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Reno, Nevada
Reno skyline.JPG
Flag of Reno, Nevada
Flag
Official logo of Reno, Nevada
Nickname(s): 
"The Biggest Little City in the World"
Location within Washoe County
Location within Washoe County
Reno, Nevada is located in Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Location in Nevada
Reno, Nevada is located in the United States
Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Nevada
County Washoe
Founded May 9, 1868; 154 years ago (1868-05-09)
Incorporated March 16, 1903; 119 years ago (1903-03-16)
Named for Jesse L. Reno
Government
 • Type Council–manager
Area
 • City 111.58 sq mi (288.98 km2)
 • Land 108.74 sq mi (281.65 km2)
 • Water 2.83 sq mi (7.34 km2)
Elevation
4,505 ft (1,373 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City 264,165
 • Rank 82nd, U.S.
 • Density 2,429/sq mi (937.9/km2)
 • Metro
490,596
Demonym(s) Renoites
Time zone UTC−08:00 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−07:00 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
89500-89599
Area code(s) 775
FIPS code 32-60600
GNIS feature ID 0861100
Interstates I-80 (NV).svg Business Loop 80.svg I-580 (NV).svg
U.S. Routes US 395.svg
Major State Routes Nevada 341.svg Nevada 430.svg Nevada 431.svg Nevada 647.svg Nevada 659.svg
Waterways Truckee River
Airports Reno Stead Airport Reno–Tahoe International Airport
Public transit Regional Transportation Commission
Reference #: 30

Reno ( REE-noh) is a city in the northwest section of the U.S. state of Nevada, along the Nevada-California border, about 22 miles (35 km) from Lake Tahoe, known as "The Biggest Little City in the World". Known for its casino and tourism industry, Reno is the county seat and largest city of Washoe County and sits in the High Eastern Sierra foothills, in the Truckee River valley, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. The Reno metro area (along with the neighboring city Sparks) occupies a valley colloquially known as the Truckee Meadows, which because of large-scale investments from Greater Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area companies such as Amazon, Tesla, Panasonic, Microsoft, Apple, and Google has become a new major technology center in the United States.

The city is named after Civil War Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in action during the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain, on Fox's Gap.

Reno is part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area, the second-most populous metropolitan area in Nevada after the Las Vegas Valley. Known as Greater Reno, it includes Washoe, Storey, Lyon Counties, the independent city and state capital, Carson City, as well as parts of Placer and Nevada Counties in California. The city proper had a population of 264,165 at the 2020 census.

History

Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area.

As early as the mid 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 business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began.

Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, and a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush.

Overland Limited at Reno 1913
The Overland Limited at Reno in 1913

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 that would 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, and 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 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 a boost to the new city's economy. 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.

Reno skyline
Downtown Reno

As the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities, especially Reno and Las Vegas, 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 "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".

Reno took a leap when the state of Nevada legalized open-gambling on March 19, 1931, along with the passage of even more liberal divorce laws than places like Hot Springs, Arkansas, offered. No other state offered what Nevada did in the 1930s, and casinos like the Bank Club and Palace were popular.

Within a few years, the Bank Club, owned by George Wingfield, Bill Graham, and Jim McKay, was the state's largest employer and the largest casino in the world. Wingfield owned most of the buildings in town that housed gaming and took a percentage of the profits, along with his rent.

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 female 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 U.S., came to Reno in 1950 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. While gaming pioneers like "Pappy" and Harold Smith of Harold's Club and Bill Harrah of the soon-to-dominate Harrah's casino set up shop in the 1930s, the war years of the 1940s cemented Reno as the place to play for two decades. Beginning in the 1950s, the need for economic diversification beyond gaming fueled a movement for more lenient business taxation.

A disaster occurred on the afternoon of February 5, 1957, when an explosion ripped through the heart of downtown. At 1:03 pm, two explosions, caused by natural gas leaking into the maze of pipes and ditches under the city, and an ensuing fire destroyed five buildings in the vicinity of Sierra and First streets along the Truckee River. Forty-nine people were injured in the disaster, and two were killed. The first explosion hit under the block of shops on the west side of Sierra Street (now the site of the Century Riverside), the second, across Sierra Street, now the site of the Palladio.

The presence of a main east-west rail line, the emerging interstate highway system, favorable state tax climate, and relatively inexpensive land created good conditions for warehousing and distribution of goods.

In the 1980s, Indian gaming rules were relaxed, and starting in 2000, Californian Native casinos began to cut into casino revenues. Major new construction projects have been completed in the Reno and Sparks areas. A few new luxury communities were recently built in Truckee, California, approximately 28 miles (45 km) west of Reno on Interstate 80. Reno also is an outdoor recreation destination, due to its close proximity to the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and numerous ski resorts in the region.

In more recent years, the city has gained some notoriety as the subject of the comedy series Reno 911! (the main scenes of which, however, are filmed in the city of Carson, California).

On May 9, 2014, the Reno Historical App was released in conjunction with the city's celebration of its 111th birthday as an incorporated city. The free app puts Reno's history at users' fingertips, allowing them to explore the people, places and moments that have shaped both the city's and the university's history.

Geography

Environmental factors

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 home to 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 ecosystems: mitigation. In the future, when developers try to build over a wetland, they will be responsible for creating another wetland near Washoe Lake.

The Truckee River serves as Reno's primary source of drinking water. It supplies Reno with 80 million U.S. gallons (300 Ml) of water a day during the summer, and 40 million U.S. gallons (150 Ml) 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 have been using treated effluent water instead of treated water from one of Reno's water plants.

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 U.S. gallons (70 to 110 million liters) per day. While treated, the effluent 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 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.

Steamboat Springs Nevada
Reno Nevada and the Truckee Meadows south west of the Reno Tahoe International Airport has a large herd of Mustang horses. These horses nurse and range around the runoff of Steamboat Creek. The Mustang is a notable iconic image of the Nevada range land which includes Reno.

The Reno area is frequently subject to wildfires, causing property damage and sometimes loss of life. In August 1960, the Donner Ridge fire resulted in a loss of electricity to the city for four days. In November 2011, arcing from powerlines caused a fire in Caughlin in southwest Reno that destroyed 26 homes and killed one older man, and only two months later in January 2012 another fire in Washoe Drive sparked by fireplace ashes destroyed 29 homes and killed one older woman. Around 10,000 residents were evacuated, and a state of emergency was declared. The fires came at the end of Reno's longest recorded dry spell.

Geology

Dog Valley
Dog Valley, west of Reno, an area of active faulting

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 Sierra Nevada.

In February 2008, an earthquake swarm began to occur, lasting for several months, and with the largest quake registering at 4.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, although some geologic estimates put it at 5.0. The earthquakes were centered on the Somersett community in western Reno near the areas of Mogul and Verdi. Many homes in these areas were damaged.

Climate

Reno sits in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Annual rainfall averages 7.48 inches (190 mm). Despite this low amount of rainfall per year, Reno features a steppe climate (Köppen: BSk) due to its low evapotranspiration. Annual precipitation has ranged from 1.55 inches (39.4 mm) in 1947 to 13.23 inches (336.0 mm) in 1983. The most precipitation in one month was 5.25 inches (133.4 mm) in December 1955 and the most precipitation in 24 hours was 2.29 inches (58.2 mm) on January 21, 1943. Winter has snowfall which is usually light to moderate but can be heavy some days, averaging 21.5 inches (55 cm) annually. Snowfall varies with the lowest amounts (roughly 19–23 inches annually) at the lowest part of the valley at and east of the Reno–Tahoe International Airport at 4,404 feet (1,342 m), while the foothills of the Carson Range to the west ranging from 4,700 to 5,600 feet (1,400 to 1,700 m) in elevation just a few miles west of downtown can receive up to two to three times as much annual snowfall. The mountains of the Virginia Range to the east can receive more summer thunderstorms and precipitation, and around twice as much annual snowfall above 5,500 feet (1,700 m). However, snowfall increases in the Virginia Range are less dramatic as elevation climbs than in the Carson Range to the west, because the Virginia Range is well within the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada and Carson Range. The most snowfall in the city in one year was 63.8 inches (162 cm) in 1971, and the most snowfall in one month was 29.0 inches (74 cm) in March 1952.

Most rainfall occurs in winter and spring. The city has 300 days of sunshine per year. Summer thunderstorms can occur between April and October. The eastern side of town and the mountains east of Reno tend to be prone to thunderstorms more often, and these storms may be severe because an afternoon downslope west wind, called a "Washoe Zephyr", can develop in the Sierra Nevada, causing air to be pulled down in the Sierra Nevada and Reno, destroying or preventing thunderstorms, but the same wind can push air upwards against the Virginia Range and other mountain ranges east of Reno, creating powerful thunderstorms.

The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 35.3 °F (1.8 °C) in December to 74.9 °F (23.8 °C) in July, with the diurnal temperature variation reaching 35 °F (19 °C) in summer, still lower than much of the high desert to the east. There are 3.9 days of 100 °F (38 °C)+ highs, 58 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, and 2.5 nights with sub-10 °F (−12 °C) lows annually; the temperature does not rise above freezing on only 5.1 days. The all-time record high temperature is 108 °F (42 °C), which occurred on July 10 and 11, 2002, and again on July 5, 2007. The all-time record low temperature is −17 °F (−27 °C), which occurred on January 21, 1916. In addition, the region is windy throughout the year; observers such as Mark Twain have commented about the "Washoe Zephyr", northwestern Nevada's distinctive wind.

Climate data for Reno, Nevada (Reno-Tahoe Int'l), 1981–2010 normal, extremes 1893–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(21.7)
75
(23.9)
83
(28.3)
90
(32.2)
98
(36.7)
104
(40)
108
(42.2)
105
(40.6)
101
(38.3)
93
(33.9)
77
(25)
71
(21.7)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 45.7
(7.61)
51.0
(10.56)
57.9
(14.39)
63.9
(17.72)
73.5
(23.06)
83.3
(28.5)
92.2
(33.44)
90.6
(32.56)
82.0
(27.78)
69.2
(20.67)
55.0
(12.78)
45.6
(7.56)
67.6
(19.78)
Average low °F (°C) 25.4
(-3.67)
28.9
(-1.72)
33.5
(0.83)
37.8
(3.22)
45.5
(7.5)
52.0
(11.11)
57.7
(14.28)
55.8
(13.22)
48.5
(9.17)
38.8
(3.78)
30.5
(-0.83)
25.0
(-3.89)
40.0
(4.44)
Record low °F (°C) −17
(-27.2)
−16
(-26.7)
−3
(-19.4)
13
(-10.6)
16
(-8.9)
25
(-3.9)
33
(0.6)
24
(-4.4)
20
(-6.7)
8
(-13.3)
1
(-17.2)
−16
(-26.7)
−17
(-27.2)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.03
(26.2)
1.02
(25.9)
0.76
(19.3)
0.47
(11.9)
0.49
(12.4)
0.51
(13)
0.18
(4.6)
0.23
(5.8)
0.35
(8.9)
0.51
(13)
0.82
(20.8)
1.03
(26.2)
7.40
(188)
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.6
(14.2)
5.0
(12.7)
2.0
(5.1)
0.5
(1.3)
0.3
(0.8)
trace 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.3
(0.8)
3.1
(7.9)
4.9
(12.4)
21.8
(55.4)
Humidity 68.0 60.2 52.7 45.9 43.2 39.9 36.2 39.3 44.0 50.7 61.2 67.6 50.7
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.9 7.0 5.8 4.2 3.7 3.7 1.6 1.8 2.9 3.3 5.0 6.4 52.3
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.0 3.0 2.6 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 1.9 3.2 16.3
Sunshine hours 195.6 204.2 291.0 332.1 375.8 393.8 424.0 390.8 343.9 295.2 212.0 187.5 3,645.9
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,035
1870 1,035 0.0%
1880 1,362 31.6%
1890 3,563 161.6%
1900 4,500 26.3%
1910 10,867 141.5%
1920 12,016 10.6%
1930 18,529 54.2%
1940 21,317 15.0%
1950 32,497 52.4%
1960 51,470 58.4%
1970 72,863 41.6%
1980 100,756 38.3%
1990 133,850 32.8%
2000 197,177 47.3%
2010 236,728 20.1%
2020 264,165 11.6%
source:

As of the census of 2010, there were 225,221 people, 90,924 households, and 51,112 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,186.6 per square mile (844.2/km2). There were 102,582 housing units at an average density of 995.9 per square mile (384.5/km2). The city's racial makeup was 74.2% White, 2.9% African American, 1.3% Native American, 6.3% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 10.5% some other race, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 24.3% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 62.5% of the population in 2010, down from 88.5% in 1980.

Race and ethnicity 2010- Reno (5560425602)
Map of racial distribution in Reno, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or other (yellow).

At the 2010 census, there were 90,924 households, of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were headed by married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43, and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city, the 2010 population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

In 2011 the city's estimated median household income was $44,846, and the median family income was $53,896. Males had a median income of $42,120 versus $31,362 for females. The city's per capita income was $25,041. About 9.6% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over. The population was 180,480 at the 2000 census; in 2010, its population had risen to 225,221, making it the third-largest city in the state after Las Vegas and Henderson, and the largest outside Clark County. Reno lies 26 miles (42 km) north of the Nevada state capital, Carson City, and 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lake Tahoe in a shrub-steppe environment. 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 425,417 at the 2010 census. The MSA is combined with the Fernley Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Carson City MSA to form the Reno-Carson City-Fernley Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 477,397 at the 2010 census.

Culture

Gold-D
The Golden DeLorean in the National Automobile Museum
Exterior 5 med

Libraries

Washoe County Library System has locations throughout Reno and its surrounding communities.

Reno in media

Movies filmed in Reno include:

  • The Cooler
  • Magnolia
  • Hard Eight
  • Charley Varrick
  • Into the Wild
  • Desert Hearts
  • The Wizard
  • Jinxed!
  • The Misfits
  • Kingpin
  • ...All the Marbles
  • Pink Cadillac
  • Diamonds
  • Sister Act
  • Father's Day
  • Waking Up in Reno
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember
  • Jane Austen's Mafia!
  • 40 Pounds of Trouble
  • California Split
  • Up Close & Personal
  • The Pledge
  • Kill Me Again
  • The Last Don
  • Ocean's Eleven (1960 film)
  • Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
  • Blind Fury
  • Melvin and Howard
  • Mr. Belvedere Goes to College
  • Scarecrow
  • Wild Is the Wind
  • Born to Kill (1947 film)
  • The Muppets
  • Promised Land (1987 film)
  • The Motel Life (film)
  • 5 Against the House

Music videos filmed in Reno include:

The young adult author Ellen Hopkins has written a series of novels called Crank set in Reno.

American songwriter Richard Fariña composed a song named Reno Nevada; it was first released on Richard & Mimi Fariña's debut album Celebrations For A Grey Day in 1965. The song was famously covered by Fairport Convention in 1968 and by Iain Matthews in 1971.

Thomas Dolby composed a song named "Road to Reno" as part of his A Map of the Floating City album, released in 2011.

Recreation

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. The Truckee River originates at Lake Tahoe and flows west to east through the center of downtown Reno before terminating at Pyramid Lake to the north. The river is a major part of Artown, held in the summer at Wingfield Park. Washoe Lake is a popular kite and windsurfing 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 18 ski resorts (8 major resorts) located as close as 11 miles (18 km) and as far as 98 miles (158 km) from the Reno–Tahoe International Airport, including Northstar California, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Diamond Peak, Heavenly Mountain, and Mount Rose. Other popular Reno winter activities include snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowmobiling. There are many bike paths to ride in the summer time. International bike competitions are held in Lake Tahoe over the summer time.

Air races

T 6 lineup 2014 Reno Air Races photo D Ramey Logan
T6s line up for the 2014 Reno Air Races

The Reno Air Races, also known as the National Championship Air Races, are held each September at the Reno Stead Airport.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Reno has eight sister cities:

  • Wanganui, New Zealand was a sister city from 1974 to 2009.

Economy

Reno arch
Downtown Reno, including the city's famous arch over Virginia Street
Reno with silver legacy
Silver Legacy Hotel with Downtown Reno in the background
Downtown Reno 2
A panorama of downtown Reno in 2012

Until the 1960s, Reno was the gambling capital of the United States, but Las Vegas' rapid growth, American Airlines' 2000 buyout of Reno Air, and the growth of Native American gaming in California have reduced its gambling economy. Older casinos were torn down (Mapes Hotel, Fitzgerald's Nevada Club, Primadonna, Horseshoe Club, Harold's Club, Palace Club), or smaller casinos like the Comstock, Sundowner, Golden Phoenix, Kings Inn, Money Tree, Virginian, and Riverboat were either closed or were converted into residential units.

Because of its location, 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 Southern California and the Phoenix area.

Several local large hotel casinos have shown significant growth and have moved gaming further away from the downtown 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 Reno began a $300 million Tuscan-themed expansion.

Reno holds several events throughout the year to draw tourists to the area. They include Hot August Nights (a classic car convention), Street Vibrations (a motorcycle fan gathering and rally), The Great Reno Balloon Race, a Cinco de Mayo celebration, bowling tournaments (held in the National Bowling Stadium), and the Reno Air Races.

Several large commercial developments were constructed during the mid-2000s boom, such as The Summit in 2007 and Legends at Sparks Marina in 2008.

Reno is the location of the corporate headquarters for several companies, including Braeburn Capital, Hamilton, Server Technology, EE Technologies, Caesars Entertainment, and Port of Subs. Companies based in the Reno metropolitan area include Sierra Nevada Corporation and U.S. Ordnance. International Game Technology, Bally Technologies and GameTech have a development and manufacturing presence. Truckee Meadows, because of large-scale investments from Greater Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area companies such as Amazon, Tesla, Panasonic, Microsoft, Apple, and Google has become a new major technology center in the United States.

Since the turn of the 21st century, greater Reno saw an influx of technology companies entering the area, following major initiatives and investments by investors from Seattle & the Bay Area. The first one in 1999 was Amazon.com in Fernley. After the Great Recession, the state placed an increased focus on economic development. Thousands of new jobs were created.

The Tesla Gigafactory at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is the largest building in the world, purportedly covering 5.8 million square feet.

The arrival of several data centers at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is further diversifying a region that was best known for distribution and logistics outside gaming and tourism. Switch's new SuperNAP campus at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is shaping up to be the largest data center in the world once completed. Apple is expanding its data center at the adjacent Reno Technology Park and recently built a warehouse on land in downtown Reno. Rackspace is also building a $422 million data center next to Apple.

The greater Reno area also hosts distribution facilities for Amazon, Walmart, PetSmart and Zulily.

Top employers

According to Reno's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer Employees
1 Washoe County School District 8,750
2 University of Nevada, Reno 4,750
3 Washoe County 2,750
4 Renown Regional Medical Center 2,750
5 Peppermill Reno 2,250
6 International Game Technology 1,750
7 Atlantis Casino Resort 1,750
8 Circus & Eldorado Joint Venture 1,750
9 HG Staffing LLC 1,750
10 Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center 1,250

Sports

RenoEventsCenter
Reno Events Center

Reno is home to the Reno Aces, the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, playing in Greater Nevada Field, 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 former professional, unaffiliated baseball team, played at Moana Stadium until 2009.

In basketball, the Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League played at the Reno Events Center from 2008 to 2018. They were primarily an affiliate of the Sacramento Kings throughout its existence. The Sacramento Kings bought the team in 2016 and moved the franchise to become the Stockton Kings in 2018.

Reno is host to both amateur and professional combat sporting events such as mixed martial arts and boxing. The "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James J. Jeffries was held in Reno in 1910. Boxer Ray Mancini fought four of his last five fights in Reno against Bobby Chacon, Livingstone Bramble, Héctor Camacho, and Greg Haugen.

Reno expected to be the future home of an ECHL ice hockey team, named the Reno Raiders, but construction on a suitable arena never began. The franchise was 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). In 2016, Reno was removed from the ECHL's Future Markets page.

The Reno–Tahoe Open is northern Nevada's only PGA Tour event, held at Montrêux Golf & Country Club in Reno. As part of the FedEx Cup, the tournament follows 132 PGA Tour professionals competing for a share of the event's $3 million purse. The Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation has donated more than $1.8 million to local charities.

Reno has a college sports scene, with the Nevada Wolf Pack appearing in football bowl games and an Associated Press and Coaches Poll Top Ten ranking in basketball in 2018.

Reno River Festival at Reno Whitewater Park
Reno Whitewater Festival at the whitewater park in Reno

In 2004, the city completed a $1.5 million whitewater park on the Truckee River in downtown Reno which hosts whitewater events throughout the year. The course runs Class 2 and 3 rapids with 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.

Reno is home to two roller derby teams, the Battle Born Derby Demons and the Reno Roller Girls. The Battle Born Derby Demons compete on flat tracks locally and nationally. They are the only derby team locally to compete in a national Derby league.

Reno is the home of the National Bowling Stadium, which hosts the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Open Championships every three years.

List of teams

Minor professional teams

Team Sport League Venue (capacity) Established Titles
Reno Aces Baseball MiLB (AAA-PCL) Greater Nevada Field (9,013) 2009 2
Nevada Storm Women's football WFA Damonte Ranch High School (N/A)
Fernley High School (N/A)
Galena High School (N/A)
2008 2

Amateur teams

Team Sport League Venue (capacity) Established Titles
Reno Ice Raiders Ice hockey MWHL Reno Ice 2015 0
Nevada Coyotes FC Soccer UPSL Rio Vista Sports Complex (N/A) 2016 0

College teams

School Team League Division Primary conference
University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Nevada Wolf Pack NCAA NCAA Division I Mountain West
Western Nevada College (WNC) WNC Wildcats NJCAA NJCAA Division I Scenic West

Education

Universities and colleges

Reno with mountains
An older picture showing part of the University of Nevada, Reno campus in the foreground
  • The University of Nevada, Reno is the oldest university in Nevada and Nevada System of Higher Education. In 1886, the state university, previously only a college preparatory school, moved from Elko in remote northeastern Nevada to north of downtown Reno, where it became a full-fledged state college. The university grew slowly over the decades, but it now has an enrollment of 21,353, with most students from within Nevada. Its specialties include mining engineering, agriculture, journalism, business, and one of only two Basque Studies programs in the nation. It houses the National Judicial College. The university was named one of the top 200 colleges in the nation in the most recent U.S. News & World Report National Universities category index.
  • Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is a regionally accredited, two-year institution which is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The college has approximately 13,000 students attending classes at a primary campus and four satellite centers. It offers a wide range of academic and university transfer programs, occupational training, career enhancement workshops, and other classes. TMCC offers associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science or associate of general studies degrees, one-year certificates, or certificates of completion in more than 50 career fields, including architecture, auto/diesel mechanics, criminal justice, dental hygiene, graphic design, musical theatre, nursing, and welding.
  • Career College of Northern Nevada (CCNN) is a nationally accredited trade school that trains students in technical fields that support fast growing industries. The college is locally owned and operated. Employer advisory boards direct the college to provide skill training that is relevant to industry needs.
  • University of Phoenix – Northern Nevada Campus is in south Reno. The university faculty is a collection business and academic professionals from the local Reno area.
  • The Nevada School of Law at Old College in Reno was the first law school established in the state of Nevada. Its doors were open from 1981 to 1988.

Public schools

Public education is provided by the Washoe County School District.

  • Reno has twelve public high schools: Damonte Ranch, Galena, Hug, North Valleys High School, McQueen, Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT), Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College High School, Innovations, and Wooster.
  • There are three public high schools in neighboring Sparks, attended by many students who live in Reno: Reed, Spanish Springs, and Sparks High School.
  • Reno-Sparks has 15 middle schools: Billinghurst, Clayton, Cold Springs, Depoali, Dilworth, Herz, Mendive, O'Brien, Pine, Shaw, Sky Ranch, Sparks, Swope, Traner, and Vaughn.
  • Reno-Sparks has 65 elementary schools: Allen, Anderson, Beasley, Jesse Beck, Bennett, Booth, Brown, Cannan, Caughlin Ranch, Corbett, Desert Heights, Diedrichsen, Dodson, Donner Springs, Double Diamond, Drake, Duncan, Katherine Dunn, Elmcrest, Gomes, Grace Warner, Greenbrae, Hidden Valley, Huffaker, Hunsberger, Hunter Lake, Jesse Beck, John C Bohach, Johnson, Juniper, Lemmon Valley, Elizabeth Lenz, Lincoln Park, Echo Loder, Mathews, Maxwell, Melton, Mitchell, Moss, Mount Rose, Natchez, Palmer, Peavine, Picollo Special Education School, Pleasant Valley, Risley, Roy Gomm, Sepulveda, Sierra Vista, Silver Lake, Alice Smith, Kate Smith, Smithridge, Spanish Springs, Stead, Sun Valley, Taylor, Towles, Van Gorder, Verdi [pronounced VUR-die], Veterans Memorial, Warner, Westergard, Whitehead, and Sarah Winnemucca. (some schools included on this list are in Sparks)

Public charter schools

Reno has many charter schools, which include Academy for Career Education, serving grades 10–12, opened 2002; Alpine Academy Charter High School, serving grades 9–12, opened 2009; Bailey Charter Elementary School, serving grades K-6, opened 2001; Coral Academy of Science, serving grades K-12; Davidson Academy, serving grades 6–12, 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; and TEAM A (Together Everyone Achieves More Academy), serving grades 9–12, opened 2004.

Private schools

Reno has a few private elementary schools such as Legacy Christian School, Excel Christian School, St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy, Lamplight Christian School, and Nevada Sage Waldorf School as well as private high schools, the largest of which are Bishop Manogue High School and Sage Ridge School.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Renoskyline
Reno skyline in June 2006
I80downtownreno
I-80 in Downtown Reno
Reno, Nevada photo D Ramey Logan
Reno skyline in September 2014

Roads

Reno was historically served by the Victory Highway and a branch of the Lincoln Highway. After the formation of the U.S. Numbered Highways system, U.S. Route 40 was routed along 4th Street through downtown Reno, before being replaced by Interstate 80. The primary north–south highway through Reno is U.S. Route 395/Interstate 580.

Bus

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) has a bus system that provides intracity buses, intercity buses to Carson City, and an on-demand shuttle service for disabled persons. The system has its main terminal on 4th Street in downtown Reno and secondary terminals in Sparks and at Meadowood Mall in south Reno.

Numerous shuttle and excursion services are offered connecting the Reno–Tahoe International Airport to various destinations:

Greyhound stops at a downtown terminal. Megabus stopped at the Silver Legacy Reno, but has since discontinued service to Reno.

Rail

Reno was historically a stopover along the First Transcontinental Railroad; the modern Overland Route continues to run through Reno. Reno was additionally the southern terminus of the Nevada–California–Oregon Railway (NCO) and the northern terminus of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Using the NCO depot and right of way, the Western Pacific Railroad also provided rail service to Reno. In the early 20th century, Reno also had a modest streetcar system. Downtown Reno has two historic train depots, the inactive Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot and the active Amtrak depot at Reno station, originally built by the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Amtrak provides daily passenger service to Reno via the California Zephyr at Reno station and via multiple Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches that connect to trains departing from Sacramento.

Air

The city is served by Reno–Tahoe International Airport, with general aviation traffic 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. Reno was the hub and headquarters of the defunct airline Reno Air.

Utilities

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority provides potable water for the city. The Truckee River is the primary water source, with purification occurring at two plants, Chalk Bluff and Glendale. The Chalk Bluff plant's main intakes are west of Reno and south of Verdi, with the water flowing through a series of flumes and ditches to the plant. Alternative intakes are below the plant along the banks of the Truckee River itself. The Glendale plant is alongside the river, and is fed by a rock and concrete rubble diversion dam a short distance upstream.

Sewage treatment for most of the Truckee Meadows region 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.

NV Energy, formerly Sierra Pacific, provides electric power and natural gas. 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.

Notable people

  • Mädchen Amick, actress, Twin Peaks, Sleepwalkers, Dream Lover
  • Chris Ault, Hall of Fame NCAA football coach, retired head coach of University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack
  • Luke Babbitt, basketball player for Miami Heat, previously Portland Trail Blazers 2010–2013
  • Ryan Bader, professional MMA artist and heavyweight champion of Bellator MMA
  • Shannon Bahrke, skier, silver medalist 2002 Winter Olympics, bronze medalist 2010 Winter Olympics, and 2003 World Cup champion
  • Brent Boyd, pro football player of Minnesota Vikings
  • T. Brian Callister, physician and health care quality expert
  • Chris Carr, pro football player
  • Bob Cashell, former Mayor of Reno and Lieutenant Governor
  • Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of The Ox-Bow Incident
  • Doug Clifford, Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer
  • Heidi Cortez, Sunset Tan, The Howard Stern Show
  • David Coverdale, singer-songwriter, former frontsinger of Deep Purple and Whitesnake
  • Joe Flanigan, actor
  • Rudy Galindo, figure skater
  • Matt Gallagher, author and Iraq War veteran
  • Bud Gaugh, drummer of the band Sublime
  • Jim Gibbons, former Governor and U.S. Representative
  • Mark Gilmartin, golfer, entrepreneur
  • Curtis Hanson, producer-director of films 8 Mile, L.A. Confidential, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, more
  • Sean Hamilton (Hollywood Hamilton), nationally syndicated radio personality
  • Jennifer Harman, professional poker player
  • Wilder W. Hartley (1901–70), Los Angeles City Council member, 1939–41, born in Reno
  • Martin Heinrich, U.S. Senator from New Mexico since 2013; was considered for nominee Hillary Clinton's Vice President for the 2016 election
  • Procter Ralph Hug, Jr., federal judge
  • Terri Ivens, actress on All My Children
  • Kevin Jepsen, professional baseball player, attended Bishop Manogue High School
  • Colin Kaepernick, football quarterback, University of Nevada, Reno and San Francisco 49ers
  • Mike Krukow, MLB pitcher and broadcaster, Reno resident
  • Mills Lane, boxing referee, district judge, television personality on Judge Mills Lane
  • Adam Laxalt, former Nevada Attorney General
  • Paul Laxalt, former Governor and U.S. Senator from Nevada
  • Greg Lemond, former professional road racing cyclist, three-time winner of the Tour de France
  • Greg London, entertainer
  • Jennifer Mabus, YouTuber, hiker, and Navy spouse
  • Julia Mancuso, skier, Olympic gold medalist 2006
  • Rich Marotta, boxing commentator, Los Angeles radio personality
  • Anne Henrietta Martin, first woman to run for U.S. Senate
  • Pat McCarran, U.S. Senator, namesake of McCarran International Airport
  • April Meservy, singer-songwriter
  • Jessica Nigri, cosplay celebrity, promotional model, YouTuber, voice actress and fan convention interview correspondent
  • Frank Herbert Norcross, judge
  • Roger Norman, off-road racer and owner of Norman Motorsports
  • Carl Ravazza, bandleader and talent agent
  • Chuck Ruff, drummer, Edgar Winter Group
  • Brian Sandoval, former Governor
  • Gene Savoy, Peru explorer, discoverer of Vilcabamba, Gran Pajaten, Gran Vilaya, Gran Saposoa
  • Nate Schierholtz, professional baseball player, born in Reno
  • Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno
  • Will Schusterick, professional disc golfer and three-time winner of the United States Disc Golf Championship
  • Jason-Shane Scott, soap opera actor
  • Ken Shamrock, mixed martial artist, UFC Hall of Famer, professional wrestler
  • Simons & Cameron (Gordon Simons and Lane Cameron), singers and songwriters
  • Shannyn Sossamon, actress of A Knight's Tale, 40 Days and 40 Nights and The Rules of Attraction
  • Kevin Stadler, pro golfer, born in Reno
  • Inga Thompson, professional cyclist
  • Kyle Van Noy, professional football player, born in Reno
  • Gabriel Damon, actor
  • Willy Vlautin, novelist, lead vocalist and songwriter for Alt-Country band Richmond Fontaine
  • J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner, forensic psychologist, television personality
  • Michael Weiss, competitive swimmer
  • Dawn Wells, Miss Nevada 1959, actress on TV series Gilligan's Island
  • Joe Wieland, professional baseball player
  • Taylor Wilson, nuclear scientist; previously held record for being youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion
  • David Wise, five-time World Cup medalist and Olympic gold medalist in half pipe skiing
  • Dolora Zajick, dramatic mezzo-soprano

Images for kids

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