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Reno: More Than Glitz and Gambling

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 15th August 2005 1:32am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


When arriving in Nevada's Biggest Little City in the World, one thing is immediately clear. Reno is defi nitely not Las Vegas. For many vacationers, the dissimilarity to its Sin City sister is Reno's attribute. Las Vegas epitomizes the American dream taken to excess. The community burns enough kilowatts to make the night sky blush, and its hotel-casinos resemble theme parks, each trying to out-gimmick its neighbor. Advertisement Less gaudy than its sibling, Reno, 340 miles to the northwest, still boasts a glimmering casino skyline. Here one can flip cards, roll dice, stack chips and drop coins with abandon, and there is plenty of bargain food, headliner entertainment and bare-bosom showgirls.

But Reno offers so much more than glitz and gambling.

The town sits at the edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 4,500 feet above sea level, making it cooler in the summer and closer to snow in winter. With a metropolitan population of 339,000, Reno and neighboring Sparks remain small, compact and manageable.

While the Las Vegas boom was sired by shady characters, Reno began with shady lanes. The community dates back to 1859 when Charles Fuller erected a log bridge across the Truckee River, connecting the California Trail with the Comstock Lode. The town site, named for a Civil War general, was officially incorporated in 1903. Its proximity to transcontinental rail lines soon made it the Great Basin's commercial hub and banking center. The state's first hotel-casino, the Mapes, opened here in 1947.



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