Reno's downtown casinos and nightlife are only part
of its charm.
Reno calls itself
"The Biggest Little City in the
World." That's meant to say it's
a small town with
big-city amenities. But the reality is that its casinos,
shops, restaurants and nightlife play second fiddle
to the main attraction
surrounding the city: the great
recreation is huge here because we have
so much sunshine. People love being
real estate agent Carrie Sieben of LL Realty. "Reno
the gateway to all of the many activities of northern
Nevada and bordering
California, yet it is very
of Reno's biggest appeals is nearby Lake Tahoe.
But luxury houses in Reno
sell for the same as or
less than small condos near the water's edge.
houses in golf communities start
under $200,000. "Around Reno, you can
buy a nice
condo in the mid-$100,000s," Sieben says.
second-home buyers find that giving up
immediate access to pricey Lake Tahoe
for an hour-
long drive there is worth Reno's reasonable prices,
amenities and access to skiing, golf and
other outdoor sports. Access is excellent
And Reno isn't without water
charms of its own. It
has a Class III whitewater park on the Truckee River
in the heart of downtown. Outside Magazine just
named it the nation's
best town for whitewater
There are 11
alpine skiing areas around Reno and
North Lake Tahoe, including Squaw Valley
which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. There are
more resorts at
the lake's south end. Despite being a
ski mecca, winters around Reno are mild.
Temperatures can average in the 50s in mid-
also is a golfer's paradise. It's home to the PGA
Tour's annual Reno-Tahoe
Open. The Reno Tahoe
visitors bureau claims 50 courses within a 90-
drive. Many are bargain-priced, and some
are open year-round.
sports also are a big draw. Pyramid Lake,
nearly as big as Tahoe, lies about
47 miles to the north. Other outdoor attractions include hiking,
and road and mountain biking.
But not all Reno activities
are outdoors. Bowling is
hugely popular. Reno just signed a multiyear deal
to host the United States Bowling Congress championships, expected to attract
up to 155,000 bowlers annually starting next year. Sparks, Reno's twin city, is
home of the nation's largest sporting-goods store, Scheels.
and Sparks form a contiguous metropolitan
area. But Reno's downtown is full
of casino hotels,
while Sparks is more residential and has several
golf communities. Second-home options
surround the cities.
seeing the second-home market come back,
with inventory high and prices low,"
"A lot of the buyers look at this
as a place to
eventually retire, and we have communities that
second-home owners with golf, tennis,
pools and country club amenities."