The Reno Arch in Reno Nevada

The Reno Arch welcomes visitors with the city slogan.

Reno, Nevada

Viva Las … Reno? The Forgotten Casino City

Oh, the city of Reno. It doesn’t quite have the same ring as Las Vegas, does it? Don’t let the lack of publicity fool you, however. Reno is known as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” That’s no small honor. In actuality, Reno is the third-largest city in the state of Nevada. Driving through the main strip, underneath the lighted sign proclaiming the city’s slogan, visitors experience a unique setting. Although humbled by the all-encompassing presence that is the casino home land Las Vegas, Reno still has quite a lot to offer its many visitors.

Reno tries to match the large gambling cities

With the two giants of the U.S., Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the smaller Reno loses some luster; but since 1931 when gambling was legalized in the state, Reno has been on the fast track, even if slightly behind the race’s leaders. The media forgets the city; young vacationers don’t find it sexy enough for their entertainment purposes. But that doesn’t stop Reno from being one of the most flourishing tourist industries on the West Coast to date.

The city remains a vital transportation hub for the entire Western United States, not to mention a thriving economic base; one that, as it so happens, is still proving vital during a recession. Atlantic City, unfortunately, cannot say the same. In recent years, the city of Reno has undergone multiple and aggressive expansion plans to include transportation aspects such as a modern railroad system. The downtown area has been completely refurbished, knocking some of the cobwebs out and replacing drab and mundane hotels and casinos with new and contemporary resorts.

Downtown street venders in Reno Nevada © RSCVA &
Downtown Vendors show off during one of Reno's downtown events.

Beginning with Elvis, Reno was forgotten

But how did Reno become the forgotten city to begin with? After all, everyone loves to gamble. Unfortunately, especially when considering how swiftly it happened, Reno was a victim of popular culture. In the mid 1960s, acts like The Rat Pack and Elvis Presley began calling Las Vegas their home. Now, not only could people stop in at Sin City to partake in otherwise questionable behavior while receiving their gambling fix, they could also be personally serenaded by Frank Sinatra in the process. Reno didn’t stand a chance.

Reno: Vegas without noise

The city still remains underrated, with large acts like Chris Angel, Penn and Teller and Cirque de Soleil playing in Vegas, but that doesn’t stop thousands of people from packing Reno night after night. Today’s Reno is considered a more toned-down version of its illustrious counterpart. A place where folks can go to simply have a good time and not find themselves bombarded from every angle with relentless noise and distractions.

Reno isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It doesn’t matter if some would rather drive north to Vegas; that simply means you’ll always be able to get a great room in Reno.

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Top Photo Credit: © UNR, Sebastian Diaz &
Photo Description: Reno Skyline