Reno, Nevada is best known for its gambling-centered tourism, but this "Biggest Little City in the World" is much more than just casinos. With a population of over 211,000, Reno is the biggest city in northern Nevada and the fourth biggest in the entire state. The city is the county seat of Washoe County and lies on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With Lake Tahoe a short distance away and the largest concentration of ski resorts in the world within 50 miles of the city, the city has a great deal to offer anyone moving to Reno.
It is no surprise that casinos and tourism make up a major sector of economics within Reno. Until the 1950s, Reno was the gaming capital of the United States, before Las Vegas took over that title. Reno still depends a great deal on tourism, with hotels and casinos bringing in five million visitors and $4 billion annually. There are, however, other industries in Reno as well. These include computer manufacturing and logistics, electronics, financial services and communications. Warehousing and distribution are also important industries, with Reno having the highest concentration of distribution-related property in the country. Several companies have headquarters in Reno, including Braeburn Capital, Hamilton, Port of Subs, PC-Doctor and International Game Technology.
Settlers first arrived in the Truckee Meadows, the area around present-day Reno, in the 1850s. These earliest arrivals engaged in subsistence farming and helped supply travelers going west along the California Trail. With the discovery of the Comstock Silver Lode in 1859, traffic through the area increased, and Charles W. Fuller built a toll bridge across the Truckee River. Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake in 1861, and Lake began to build small-scale industries around the area, calling it Lake's Crossing. By 1864, the settlement had become the largest town in Washoe County. The railroad arrived in 1868, and the construction superintendent renamed the town Reno, after a Civil War officer. Reno grew into the 20th century as an agricultural and business center due to its position as the main town between Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Gambling and divorce quickly became the industries of choice in Reno in the 1930s, when "going to Reno" became synonymous with divorce.
While gambling is obviously the main tourism draw of Reno, there is much more available. Outdoor activities and events include the Reno River Festival in May, the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure in June, the Reno Rodeo in June, the Reno-Tahoe Open in July and the Great Reno Balloon Race in September. Downtown Reno also offers many cultural and historical options. The West Street Market is open daily, while the Hot August Nights Festival celebrates 1950s nostalgia over eight days. Reno museums include the National Automobile Museum and the Nevada Museum of Art, the only accredited art museum in the state. Music lovers can enjoy the Nevada Opera and the Reno Philharmonic. Within Reno, you can get around on the RTC Ride System operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County. Flights into Reno arrive and depart at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, and Amtrak offers daily service through Reno on the California Zephyr route.