There has been some recent chatter in the local blogosphere regarding Reno and how much it kicks ass. For the most part I agree. The city has evolved tremendously over the past few years, and the renaissance that is going on in downtown Reno is fantastic.
I have a graduate degree from the University of Nevada, and I have lived and owned a home in Reno for three years now. I’m digging it. But if you took away Lake Tahoe? Hmmmm. That would make things a little tough. Of course, that is not the case, but it is certainly one of the reasons why entities like the RSCVA refer to the region as Reno-Tahoe. Its close proximity is a major asset to living here; and there are many more. Still, negative perceptions regarding Reno persist.
A friend of mine flew down to San Jose yesterday for business, and he headed into the hotel bar to wind down from a long day. He sat next to a rather large ad exec, and they struck up a conversation. The man asked, “Where are you from?” My friend replied, “Reno,” and the man immediately countered with, “I’m sorry to hear that.” Without hesitation my friend sarcastically replied, “Yeah, it sucks, you should definitely not go there.”
My friend’s response amuses me because it says so much with so little. I know so many people from Reno that would have immediately dove in to some long laundry list for why Reno is actually a great place to live. In part, they would have felt that it was their citizenry duty to stand up for the place they live, but the comment would have also triggered a certain amount of self-consciousness for which they would have felt compelled to defend.
My friend was not self conscious about the man’s comment, and he instead probably did more for the Reno brand than any long diatribe about its benefits. I have a suggestion for anyone here in Reno encountering this kind of negativity. Politely give the individual directions to the nearest I-80 onramp.