Reno: Economy

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Reno: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Tourism is the major industry in the Reno area. The hotel and casino industry attracts more than five million visitors annually and adds over $4 billion to the local economy each year. The business climate also has a strong presence in manufacturing and logistics in industries such as computers, electronics, financial services, and communications. This diversity supports the thriving local economy and includes a wide range of restaurants and retail options. The nearby mountains draw many tourists to the highest concentration of ski resorts in America, and contribute to the unlimited year-round recreational opportunities

Items and goods produced: cement, labeling devices, suntan lotion, valves, dairy and food products, pet food, microwaves, electronic equipment, livestock, agricultural produce

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Because a majority of tax revenues in Nevada are generated from the tourism and gaming industries, Nevada's tax burden is one of the lightest in the nation. Nevada is one of only seven states without a personal income tax and one of only three without a corporate income tax. New and expanding companies can benefit from several different programs including sales and use tax abatements and deferrals, personal property tax abatements, business tax abatements, and the Train Employees Now program that assists in defraying the cost of training new employees. All programs have conditions and criteria that a company must meet in order to qualify; for example, minimum capital investment, minimum number of jobs created, minimum wage requirements, and a health plan available to employees and dependants. Application for all incentives must be made to the Nevada State Commission on Economic Development.

Job training programs

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation offers job training services to both employers and job seekers, including applicant recruitment and screening, tax credit benefits, training programs and career enhancement programs, and labor market information. The Train Employees Now (TEN) program, administered by the State of Nevada Commission on Economic Development, helps new and expanding firms by providing intensive skills-based training programs tailored to the company's needs. The TEN program utilizes training providers such as local businesses and community colleges. Job Opportunities in Nevada (JOIN) works to ensure that companies have an adequate workforce while offering training and educational opportunities for job seekers; Nevadaworks assists employers in developing employees' skills. The public school district's Glenn Hare Occupational Center provides training in areas identified by local employers. Training, recruiting, and continuing education resources in Reno also include Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno. Several other educational programs are geared toward meeting the needs of employers such as the Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program, the Millennium Scholarship Plan, and the Technology Center programs.

Development Projects

The city of Reno is rolling with economic development in the downtown area and the local government actively creates plans to ensure progress continues. One example is the $65 million, 118,000-square-foot Reno Events Center whose debut in late 2005 will broaden Reno's already prosperous appeal as a convention draw. Also critical to the success of the area is a long-anticipated plan to build depressed railroad tracks, named ReTRAC, to facilitate travel. Discussed for many decades, the construction, scheduled for completion in early 2006, is estimated to have an overall $360 million economic impact.

The Washoe Medical Center expanded in 2004 with the acute care facility South Meadows, which represented the first community hospital to open in the area in about two decades. In spring 2005 the Washoe County Library system added the new $6.3 million, 30,000-square-foot Spanish Springs branch library.

Economic Development Information: Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), 5190 Neil Rd., Ste. 111, Reno, NV 89502; telephone (702)829-3700; fax (702)829-3710; email [email protected]

Commercial Shipping

Reno/Sparks is situated at the hub of an extensive transportation network. Nevada borders five western states and provides overnight ground service to most of the West Coast major markets.

The area is also located on two major highway corridors: Interstate 80 and US 395. Currently, over 60 local, regional and national carriers provide trucking service in the Reno/Sparks area including the 167,000-square-foot United Parcel Service (UPS) regional package-sorting hub in Sparks. Rail freight service is provided by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads.

The Reno/Tahoe International Airport is among the nation's busiest airports with 90 daily departures to about two dozen nonstop U.S. destinations. Air Cargo in the Reno/Sparks area handles approximately 291,000 pounds daily with a total of more than 106 million pounds in 2004.

The Reno/Sparks foreign trade zones are popular to business, as they provide economically favorable conditions and operational flexibility. Currently, Reno/Sparks has eight sites with more than 7,500 acres of building space.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

The availability of skilled workers and competitive compensation levels makes the Reno/Sparks area especially attractive to new businesses. More than 20,000 students attend the five colleges in the area. State-supported training programs and pro-business policies have helped make Nevada the fastest growing state in the nation. As a right-to-work state, Nevada's law states that no person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Reno metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 208,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

natural resources and mining: 400

construction: 19,800

manufacturing: 14,000

trade, transportation, and utilities: 43,600

information: 3,100

financial activities: 10,700

professional and business services: 23,600

educational and health services: 19,300

leisure and hospitality: 39,000

other services: 7,500

government: 27,200

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.60 (Nevada average)

Unemployment rate: 10.5% (January 2005)

Largest county employersNumber of employees
Washoe County School District7,5007,999
University of Nevada, Reno4,0004,499
Washoe County Government2,5002,999
International Game Technology2,5002,599
Washoe Medical Center, Inc.2,0002,499
Silver Legacy Resort Casino2,0002,499
Reno Hilton (casino)1,5001,999
Eldorado Hotel & Casino1,5001,999
Peppermill Hotel Casino-Reno1,5001,999

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Reno area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $290,000

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 106.1 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: None

State sales tax rate: 6.5% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 0.875%

Property tax rate: $3.64 per $100 assessed value

Economic Information: Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), 5190 Neil Rd., Ste. 111, Reno, NV 89502; telephone (702)829-3700; fax (702)829-3710; email [email protected] Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation, Information Development and Processing, Research and Analysis Bureau, 500 E. Third St., Carson City, NV 89713; telephone (775)684-3849; fax (775)684-3850; email [email protected]

Reno: Recreation

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Reno: Recreation


Downtown Reno glitters with brightly-lit casinos and 24-hour entertainment. In the middle of it all stands the city's best-known symbol, the Reno Arch. The arch welcomes visitors with its slogan, "The Biggest Little City In The World." There have been four arches since the original was erected in 1929. The arch which welcomed visitors from 1934 to 1963 can now be seen on Lake Street, in front of the National Automobile Museum.

One of the country's finest and most extensive collections of antique cars is on display at the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection). Opened in 1989, more than 220 vehicles are featured, including horseless carriages, cars owned by celebrities, and experimental cars of the future.

Described by the Los Angeles Times as the "Taj Mahal of Tenpins," the National Bowling Stadium is the only facility of its kind in the world. The stadium features 78-championship lanes, Paul Revere's Kick's Diner & Dance Club, and an IWERKS theater where giant screen movies are shown daily.

The Wilbur D. May Center features a museum, an indoor arboretum, and a botanical garden surrounded by a beautiful park. During summer months, the center's Great Basin Adventure provides children with a full day of activities including pony rides, a "hands-on" discovery room, a log flume ride, a petting zoo, and a playground complete with dinosaurs. In 2005 a new visitor educational center was being developed costing about $4 million that will include an information area, greenhouse, classrooms, library, bookstore, and master gardener area.

Daytrip excursions also provide visitors with a number of sightseeing options. Reno serves as a base camp to some of the most unique attractions on the West Coast. Pyramid Lake, just east of Reno, is shrouded in the mysteries of Indian legend and prehistoric past; Virginia City, still the liveliest ghost town in the West, is only a 35-mile drive from Reno; Carson City, Nevada's State Capital, is only 30 miles from Reno; and nearby Lake Tahoe was described by Mark Twain as "surely the fairest picture the whole earth affords."

Arts and Culture

Reno offers a flourishing and diverse community of artistic talent. The 1,500-seat Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is the home of the Reno Philharmonic, the Sierra Nevada Master Chorale, the Reno Dance Company, and a Best of Broadway series that gives scheduled performances throughout the year. A chamber orchestra, opera company, and two ballet troupes round out the Reno experience. The University of Nevada, Reno, presents a variety of art galleries, music, and performing arts.

The Nevada Museum of Art, originally called the Nevada Art Gallery in 1931, debuted its new four-level, 55,000 square foot location in May 2003 and features a permanent collection along with video and experimental exhibitions. A library, cafe, sculpture garden, and store are among the other modern amenities offered.

Reno's own summer arts festival, Uptown Downtown ARTown, was named one of the top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. The festival takes place every July, when more than 150 events at three dozen locations are featured throughout the month.

Festivals and Holidays

Special events are plentiful and varied in Reno. In April, snowmobilers flock to SledFest with rides on the trails and a tradeshow. The Reno Rodeo, the "wildest, richest rodeo in the west," takes place over nine days in June and infuses nearly $35 million into the local economy. In August, the Reno area celebrates America's love affair with cars and rock 'n' roll during the five-day Hot August Nights. The celebration features more than 5,000 classic cars from 36 states, vintage music, parades, and drag racing. September is full of celebrations that include the Great Reno Balloon Race, the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, and Street Vibrations (for motorcycle enthusiasts). October brings the Eldorado's Great Italian Festival and the Celtic Festival.

Sports for the Spectator

Reno is making a name for itself as the mountain golf capital of the world. Since 1999 the PGA Tour's Open at Reno-Tahoe (formerly Reno-Tahoe Open) has taken place at Montreux Golf and Country Club in August, where some of the world's best professional golfers compete. A celebrity-packed golfing event, the American Century Celebrity Championship, is also held annually at Edgewood-Tahoe in July.

Two of the country's largest bowling organizations, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC), hold tournaments at the National Bowling Stadium. Dubbed "Pin Palace" by USA Today, thousands of bowlers are drawn to the city's high-technology facility on a regular basis.

Sports for the Participant

Reno offers a seemingly limitless variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Snow-packed mountains, less than an hour from Reno, feature the largest concentration of world-class ski/snowboard resorts in North America. In the summer months, the same mountains, as well as the valley below, offer hiking and mountain biking. Since 1994 the three-day annual Mighty Tour De Nez Classic has featured different levels of regional bicyclers. Lake Tahoe, "the Jewel of the Sierra," is the perfect place for a day of canoeing, water skiing, swimming, and more.

High desert, rolling hills and mountainous alpine terrain make for some of the greatest golf courses found anywhere. The Reno-Tahoe area boasts more than 40 courses, 4,000 feet above sea level so golfers can watch their balls fly further through the thin air. The Reno area also offers great fishing in a variety of streams, rivers, and lakes. Non-resident fishing licenses are available at most sporting goods stores.

Shopping and Dining

More than 90 area shopping centers sell items ranging from the usual designer apparel to Native American handicrafts and Western art and clothing. Popular centers in Reno include Arlington Gardens Mall, Franktown Corners, Southwest Pavilion, Meadowood Mall, Park Lane Mall, and Indian Colony Corners. Sparks is home to Victorian Square Plaza.

Restaurants in Reno range from simple to extravagant. A local specialty is family-style Basque dinners.

Visitor Information: Reno's downtown Visitors Center is located in the lobby of the National Bowling Stadium, on the corner of Center and 4th Street; telephone (775)334-2600; Meadowood Mall Visitors Center is at 500 Meadowood Mall Circle, on the corner of S. McCarran Blvd. and S. Virginia Street; telephone (775)827-8450. The mailing address for both centers is Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, PO Box 837, Reno, NV 89504-0837; general information number telephone (800)FOR-RENO; email info

Reno: Education and Research

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Reno: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Reno is part of the Washoe County School District. The district is governed by a board of trustees that consists of seven nonpartisan members. The superintendent is appointed by the board.

Reno public school students consistently score above state and national averages on standardized tests, including the Iowa Test of Basic Skills/Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITBS/ITED) and, for high school students, the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Five Reno public high schools have been named by Newsweek as among the best in the country. The district also was awarded SchoolMatch's "What Parents Want" honor in 2003.

The following is a summary of data regarding Reno public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 62,098

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 61

middle schools: 15

senior high schools: 14

other: 1

Student/teacher ratio: 1-2, 16:1; 3, 19:1; 4-6, 26:1; 7-8, 26.5:1; 9-12, 27:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $27,907

maximum: $57,292

Funding per pupil: $6,025

Public Schools Information: Washoe County School District, 425 E. Ninth St., PO Box 30425, Reno, NV 89520-3425; telephone (775)348-0200

Colleges and Universities

The University of Nevada, Reno, founded in 1864, enrolled more than 15,000 degree-seeking students in fall 2004 at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The university includes schools of medicine, journalism, and education; a college for training judges (National Judicial College); and the only program in Basque studies in the country (many Nevadans trace their ancestry to Basque sheepherders from Spain). The Truckee Meadows Community College offers two-year associate's degrees as well as adult education programs. A number of business, vocational, and professional schools are also located in the Reno area. Morrison University focuses on business degrees while the Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe takes advantage of its location by presenting many science and environmental programs.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Washoe County Library System consists of 14 library branches strategically placed around the county with a new branch, Spanish Springs, that opened in early 2005. Six of the branches are "Partnership Libraries," which are housed in public school libraries but serve the entire public in their neighborhoods. One branch is a virtual branch on the Internet. The library has more than 943,000 items including books, videos, audios, and materials in microformat, CDROMs, database access, and several hundred periodical subscriptions. Special collections focus on gambling, Nevada history, and U.S. and Nevada documents.

The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries offer resources in paper and electronic formats, including over one million texts and journals available in-house, as well as electronic access to the full-text articles of over 8,000 journals. Films, audio and video tapes, maps, and government documents are also available. Special collections include Basque materials (50,000 volumes and 1,500 journals), Nevada and the Great Basin collection, rare books and prints, and a collection of contemporary arts books.

The Desert Research Institute (DRI), Nevada's primary research institution of the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN), maintains facilities in Reno (the 470-acre Dandini Research Park) and oversees about 300 separate projects throughout the state, conducting studies in areas such as air quality and climactic changes in the western United States over the last two million years. The University of Nevada is a hotbed for research activities as represented by its surpassing $100 million in financial support received in the 20002001 academic year.

Public Library Information: Washoe County Library, 301S. Center St., Reno, NV 89501; telephone (775)327-8349; fax (775)327-8393; email

Reno: History

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Reno: History

Reno's Beginnings

Reno's history began when Charles William Fuller arrived in the Truckee Meadows in 1859 and occupied a piece of land on the south bank of the Truckee River. By early 1860, he had constructed a bridge and small hotel, and the place was known as Fuller's Crossing. In the following year, Fuller sold his bridge and hotel to Myron C. Lake, who renamed the spot Lake's Crossing and soon was charging a toll on the bridge. The Crossing became an important station on one of the main routes between northern California and the silver mines of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode.

Lake was the crossing's only property owner until the Central Pacific Railroad (later renamed Union Railroad) crossed the Sierra Nevada in 1868 and pushed its tracks into the Truckee Meadows. Under terms of an agreement between Myron Lake and Central Pacific, a new town was laid out at the crossing; ownership was divided between Lake and the railroad. Almost overnight, buildings began to appear on the town site and the new settlement was named Reno in honor of General Jesse Lee Reno (18231862), a Union army officer who was killed during the Civil War.

In 1871, the Nevada State Legislature moved the Washoe County seat to Reno, where one year later the Virginia & Truckee Railroad extended its line. The town soon became an important commercial center on the transcontinental railroad and a transfer point for the immense wealth coming out of the Comstock Lode. The University of Nevada was moved from Elko to Reno in 1885.

Gaming Gains Prominence, Modern Times

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Reno gained national notoriety after a number of famous people obtained divorces in the city under Nevada's lenient laws. Newspapers sensationalized the incidents, dubbing Reno the "divorce capital." Reno's sister city, Sparks, was established in 1904 as a division point on the Southern Pacific Railroad. After the legalization of casino gambling by the state legislature in 1931, Reno filled with gambling establishmentsmarking the start of a tourist industry that flourishes today.

In the shadow of the casinos, Reno has quietly grown into an important transportation hub for the western United States and has developed a diverse economic base. The city leaders have recognized this and responded by creating aggressive expansion plans including a railroad system that will eventually bolster travel in the area along with the boom the construction brings. Modern Reno boasts a thriving cultural scene, a refurbished downtown area, and an expanding tourist industry fueled not by the casinos, but by the many year-round resorts in the nearby mountains. The area's mix of recreational opportunitiesfrom outdoor activities to gambling to plush accommodationscoupled with a warm climate that features more than 300 sunny days every year has been the backbone to the success of the city. The effects are evident in its population and business growth, and many have taken notice such as the authors of "Cities Ranked & Rated" that listed Reno in 2004 among the top 10 best places to live. With 30 Fortune 500 companies in the region that magazine also named Reno as one of three "top booming towns" in March 2004.

Historical Information: Nevada Historical Society-Research Library, 1650 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89503; telephone (775)688-1190; fax (775)688-2917

Reno: Population Profile

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Reno: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 193,623

1990: 254,667

2000: 339,486

Percent change, 19902000: 33.3%

U.S. rank in 1990: 132nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 119th

City Residents

1980: 100,756

1990: 133,850

2000: 180,480

2003 estimate: 193,882

Percent change, 19902000: 34.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 169th

U.S. rank in 1990: 132nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 130th (State rank: 3rd)

Density: 2,611.4 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 139,793

Black or African American: 4,651

American Indian and Alaska Native: 2,271

Asian: 9,555

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 1,004

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 34,616

Other: 16,712

Percent of residents born in state: 24.1%

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 12,626

Population 5 to 9 years old: 11,976

Population 10 to 14 years old: 10,937

Population 15 to 19 years old: 12,102

Population 20 to 24 years old: 15,434

Population 25 to 34 years old: 28,638

Population 35 to 44 years old: 28,164

Population 45 to 54 years old: 24,591

Population 55 to 59 years old: 8,628

Population 60 to 64 years old: 6,781

Population 65 to 74 years old: 10,962

Population 75 to 84 years old: 7,382

Population 85 years and over: 2,259

Median age: 34.5 years

Births (2003, Washoe County)

Total number: 5,398

Deaths (2003, Washoe County)

Total number: 2,953 (of which, 31 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,520 (1999)

Median household income: $40,530 (1999)

Total households: 73,859

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 6,374

$10,000 to $14,999: 4,633

$15,000 to $24,999: 10,398

$25,000 to $34,999: 10,202

$35,000 to $49,999: 13,100

$50,000 to $74,999: 14,492

$75,000 to $99,999: 7,015

$100,000 to $149,999: 4,884

$150,000 to $199,999: 1,275

$200,000 or more: 1,486

Percent of families below poverty level: 8.3% (48.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 11,626


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Reno: Introduction
Reno: Geography and Climate
Reno: History
Reno: Population Profile
Reno: Municipal Government
Reno: Economy
Reno: Education and Research
Reno: Health Care
Reno: Recreation
Reno: Convention Facilities
Reno: Transportation
Reno: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1868 (incorporated, 1903)

Head Official: Mayor Robert Cashell (since 2002)

City Population

1980: 100,756

1990: 133,850

2000: 180,480

2003 estimate: 193,882

Percent change, 19902000: 34.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 169th

U.S. rank in 1990: 132nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 130th

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 193,623

1990: 254,667

2000: 339,486

Percent change, 19902000: 33.3%

U.S. rank in 1990: 132nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 119th

Area: 69.34 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 4,400 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 51.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 7.29 inches of rain, 23.1 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Tourism, gaming, manufacturing, transportation

Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (January 2005)

Per Capita Income: $22,520 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 11,626

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, Morrison University, Sierra Nevada College

Daily Newspaper: Reno Gazette-Journal

Reno: Communications

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Reno: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Reno Gazette-Journal is the city's daily and Sunday newspaper, published in the morning. The Daily Sparks Tribune is a daily newspaper published in neighboring Sparks since 1910. Ahora Spanish News is a semi-monthly Hispanic community newspaper. Also published in Reno are Sagebrush (a collegiate newspaper), Reno News and Review, and Showtime Magazine.

Television and Radio

Five commercial television stations are based in Reno; a variety of channels are available from the local cable system. Twenty-three radio stations broadcast from the Reno/Tahoe area.

Media Information: Reno Gazette Journal, PO Box 22000, Reno, NV 89520; telephone (775)788-6200

Reno Online

City of Reno. Available

Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Available

Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation. Available

Reno Gazette Journal. Available

Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Available

Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority. Available

Reno Visitor's Center. Available

Truckee Meadows Community College. Available

Washoe County Library. Available

Washoe County School District. Available

Selected Bibliography

Betts, Doris, The Sharp Teeth of Love: A Novel (New York: Scribner, 1998)

Land, Barbara and Myrick Land, A Short History of Reno (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1995)

Twain, Mark, Mark Twain of the Enterprise; Newspaper Articles and Other Documents, 18621864 (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1957)

Reno: Convention Facilities

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Reno: Convention Facilities

In the heart of downtown the two-floor Reno Events Center, estimated at $65 million, is slated to open in December 2005 with an overall size of 118,000 square feet56,000 of it being floor space. In July 2002 the Reno-Sparks Convention Center completed an extensive expansion costing more than $100 million that provides convention and meeting planners with a modern, high-tech facility. The convention center's space increased to nearly 500,000 square feet and includes 53 meeting rooms and exhibit space totaling 381,000 square feet.

Meeting attendees can visit the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, where customized tournaments on its 78 championship lanes can be arranged for groups of anywhere between 50 and 2,000 people.

The Motel 6 Reno Livestock Events Center provides space for livestock and equestrian events, as well as meetings. It includes 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, a climate-controlled indoor arena seating 6,200 and a lighted, 9,000-seat outdoor arena.

Theater-style seating for more than 1,500 people is available at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Reno. The Lawlor Events Center, a large multipurpose arena on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno is also available for conventions and can seat up to 12,400.

Reno has more than 20,000 first-class guestrooms all within minutes of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. More than 12 hotels have their own convention facilities and the largest hotel offers more than 2,000 rooms and 200,000 square feet of convention space.

Convention Information: Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, PO Box 837, Reno, NV 89405-0837; telephone (800)FOR-RENO; email [email protected]

Reno: Transportation

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Reno: Transportation

Approaching the City

The Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RTIA) is located three miles south of downtown Reno. The airport handles about 14,000 arriving and departing passengers on about 90 commercial flights per day from 11 major airlines, and is an international Port of Entry. Passenger rail service is available from Amtrak via the "California Zephyr," described as the most scenic train ride in the United States, with daily service from San Francisco and Chicago. The city is also served by commercial bus lines.

Interstate highway 80 runs through Reno's downtown region, west to San Francisco, and east to Salt Lake city. The US 395 freeway passes just to the east of the city, connecting Reno with Portland and Seattle to the north and Los Angeles to the south.

Traveling in the City

Washoe County's Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) runs the Reno Citifare that operates 65 buses providing continuous travel throughout the metropolitan area, most with wheelchair accessibility. RTC's CitiLift offers bus service to those with special transportation needs. The Sierra Spirit bus line gives free rides to passengers in the downtown area. Major thoroughfares in the city include Virginia Street, Plumb Lane, Kietzke Lane, and Mill Street.

Reno: Geography and Climate

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Reno: Geography and Climate

Reno is located at the western border of Nevadain a valley known as the Truckee Meadowsabout 20 miles east of the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe, the second largest alpine lake in the world. The Truckee River passes between Reno and its sister city, Sparks. Temperatures in the region are mild, but can fluctuate as much as 45 degrees between day and night. The temperature at night during the summer rarely rises above 60 degrees. More than half the annual precipitation falls from December to March, in the form of mixed snow and rain, with snow accumulation seldom lasting longer than three or four days. Low humidity and sunny skies are prevalent throughout the year.

Area: 69.34 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 4,400 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 33.3° F; August, 69.8° F; annual average: 51.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 7.29 inches of rain, 23.1 inches of snow