including an indoor waiting room and checked bag service. The station is in the middle of downtown Reno, and is within walking distance of all the downtown casinos.
Amtrak California also operates a shuttle buses between Reno and Sacramento which connects to the Capitol Corridor, serving Northern California, and the San Joaquins, serving the Central Valley and points south, rail routes.
Long distance bus transit in the state is mostly only along the I 80 corridor. Greyhound maintains a depot in Reno and buses go daily to and from Northern California and Chicago and points east.
The Reno-Tahoe International Airport  is served by most major domestic airlines, including Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United, and US Airways. For the lowest fares, try to avoid flying into Reno on Friday, and out of Reno on Sunday. Continental, Northwest, and Frontier have ceased operation in Reno. Southwest Airlines features Non-stop service to Chicago(Midway), Portland, Las Vegas, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Salt Lake City.
Reno is served by two freeways: I-80 running east-west, and US 395, running north-south. Circling the valley of the Truckee Meadows is the McCarran Blvd ring road. The primary business artery is Virginia Street, which runs north-south through downtown Reno. Major east-west routes include Moana Lane, Plumb Lane, Mill Street, Second Street, Fourth Street, and Sixth Street. Major routes running north-south in Reno include Keystone Avenue, Lakeside Drive, Wells Avenue, and Kietzke Lane.
Nearly all national car rental agencies serve the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. A list is available at RNO's website .
Note that several agencies do not have fleets within the airport property. Most notably, Enterprise's fleet is located 1 mile away from the terminal. However, the terminal includes an Enterprise service counter, they offer free shuttle service during business hours, and taxi vouchers and a pickup hotline for drop-offs after hours.
Reno's transit system, called RTC RIDE , is operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County . The busiest route, the #1 bus, was recently replaced with two new services, RTC RAPID, a priority express bus making limited stops, and RTC CONNECT, the local. RAPID runs 15 minutes or better headways most of the day through Downtown Reno (a good place to start is RTC Citicenter, which will be replaced with a new station at 4th and Lake in 2010) and down South Virginia Street (the major north-south street) to Meadowood Mall . RTC RAPID should serve any tourist well for most shopping, dining, and gambling needs.
Other routes to know about are the #11, which runs between downtown Reno and downtown Sparks, and the free, yellow Sierra Spirit circulator bus (7AM â 7PM), which connects various downtown destinations along the Virginia Street corridor down to the Truckee River to the south and the University of Nevada, Reno, to the north. In downtown Reno, all buses stop at or near the RTC CitiCenter bus station, East Fourth and Center Street, where you can also find The Bus Book.
Fares may be paid on the bus by cash (exact change) or by pass. All RTC RIDE passes are available from the Pass Vending Machines, available at RTC CitiCenter and Meadowood Mall, and may be purchased with cash, coin, debit or credit cards.
Renoâs taxis are plentiful, efficient, and comfortable. At the airport, downtown or near any major casino they should be very easy to come by, in other places expect to call to arrange pick-up. Donât drink and drive.
Reno is an interesting city, with plenty to see and do day and night; many attractions which should be considered âmust-seeâ are located 30 - 60 minutes outside of town by car. Therefore, renting a car is a good idea when visiting Reno.
No entry on Reno would be complete without an overview of the various casinos in the city. In addition to gambling, these properties provide a variety of dining and entertainment opportunities and should not be overlooked.
Tourism is the main focus of Reno, and a number of yearly tourism events are held in the Reno-Sparks area, mostly during the summer months.
Casinos are Reno's most common visitor attraction.
The open desert terrain that surrounds much of Reno, especially to the Northwest, offers some fantastic mountain biking. Peavine mountain has many networks of trails that are a biker's paradise, most of it singletrack, and most of it technical. Many cyclists start near Rancho San Rafael Park to access the Peavine trails. Be careful, however, as there are often gun-happy residents shooting away, not always sober, farther out in the government lands; also be sure to bring plenty of water, as the desert heat can be quite oppressive. Find more information in books such as Mountain Biking Reno & Carson City: Best Trails by R. W. Miskimins. Nearby areas, like Lake Tahoe offer even more for the mountain biker, such as Tahoe's famous Flume Trail.
There exists a rather good bike trail along the Truckee River which extends from the eastern fringes of Sparks to the western limits of Reno and beyond. The section inside city limits is fun and easy for bikers of any skill level, but is actually only a section of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway  which--when completed--will run from Lake Tahoe all the way to Pyramid Lake: 116 miles in total.
Reno is the closest major city to Black Rock City and the corresponding Burning Man festival. Many burners pass through Reno on the way to Black Rock City, and many Reno businesses cater to burners by stocking extra water and camping supplies during the Burning Man week. Some hotels offer Burning Man discounts for travellers staying overnight in Reno.
Reno is within two hours of an incredible number of ski resorts. Here is a short list.
Reno offers a kayak park at Wingfield Park. Equipment rentals and outdoor adventures can be booked nearby.
Exploring the Truckee River Arts District  will give you firsthand experience of Downtown Reno's recent urban renaissance. There are two main shopping and dining hubs in the district:
One thing Renoites know is food! Check out some of these great spots:
In addition, most major Reno casinos are hotel/casino resorts. See above for a link to a list of casino resorts.
Regionally, Reno features a variety of attractions which are hard to beat. These attractions are best experienced during the spring, summer, and early fall, as wintertime in the area renders most of them closed. Reno gets cold in the winter, so if youâre visiting in the winter, look to ski resorts to entertain you during the day.
|Routes through Reno|
|Sacramento â Truckee â||W E||â Sparks â Salt Lake City|
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|