Art Jimenez

MailPound: What makes Reno Tahoe so awesome?

Art: What makes our destination so awesome is that we’re a four season destination, with over 300 days of sunshine per year. We have over 200 special events throughout the year.
We’re located in northern Nevada. We’re about 45 minutes away from Lake Tahoe, which is North America’s largest Alpine lake, and 25 minutes away from Virginia City; it’s the home of the Comstock Lode. Back in 1850, gold and silver was discovered right here, in our own backyard in Virginia City. It still functions today as a great historical and cultural city.

Another great feature about Reno Tahoe, we’re just two hours from Sacramento and three and a half hours from the San Francisco Bay Area by car. We have an international airport that is small and quaint; very easy to get around. Reno-Tahoe International Airport services 23 nonstop flights domestically and one international from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Because Reno is in Nevada, our hotel properties usually include gaming as an amenity. Many of the properties are four star and are located near the Truckee River. The Truckee River feeds from Lake Tahoe.

Although we represent an area of Nevada that includes Lake Tahoe and the city of Sparks, one of the most famous descriptor about this destination is Reno’s moniker, “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Someone was asking me, “what does that mean?” I think our connotation is, we’ve got great small town hospitality and service and great people who live here, but we also have entertainment and other amenities that rival larger destinations.

MailPound: What’s the weather like most of the time?

Art: As I said, we’ve got the four seasons. Sometimes, we get the four seasons in one day. (laughing)

Summer is beautiful. I think that the average temperature is in the low 80’s (27 °C). Our elevation is 4,500 feet above sea level. At night, it gets very cool. It reaches the mid to high 60’s (18 - 20 °C) during the summer at night. There’s very little humidity.

Spring is beautiful! Then we’ve got fall; the changing colors of the leaves is beautiful. We’ve got snow in winter, typically December through March.

We have about 15 different ski resorts located around Lake Tahoe. It’s the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America. Lake Tahoe straddles Nevada and California. Along with the ski resorts, there are properties: hotels, motels, Air BnB type of properties around the lake.

As far as activities around the lake, of course, winter as I mentioned has skiing and snowboarding. Just as fun for the whole family are: snowmobiles, sleigh rides, snowshoe walks and sledding.

In summer, you can take a paddle boat or go kayaking in a pristine lake. The water in Lake Tahoe is about 98% pure. It’s fed by about 63 streams; those streams are all fed by rain and snow. Activities on land include Shakespearian plays by the lake, music festivals, concerts, all within 35 to 50 minutes from Reno.

MailPound: What should tourists know before they travel here?

Art: I think I can answer than question in a different way. We conducted a sales mission in southern California last fall. I was surprised by how many travel agents were unaware of this beautiful jewel that is Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area. So, what they should know is how much we have to offer.

There are over 40 golf courses in our region. Many of those golf courses are Alpine courses. Imagine golfing with big trees surrounding you as you golf and glimpses of the lake peaking through those trees.

We’ve got a great dining scene. My wife and I have been here for a little over a year, and we’ve yet to have dinner in a chain restaurant. What’s nice about Reno is, in addition to all the great food outlets in all of our hotel properties, all the mom-and-pop breakfast locations are in these old brick buildings; they’re 70 to 100 years old.

You can also be in one of our 15 (and counting) brew pubs or distilleries located throughout the city. They’re mainly concentrated in Midtown; it’s just next door to Downtown. Many are creating brews and spirits. Overall Reno has a very good food scene.

We’ve also got the arts and culture. We’ve launched a rebranding campaign to show another side of Reno; we’re showing off our “gritty” side. Reno has wall art – it’s not graffiti, there’s a big difference. The only nationally accredited art museum in the state of Nevada lives in Reno. Reno is also home to a wonderful children’s museum and the National Automobile Museum, which is ranked in the top five automobile museums in the country. You can spend two, three hours just meandering through the museum and it’s located right on the Truckee River.

Reno is also home to the National Bowling Stadium, the largest bowling stadium in America, utilized by the United States Bowling Congress. Whether it’s through sweepstakes or contests, the bowlers are here for about two months.

The Reno-Sparks Convention Center contains around 600,000 square feet of space. The Reno Events Center is home to many concerts throughout the year and holds about 4,000 seats. We also operate the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, which is home to the rodeo that runs through June every year.

We’ve got a lot of diversity. We’ve got great casino-style entertainment, a lot of outdoor activities, over 600 miles (965 kilometers) of hiking and biking trails, and much more.

MailPound: What are some bucket-list items?

Art: If you want to venture ino the outdoors, we’re built for that. There’s tubing, kayaking and rafting down the Truckee River. In fact the kayak park, located right downtown on the Truckee River, hosts a professional competition every spring.

Reno Tahoe is surrounded by Forest, State Park and BLM lands leading to a pluthera of hiking trails; some are extreme, some are very easy. You can easily stumble across a waterfall. The MS Dixie boat cruise takes you across Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay. Emerald Bay is beautiful, it’s one of the prettiest spots in the world. The water goes from blue to emerald green! It’s the nature of the depth.

Kayaking definitely gives you a great perspective to see how clear the water is. You can take a white plate, put it on a rope, and you can see it, 70 to 90 feet (21 – 27 meters) down. That’s how clean and clear the lake is.

MailPound: That’s really cool!

Art: It’s simple, outdoor pleasure. It’s not too hard. But…if you want to get your adrenaline pumping, you can also find extreme activities! We’ve got mountain biking. I’ve been out hiking and saw mountain bikers charging up 30 degree slopes, with these jumbo wide tires. It requires a lot of strength to do it; they’re in exceptionally good shape.

We have kayak races, paddle board races, throughout Lake Tahoe. They’re paddling around the lake across the lake. The lake is 22 miles long by 12 miles wide (35 kilometers by 19 kilometers wide). That’s an endurance test. Other competitions include running marathons, mountain and cycling bike competitions, around the lake, and through Reno.

MailPound: What are some hidden gems that Reno has?

Art: I gotta say Virginia City again, because it’s just 25 minutes away. I’m still new to Reno, I’ve been living here about a year. I’m still uncovering these hidden gems. Las Vegas is known for its “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign; we’ve got our Reno Arch. It has the moniker, “The Biggest Little City in the World,” and our arch has been standing for nearly 100 years. It’s located right near the Truckee River.

What people may not know about is the National Championship Air Races that take place at the Reno-Stead Airport. It’s just like a race on wheels, except it’s in the air. There’s all types of aircraft; there’s World War II fighter style planes and more, all flying around a race track. Another annual event is the hot air balloon races, one week prior in September.

Mount Rose Ski Resort is located 25 minutes from Reno. You can ski at 9,700 feet (3 kilometers).

The Truckee River Walk is another favorite spot because of the variety of restaurants and watering holes.

MailPound: What’s the nightlife like?

Art: With our hotels, it’s all Vegas style entertainment. From nightclubs to live music including all genres of rock, country western, alternative, the list goes on! We do have a few properties offering traditional showroom entertainment including The Row, Harrah’s Reno, Grand Sierra Resort and the Nugget.

Eldorado Resorts owns several properties throughout the country and represent 3 in Reno: the Silver Legacy, Eldorado, and Circus Circus better known as The Row. The Row has a multitude of dining, shopping, and entertainment for visitors.

MailPound: What are some noteworthy experiences with food and drink?

Art: Here’s a quick story. Reno took a beating during the Recession. Many of the chain restaurants left the city. What arose from the ashes were mom-and-pop locations that have been very successful in Midtown. We don’t have extreme heat, and little to no humidity, so patio dining is suited for our weather and the restaurants take advantage.

We have a great sushi scene. All of our sushi restaurants are all-you-can-eat. The sushi is pretty darn good.

Brasserie Saint James, situated over a well 4,000 feet (122 meters) deep, won Small Brewery of the Year, a few years ago. For beers, there’s Brewer’s Cabinet, Under the Rose Brewing Company; there’s just so many different breweries. Many of them are in Midtown.

One thing that’s really popular are pub crawls. The largest is the Santa pub crawl, thousands of people dress up in holiday attire and Santa outfits. We’ve got a zombie crawl, everyone dresses up like zombies. In June, Biggest Little City Craftbeer Festival and in February, there’s Freeze Your Pints Off. Reno hosts almost 1 pub crawl a month.

MailPound: What is your favorite part of Reno Tahoe?

Art: I love the food scene. There’s all these little places to try. We have a lot of farmers markets. Agriculture is close by - 30 to 40 minutes away in Minden and Gardernerville and going into Northern California, Sacramento and the growing valley of California are within 2 hours. With so many of these farmers markets, the food is farm-to-table.

I love going for hikes on the weekend. Every week, we’re looking for a different place to go. A great little hike is Spooner Lake. It’s on the way to Lake Tahoe on the south side. It’s a two and a half mile walk around the lake.

Hot August Nights is one of our moniker specials and has been occurring here for decades. That’s when all the old style vehicles come into town in August. It’s a great display of classic cars.