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RENO TAHOE USA REACHES “TIPPING POINT” WITH OVER 50 “TOP 10” AWARDS

Northern Nevada is Celebrated for Livability, Value, Year-Round Recreation and More

Travelers looking for a fun, safe, affordable, sunny, beautiful, hip and varied vacation destination should check out Northern Nevada’s Reno Tahoe area, according to more than 50 varied publications and websites, from A (AOL Real Estate) to Z (Zagat.com). The four season, high desert resort destination that encompasses Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe has been recognized for excellence on more than 50 occasions – in a wide variety of national publications and online rankings – over the course of the past 24 months, and the “Top 10” accolades just keep on coming.

RTUSA_AllSeasonTAG“It’s pretty incredible to be ranked #9 on the list of ‘100 Best Places to Live’ (Livability.com), #5 on ‘Top Spots for Winter Vacations’ (The Weather Channel) and as one of the ‘20 Most Crime-Free Cities in America’ (AOL Real Estate), while offering the #1 Lake in America, Lake Tahoe (USA Today Reader’s Poll) and the #1 Ski Resort, Squaw Valley (Men’s Journal), as well as the #1 ranking for ‘Underestimated Cities for Food’ (The Daily Meal),” according to Christopher Baum, President and CEO of Reno Tahoe USA. “It’s especially surprising when you consider that this is a resort area that most Americans haven’t visited… yet,” said Baum, “But we’re confident that THAT is about to change.”

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the gateway to nearby Lake Tahoe’s world class skiing for the vast majority of visitors. And with an early storm recently dumping two-to-three feet of fresh powder in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, listed as one of “11 of the World’s Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges” by UnofficialNetworks.com, it will be difficult to find a better winter sports getaway this season, according to authorities such as:

  • Buzzfeed Travel, which ranked Lake Tahoe #1 among “34 Places that are Even Better During Winter.”
  • National Geographic Magazine, which recently highlighted Reno as one of its “Top 10 Emerging Ski Towns.”
  • Men’s Journal, which recognized top-ranked Squaw Valley, as well as nearby Northstar and Kirkwood, as having some of the “Best Ski Schools in the U.S.”
  • FoxNews.com, which ranked Squaw Valley USA one of the Top 10 “Best Ski Resorts in North America.”
  • MSN.com, which cited Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe (just a 25 minute drive from downtown Reno) as one of the “10 Hippest Ski Areas You Rarely Hear About.”
  • Forbes, which also picked Squaw Valley as one of their “Top 10 U.S. Ski Resorts.”

Besides its top overall rating from the readers of USA Today, Lake Tahoe also picked up several additional noteworthy warm weather awards:

  • Yahoo! Travel included North America’s highest alpine lake in its international list of “10 Lakeside Vacations that Have it All.”
  • FamilyVacationCritic.com voted Sand Harbor at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families.”
  • Yahoo! Shine named Lake Tahoe as a Top 10 lake vacation “Best for Celebrating a Western Icon.”

In addition to its #1 rating from The Daily Meal, and Campo’s selection by Esquire Magazine as one of “The Best New Restaurants in America,” the region’s diverse and rapidly expanding food scene also was recognized as follows:

  • The local GourMelt Grilled Cheese Truck earned double honors this year as one of the “10 Best Grilled Cheese Trucks” by CultureCheeseMag.com and also as one of the “101 Best Food Trucks in America” by The Daily Meal.
  • Chapel Tavern in Reno’s hip MidTown District was recently named one of the “10 Best Places to Drink Rum” in the country by Zagat.com.
  • A mainstay in downtown Reno for more than 50 years, the Awful Awful was listed as one of the “51 Great Burger Joints Across the U.S.” by USA Today.

Additional recognition for Northern Nevada also came for several of the area’s top Special Events:

  • USA Today called the National Championship Air Races one of the “10 Best Air Shows Around the World.”
  • Salon.com ranked the annual “Best in the West Nugget Rib Cookoff” in Sparks one of its 2013 “10 Summer Festivals Worth the Pit Stop.”
  • MSN.com recognized Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, which will host more than 100,000 bowlers when the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and Women’s Championships return to the destination in 2014, as one of the “Coolest Bowling Spots in North America.”
  • Hot Rod magazine recently cited the iconic Virginia City International Camel Races as one of their “41 Ways to Go Fast” in 2014.

Locals know why so many visitors are visiting, returning, and sharing their great experiences in Reno Tahoe, and it all starts with the quality of life enjoyed in Northern Nevada:

  • Downtown SkylineMSN Money ranked Reno one of “America’s Cheapest (Livable) Cities.”
  • Realtor.com ranked the Reno area #3 on its list of “Top 10 Turnaround Towns.”
  • U-Haul listed Reno as #4 on its list of “Top U.S. Growth Cities.”
  • Where to Retire Magazine listed Reno as one of its “100 Best Places to Retire.”
  • Sunset Magazine recognized the Reno Riverwalk District as one of its “32 Great Spring Trips.”
  • The American Planning Association celebrated C Street in nearby Virginia City, an authentic 1860s gold and silver mining town, as one of the “Great Streets of America.”
  • OnlineColleges.com ranked the University of Nevada, Reno one of the “10 U.S. Colleges with Great Greek Life.”
  • Mother Nature Network celebrated the world’s tallest artificial rock climbing wall at BaseCamp, in the heart of downtown Reno, as one of “8 of the World’s Best Climbing Walls.”
  • And after a fun-filled day of skiing, swimming and eating, it’s reassuring to know that – for the sixth year in a row – Reno has been recognized by Casino Player Magazine for being home to the “Loosest Slots in America.”

According to Baum, “Based upon all of our diverse accolades, from such a wide array of third-party organizations over the last two years, Reno Tahoe USA is obviously a vacation destination where visitors can’t lose!”

For a complete list of recent Reno Tahoe USA awards, please visit http://www.visitrenotahoe.com/media/top-listings.

Christmas on the Comstock

This Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, Virginia City, Nev. kicks off its annual holiday tradition, Christmas on the Comstock. Located just 25 miles from Reno, the town boasts the Parade of Lights, a country Christmas concert and Breakfast with Father Christmas. The festivities continue throughout the month with unique gifts and boutique holiday shopping at local merchants.

Breakfast with Father Christmas – Dec. 7, 9 – 11 a.m.

Join Father Christmas for breakfast, photos and a chance to share Christmas wishes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: Adults $10, Kids $8.

The Candy Cane Express Trains –Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. Two departures daily: noon and 2 p.m.

Create holiday memories aboard the Candy Cane Express Holiday Train on the famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Delight with visits from the Candy Cane Sisters while sipping hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and enjoying delicious cookies and candy canes. Price: $14 adults, $7 children, ages 2 and under free. Purchase tickets online.

Christmas Movies at Piper’s Opera House Dec. 7, 12 – 4 p.m.

Bring the kids to watch classic Christmas movies at the historic Piper’s Opera House before the Parade of Lights. Price: FREE.

Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights – Dec. 7, 5 p.m.

Bundle up and gather along C Street for Virginia City’s only evening parade and watch as the town lights up with Christmas cheer. Price: FREE.

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Christmas in the Sierra – Concert with David John & The Comstock Cowboys, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Bring your cowboy boots and Santa hat to this boot-stomping good time with David John and the Comstock Cowboys for a country Christmas concert at Piper’s Opera House. Buy your tickets in advance online. Price:  $25.

Photos with Father Christmas – Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Stop by the Virginia City Visitors Center at 86 South C Street to meet Father Christmas and create a holiday memory. Call 775-847-7500 for more information.

Virginia City Merchant Christmas Gift Giveaway, Dec. 7 – Dec. 30, merchant business hours vary.

Pick up a lucky number card at Forever Christmas, The Mark Twain Museum or the Visitor Center for a chance to win one of 2,000 free gifts at over 20 participating merchants. Price: FREE.

Gingerbread Social and Charity Auction – Dec. 8, 5 p.m.
Enter your gingerbread creation for a chance to win fabulous prizes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: FREE.

To purchase tickets and for more information on Christmas on the Comstock events taking place in Virginia City, Nev., visit online or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission at 775-847-7500.

Holiday Travel from San Francisco/Sacramento to Reno for $1

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells….oh wait…it’s too early for holiday jingles. However, it’s not too early to book holiday travel on megabus.com. Book now for travel between San Francisco, Sacramento and Reno for as low as $1, now through Jan. 7, 2014. Yep, $1.

Megabus.com, the affordable alternative to flying and driving with tickets from $1, announced ticket sales today, valid through January 7, 2014. Megabus.com, which popularized yield-management pricing in the express bus industry, advises soon-to-be travelers to book now to secure the $1 fares and other affordable fares as they will not be easier and more abundant to find than today.

With very affordable fares on state-of-the-art double-decker buses (with free Wi-Fi!), megabus.com would be an ideal way to travel this holiday season.

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Megabus.com is the leader in the fastest-growing form of transportation by a comfortable margin (megabus.com now serves nine million passengers per year and more than 30 million passengers since 2006). With a 7.5 percent rate of growth between 2011 and 2012, city-to-city express bus travel now comfortably outpaces all other forms of transportation, yet this modern travel option remains a secret to some. Not only that, but a recent study shows that motorcoaches are the most environmentally friendly form of transportation, providing 207 passenger miles per gallon of fuel compared to 27 MPG for single passenger automobiles, making them the greatest value on the road.

Electronic Vehicle Car Charging Finder

Electronic vehicles are becoming a common sight on the roads of Reno Tahoe USA as more and more travelers adopt cleaner means of transportation. And to keep environmentally conscious visitors going, a variety of local businesses have installed charging stations for public use.

Harrah’s Reno, along with Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe recently unveiled eight state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging stations at each property, all allowing free access to the public. Also joining the movement to broaden the use renewable energy is the Grand Sierra Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno, both offering access to multiple stations.

Whether you’re heading downtown for one of the many outstanding special events or making your way up to the mountains for a powder day, keeping your vehicle juiced up for all your adventures is a breeze with 22 charging stations located throughout the region.  And finding a charging station is even easier with resources like plughshare.com, which not only shows you where charging stations are, but also allows you to map out a trip with stations along the way.

Here are a few places where you can stop by to plug in:

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Circus Circus Reno

Einstein Bros. Bagels

L-EVlink-Installation-at-Harrah-sHarrah’s Reno

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

Grand Sierra Resort Casino

Harvey’s Lake Tahoe

Hyatt Incline Village

NV Energy

NV Energy – Carson City

Squaw Valley

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Truckee Donner Historical Society

Washoe County Government Office

For more information electronic vehicle accommodation, visit nevadaeva.org and chargepoint.com.

Spectator’s Guide to Ironman North Lake Tahoe

It’s race week of the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe! Cheer on the insanely fit Ironman athletes as they compete in a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run race. The event takes place September 22, with 2,500 athletes competing for a slot in the Ironman World Championships and a piece of the $75,000 purse. These athletes are excited to compete in stunning Lake Tahoe… after all, the event registrations sold out in less than 24 hours!

First-Impression_Ironman_2012Here are some of the best places to watch the event according to Ironmon event producers:

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE SWIM:

Kings Beach State Park, athletes will enter the swim from Kings Beach State Park, and Transition is in the parking lot adjacent to the beach. The best place to park will be at Kings Beach Elementary School, a few short blocks from the beach off Steelhead Ave.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE BIKE:

Spectators have a number of great places to watch athletes on the bike course. Spectators can watch athletes at two “hot corners” where athletes will pass multiple times. One is at the entrance to Squaw Valley under the Olympic flame where you can see your athlete pass three times. The second will be in Kings Beach at the Corner of 267 and 28 where athletes will be starting their day on the bike, and then passing 3 additional times. The Town of Truckee will also be having a street celebration closing down Donner Pass road thru old town Truckee with the athletes racing down the middle of the street. There will be live music, activities for kids and adults, and food at restaurants adjacent to the course.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE RUN:

The run course has a number of lively spots to catch your athlete multiple times. The

Squaw Valley Village will be an ideal location, close to the finish line, with food, music, the Ironman Village expo, and athletes making multiple passes in the area before finishing. Easy parking also makes this an ideal location to spend the day. The “hot corner” under the Olympic flame will also be a location where athletes can be cheered on three times on the bike, and 4 times on the run.

Be sure to hop over to Reno before or after the race – it’s close enough that the Ironman runners could probably run there!

“America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” via Where to Retire Magazine

Nevada cities in America’s 100 Best Places to Retire: Reno and Carson City!

skylineFrom the retirement relocation experts at Where to Retire magazine comes the definitive guide to the country’s top cities for retirement. The road to retirement may take many turns before you find the right place to call home, but with this fifth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” you have an indispensible guide to diverse choices across the country, from small, undiscovered havens to large urban centers.

The book includes locales that have all been featured destinations in Where to Retire magazine. Each city profile, written by an experienced author who is familiar with the area, combines local knowledge, extensive research and in-depth interviews with retirees who have already made the move. A quick facts data box within each profile sums up information on taxes, climate, walkability, housing and health care.

The 100 cities are all distinct, said Fuller, yet they have many qualities in common that active baby boomers and retirees enjoy: vibrant downtowns, ongoing education classes, volunteer or part-time work opportunities, walkable neighborhoods, excellent health care, non-extreme weather and advantageous tax situations.

The book is organized alphabetically by city name, but you can also find locales listed by state, displayed on a U.S. map and categorized into 10, Top 10 lists – best art towns, best beach towns, best college towns, best four-season towns, best lake towns, best low-cost edens, best main street towns, best mountain towns, best small towns and best undiscovered havens.

“America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” is available at Amazon.com or WhereToRetire.com.

Allegiant Announces New Nonstop Flight between San Francisco Bay Area and Reno

AllegiantN902NV announces new, nonstop jet service between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) beginning August 30, 2013. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will introduce the new service with fares as low as $39.99* one way.

“We are pleased to bring another affordable and convenient travel option to the residents of the Bay Area,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “We are confident the community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to Reno-Tahoe and the value of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.”

The new flights will operate twice weekly between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). Flight days and times can be found at allegiant.com.

“We are extremely pleased that Allegiant has increased their service at Oakland International Airport to include nonstop service to Reno-Tahoe,” said Kristi McKenney, Acting Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland which owns and operates OAK. “With Allegiant’s new service and low fares, Bay Area residents now have a convenient option to enjoy all of the entertainment options and diverse outdoor activities the Reno-Tahoe area has to offer every season of the year. Anyone who has experienced heavy traffic driving between Reno and the Bay Area will truly appreciate having the option to fly Allegiant instead.”

“It is outstanding news for our community that Allegiant is adding nonstop service to Reno from the San Francisco Bay Area and increasing the number of cities it serves through Reno-Tahoe International Airport,” Marily Mora, AAE, President/CEO of Reno-Tahoe International Airport, said. “This new flight is an example of how a community can come together to support air service for the good of our region.”

Reservations can be made on the company’s website at allegiant.com or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888.

With over 300 days of sun a year and just a short drive away from Lake Tahoe and some of the best of the country’s ski resorts, Reno has something for everyone. In addition to the thrill of the casinos, the Biggest Little City in the World has a rich arts scene and year-round outdoor activities perfect for personal, romantic, or family getaways. Allegiant partners with many of the area’s most exciting hotel properties and provides low-cost car rental service through its partnership with Alamo Rent a Car.

About the $39.99* one-way fares:
Seats are limited. Fares are one way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by July 23, 2013 for travel by February 11, 2014. For baggage fees, please visit allegiant.com. Additional restrictions may apply.

Reno Tahoe USA Events Information Center Unveiled at Reno Airport

Now open at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the Reno Tahoe USA Events Information Center allows visitors to get a glimpse of the wide array of special events and activities to be experienced throughout the destination. Upon arrival, visitors will have a chance to participate in the interactive display and learn more about what Reno Tahoe USA has to offer. The display is located along the east wall, just south of the baggage claim area.

Be sure to stop by the next time you are in the airport!

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Ultimate inspirational destination: North Lake Tahoe

Written by guest blogger: Aimee Claire

Situated on the beautiful California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is spoken of with bated breath by vacationers, and is a stunning testimonial to the United States’ classic Big Country. It’s a diverse location, with four main shores each with a different character; all with azure waters, lovely beaches and snow-capped mountains in the background.

Hoff_H LakeTahoe 02_3456x5184

Where is North Lake Tahoe?

The North Lake Tahoe coast on the Nevada side is a relatively quiet, upmarket affair.  It is part of the Nevada State Park, and it is very well looked after. The area can be identified via the southwards meandering of Highway 28 until it reaches Spooner Lake and US Route 50. Highway 28 takes the traveler through heavily wooded pine forests with blue skies overhead, and with plenty of wildlife to be seen.

Obviously, this type of backdrop lends itself to outdoors pursuits of all kinds, and the choice of holiday amusement is dependent on the places where travelers stay. The choices are many, even in the relatively unsullied North Lake Tahoe area, and there is something for every desire, guaranteed.

The best places to be

Three of the best places to visit for first time travelers to the area are Incline Village, Crystal Bay, and Sand Harbor; all three are great activity bases and there are differing types of accommodations available.

Incline Village

For a relaxing game of golf in the summer months, hiking, mountain biking, or horse riding, Incline Village (named for the Great Incline Tramway, built by loggers back in 1878) is the place to stay. During the winter, and early spring, diehard skiers and snowboarders can plunge through the annual average 10 feet of snow to their hearts’ content, although the less sporting visitor can still enjoy it with the yearly North Lake Tahoe SnowFest, involving parades, competitions, parties and theater.

The Hyatt High Sierra Lodge condos can be rented on a nightly basis, or savvy regulars can buy timeshares in that location, making it a good value, comfort-driven stay. For travelers who prefer hotel set ups, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino provides 4.5* accommodation with all the trappings, but if a cheap hotel with bed and breakfast is required, the Parkside Inn offers lovely big rooms and a continental breakfast; it is recommended to book with them direct, rather than through an affiliate travel site.

Crystal Bay

For those that prefer to play in the casinos of Nevada, Crystal Bay offers four of these buzzing establishments, which include hotels and restaurants, allowing game play, water sports, live entertainment and excellent food for the duration of any stay. The Cal-Neva Casino Resort has a swimming pool that crosses the state line, and the staff service there is impeccable.

Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor is the real North Lake Tahoe home of water sports, with Jet Ski rentals that allow visitors to explore the entire coastline of the area if they wish. There’s also scuba diving and kayaking for a couple of quieter ways to investigate the beautiful clear crystal waters. The beach at Sand Harbor is renowned for the cleanest standards and even in the summer months is unlikely to be overcrowded.

Sand Harbor itself has no accommodations, so the nearest places to stay are based at Incline Village, and slightly further away at Crystal Bay.