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What to expect at Burning Man

A note to first-time burners: First moments on the playa.

In less than a week, burners will return “home” after a year away from their temporary address in temporary Black Rock City, population: 60,000+. Playa neighbors will embrace as if they’ve known one other for a lifetime, hugging notably tighter if meeting for the first time. As a newbie, the friendliness and sincerity of the Burning Man community will push all your expectations off balance. Succumb to falling flat on your butt, un-grounding the dry desert dust that’s now clouding your body and mind. As the puff of dust slowly unveils the world around you, surrender to its clearness, its normalities… if there is such a thing. Regain balance, release the shame that has built up from being so taken back by no-strings-attached kindness, drop any persona you uphold in your everyday workweek, and let your Burning Man virginity shatter at your feet.

A hug from a burner will be undoubtedly the warmest embrace you’ll ever experience; it’s endearing, welcoming… real. Without hesitation, burners lend a hand to help set up their new friends’ camps, not expecting or wanting anything in return, just sharing a heart-warming smile. Burners are more than friends. They get to see the real you. Whether “you” is skipping through the dust singing aloud and proud that song stuck in your head, passing out thousands of hand-crafted necklaces tired fingers have been stringing for months, or admiring world-class art, bare-bum naked… nothing is ordinary or unordinary on the playa, it is truth.DSC_0042

The Tahoe Taxi: North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle

Dock hopping on the new North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle will get you on the lake and to your favorite restaurants, shopping, bike trails, museums, parks, farmers markets and other recreational activities in minutes. The vessel carries 12 passengers, the crew and up to eight bikes.

Andrus_C RSCVA dock LRTry a vacation from your car – take public transit or ride your bike to one of the four beautiful docks. There will be TART and Night Rider services available for you to combine with the water shuttle experience to avoid parking and traffic hassles. Make it an experience while in North Lake Tahoe.

The pilot program includes a “paperless” reservation program, so please book ahead at www.NorthLakeTahoeWaterShuttle.com today. Service will begin August 3 through the end of September. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8:19 p.m. through August 26 and then the schedule will run through from 8 a.m. to 6:46 p.m. to coincide with daylight changes.

The Shuttle provides service to: West Shore Café, Tahoe City Marina, GarWoods Grill & Pier and the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area.  Rates start at $10 for adults, $7 for children up to 12 years old

Ticketing kiosks are available at some of the participating docks; seats are limited, so book ahead.

This taxi on water is a custom built Centurion 30’ vessel, with state-of-the-art design; manufactured and operated by Fine Line Industries.

Experience Reno Tahoe USA Events at the Reno-Tahoe Open

WillysIf you’re planning to go to the Reno Tahoe Open, stop by Experience Reno Tahoe USA Events! There’s great prize giveaways, free special event decals, cool displays and discount tickets for an upcoming off-road race.  This exhibit tent is located between the driving range and the #1 tee box, just look for Washoe Willys!  Entry cards for the prize giveaways are available on the public parking shuttles or at Experience Reno Tahoe USA Events!  Deposit your completed entry in the raffle drum at the exhibit tent; winners will be selected on Monday, August 6.

Check out these prizes!

ExperienceRenoTahoePrizeFormThe Biggest Little City is known for its plethora of great special events that entertain locals and visitors alike year round.  Reno-Tahoe Open is a proudly showcasing several partner events as they bring a piece of their special event right to the golf course! Guests will enjoy a hot air balloon display , a classic car exhibit from Hot August Nights and the National Automobile Museum, a jet from the Reno Air Races and more, right on the grounds of Montrêux Golf & Country Club. Available for viewing August 02-05, 2012.

Lake Tahoe – America’s Best Lake

USA TODAY declared Lake Tahoe the Best Lake in America!

USA TODAY asked their readers to vote for their favorite lake, and Lake Tahoe took home the gold.

Lake TahoeTahoe was one of 15 finalists nominated by regional magazine editors. Sunset Magazine editor, Peter Fish, nominated Lake Tahoe. Fish described Tahoe as “too stunning not to be experienced” and “draws a gazillion – that’s what it feels like on a weekend, anyway— tourists who use it as a summer escape hatch.”

USA TODAY also asked readers to comment on what they would recommend to Lake Tahoe visitors. We have gathered a few of our favorite responses:

“Here’s a day in the life on the North Shore. You can watch the sunrise with my dogs and I hiking in the Tahoe meadows, then go for an early morning kayak or SUP ride on the Lake, breakfast at any number of great spots, then take the tram up to the top of Squaw for Lunch, come back to Incline and take a Sunset cruise on the Sierra Cloud, and finish up with a fabulous French dining experience at Le Bistro.” – Geno M.

“You’ll definitely want to take a cruise aboard the Sierra Cloud, docked at the Hyatt Regency Incline Village, or charter a sailboat from one of the teams launching from behind Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City. Getting out on the lake via one of these boats is so peaceful and beautiful you’ll never forget it.” – Kristen P.

“As a Tahoe local, come during the week when there are less tourists, hike our beautiful trails and make sure to get out on the lake, whether it is on a boat, SUP, or kayak…that is the best way to experience the beauty that is Tahoe.” – Jesse S. H.

“Take a super quick drive to the base of Mt Rose and visit the PGA TOUR at the Reno-Tahoe Open, Thurs-Sunday. Stop at T’s Rotisserie in Incline to grab a chicken burrito on the way!” – Betsy M.

Be sure to read the article for more recommendations.

Mark Twain once described Tahoe as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” We couldn’t agree more.

Customized Willys Jeep Wagon is the Region’s New “Automotive Mascot”

DSC_0201What do you get when a “gearhead” sales and marketing pro moves to the Truckee Meadows from the “Motor City” to head up the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority? A customized 1951 Willys Jeep four-wheel drive Station Wagon that will represent the region – and promote the wide variety of attractions, festivals, activities and events available in the Reno/Sparks/North Lake Tahoe area – to crowds at conventions, tradeshows and high profile events in Northern Nevada, California and further afield.

DSC_0140“Everybody loves checking out a classic car… especially one that is beautifully hand-lettered and pinstriped, upholstered in Pendleton Indian blanket material and topped off with a hand-made, aluminum roof rack system packed with everything from skis and snowshoes to a kayak, golf clubs, fishing rods and a slalom water ski,” according to Christopher Baum, President and CEO of the RSCVA and creator of the vehicle. “It’s the perfect conversation starter to attract attention and help educate prospective visitors on the incredible diversity of things to do throughout Northern Nevada!”

Baum had great success designing and building a custom 1932 Ford hot rod powered by a new Chrysler hemi during his previous role as Senior Vice President of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, and thought that a similar classic vehicle project – carefully chosen to represent the region’s active, high desert lifestyle – would be equally effective for Reno Tahoe USA.

“I found a partially restored 1951 four-wheel drive Willys station wagon on the Internet, that already had a modern Buick V-6 swapped in for more power, and liked the fact that – although you seldom see one on the street anymore – the classic Jeep front end makes it instantly identifiable to most people,” said Baum.

Baum had the wagon shipped to the RSCVA and then set out to find some of the best local hot rodders and artists to help make his vision a reality.

Said Baum, “With the world-famous National Automobile Museum here, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Reno area is full of automotive talent, and I was quickly able to assemble a team of wonderful partners.”

Local companies that came on-board to help build the RSCVA’s new promotional vehicle:

Lane Walker, Solo Signs – Since the “Washoe Willys” is actually a clever Marketing Program in disguise, the professional presentation of the RSCVA brand logo, URL and some appropriate slogans was a top priority.

“I wanted someone who was a master at old school pinstriping and hand lettering,” said Baum. “And,” he added, “I quickly found just that in Lane Walker of Solo Signs in Reno. He’s been in the business since 1977 and has had his own shop since 1990, so his artistic services are obviously in demand. And his talent with a brush is really unbelievable.”

Matt Villafuerte, Twisted Stitch Upholstery – The Willys has two bench seats for the driver and passengers and Baum knew just what he wanted to do to make the car stand out with the crowds.

“I love Pendleton Indian blankets and had upholstered the Detroit hot rod with them to great effect,” said Baum. “I found the perfect pattern for the Willys’ color scheme on Pendleton’s website, ordered a bolt of fabric and then handed it to Matt, a talented guy who definitely knows his way around a heavy duty sewing machine. The wagon’s seats needed to be totally rebuilt before the heavy wool fabric went on, but Matt was definitely up to the task and the end result is fantastic.”

Jeff Robinson and Pete Gebhardt, Reno Speedworks – Baum wanted to display sporting gear representative of the wide variety employed in our region, but he didn’t want to use a stock roof rack.

“I love Airstream trailers and got the idea of having a craftsman fabricate a roof rack system that looks like something that company might have sold back in the 1960s,” Baum continued, “Since vintage stuff always looks cooler on display. A friend introduced me to Pete Gebhardt, and once I learned that he had spent 25 years pounding metal for Jack Roush, Ray Evernham and other top NASCAR team owners, we hired him. As a bonus, finding Pete introduced me to the rest of the gang at Reno Speedworks downtown, and their co-owner, Jeff Robinson, was able to change the Willys’ gearing to something more street-able, fabricate a front license bracket and perform a myriad of other tasks to ready the car for its debut. Pete’s retro aluminum roof rack turned out fantastic and Jeff’s wrenching gives us the confidence to hit the open road… in a vehicle built when Eisenhower was still president!”

James Herr and Bob Scott, Summit Racing – Sparks is fortunate to have a distribution center and retail store for one of the world’s foremost purveyors of high performance and custom automotive parts and accessories, and Summit’s support for the RSCVA’s new promo vehicle was immediate.

“James and Bob at Summit have been terrific, helping us choose appropriate wheels and tires for the Willys, as well as tracking down a custom air cleaner and valve covers for the offbeat Buick engine,” according to Baum. “They’re proud to be located in our region and we are delighted to have them as a sponsor on this fun build.”

Special Events Coalition – Although its individual contributions to the Washoe Willys were small (literally!), the members of this organization played an important role in giving the vehicle its unique personality: decals/stickers for most of the region’s festivals and special events – from the Nugget Rib Cook Off to the Reno Air Races, Hot August Nights and Reno Rodeo – cover the rear windows and slab sides of the aluminum roof rack, creating a colorful, and impressive, record of all there is to do and see in Reno/Sparks/North Lake Tahoe.

“Add the Nevada Museum of Art, UNR, Scheels, Reno Aces, Cabela’s and several other cool permanent attractions, and it’s hard to imagine a visitor whose passions wouldn’t be stirred by SOMETHING here!”, according to Baum.

DSC_0218The RSCVA’s new promotional vehicle is tentatively scheduled to make appearances, subject to commitments outside the Reno/Sparks/North Lake Tahoe region, at the following events: Reno-Tahoe Open, Hot August Nights, Toyota Silver State Showdown, Best in the West Nugget Rib Cookoff, The Great Reno Balloon Race, National Championship Air Races, Street Vibrations Fall Rally, Eldorado Great Italian Festival and the Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade.

Washoe Willys Photo Gallery

Zimride Reimagines Tahoe Travel

As ski season heats up, Zimride partners with all major resorts and bus operators to a make a one-stop shop for fun, affordable and sustainable Tahoe travel.

zimride-logo-150Zimride, the largest online ride-sharing service in North America, announced it has established partnerships with all major Lake Tahoe ski resorts and two connecting bus services, making traveling to the Bay Area’s hottest winter tourist destination more simple and economical than ever before.

2564840233_5e40a50f47Tahoe travelers choosing to rideshare with Zimride will be entered to win free gas.  Additionally, for the first time Zimride has extended its rideshare offerings to include bus options as well.  Bay Area Ski Bus and Quality Assurance Travel have partnered with Zimride to sell tickets through the Zimride.com website, making the company a one-stop shop for Bay Area residents looking to find less expensive and more social rides to Tahoe.

“We’re not just providing an alternative to Tahoe travel, we’re reinventing it,” says John Zimmer, co-founder and COO of Zimride. “There’s huge demand for social, sustainable and affordable travel, and this week our users have posted over 1,000 seats available for purchase along our Tahoe route.  That’s the equivalent of four airline flights and we’re just getting started.  The unprecedented collaboration from the major resorts and bus operators demonstrates the need for Zimride as a new form of transportation.”

If just 10 percent of Tahoe travelers choose to travel with 2 additional people this season, Zimride estimates it would take 60,000 cars off the rode, save $12 million in vehicle operating costs and eliminate 18.6 million lbs of carbon dioxide from being emitted.

To be a driver or passenger along the Zimride Tahoe route simply go to: www.zimride.com

About Zimride:

Zimride, the largest online social rideshare community in North America, is building a marketplace for drivers to sell empty seats in their car by matching them with passengers traveling along the same route. In addition to public routes like San Francisco to Los Angeles, Zimride has implemented networks for over 120 of the nation’s leading universities and companies including Stanford, UCLA, University of Michigan, Facebook and Jet Blue.

Zimride makes sharing rides for drivers and passengers fun, easy and social. It’s a new spin on ridesharing, using social networks to enable real connections. In seconds you can set up a profile, see and book a ride in your area, or post a ride of your own. With Zimride profiles, you can view photos, music and radio preferences to ensure an enjoyable ride.

Zimride proves that “life is better when you share the ride”

Get started at: www.zimride.com

New Non-Stop Flights Between Reno Tahoe and San Jose

6691265169_96ef0d4cd8With more than 140 daily flights serving 17 non-stop destinations, it’s no wonder the Reno-Tahoe International Airport was recently named the second-most efficient airport in the U.S. and Canada. A quick flight into Reno Tahoe’s award winning airport grants you access to eighteen world-class ski resorts and more than 50 golf courses, all less than 90 minutes away from the airport, as well as 24-hour entertainment in the Biggest Little City.

If you’re traveling from the Bay Area, getting to Reno Tahoe is about to get even easier thanks to Alaska Airlines. Beginning June 4, Alaska will offer two daily non-stop flights between Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Meeting the needs of business and leisure travelers alike, flights will begin with a 6:00 a.m. departure from Reno with a 7:08 a.m. arrival in San Jose, followed by an 11:55 a.m. departure from San Jose, landing you in Reno at 1:00 p.m. The final flights of the day include a 2:15 p.m. departure from Reno, and a 10:20 p.m. departure from San Jose. These flights will also be timed with Alaska Airlines flights from Kona, Hawaii, making your journey from the islands more efficient than ever!

In addition to new the service between Reno Tahoe and San Jose, the Award-winning Reno-Tahoe International Airport has just begun a $40 million project to improve its baggage claim area and add restaurants and retail space. So, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure (or maybe a little of both), your next trip to Reno Tahoe just got even better!

7 Reasons Visitors are Rushing to Visit Reno Tahoe’s Outdoors BEFORE a Snowstorm Hits

We’ve all heard it… Pray For Snow, Pray for Snow, Pray For Snow. And we’ll be the first ones to admit some snow would be nice (hence our Snow Dance Competition where we’re giving away a 2-Night Ski Vacation to the best snow dance in order to increase the frequency of snow… Mother Nature, are you watching?), but we must share the numerous upsides for a delayed ski season that have been compelling visitors to come before snow coats our mountains for the remainder of winter. 

2350526924_309d26f1ce[1]Last weekend a visitor told us they skied, mountain biked and golfed in the same day – that’s pretty awesome. 

1.       Learn to ski. Let’s face it, if you’re a first-timer, you aren’t going to be dropping 10-foot lips that require a snow pillow for landing, and you aren’t skiing in waist deep powder through the trees. The freshly groomed runs paired with endless blue skies create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing day on the slopes.  Plus, January is National Learn to Ski Month so resorts are offering massive discounts to first-timers!

2.       Golf. Our courses pride themselves on being open all year long, so hit them up! We have 50 within 90 minutes of downtown Reno, most of which are inside 15 minutes.

3.       Hike. It’s a rare occasion that our trails are hikeable this time of year without strapping on snowshoes.  See what’s usually hiding underneath all that snow!

4.       Rock climb. Climbers know their grips are easier to hold when it’s cold out. So what are you waiting for?

6033352153_1136b13bee[1]5.       Mountain bike. The trail conditions are excellent right now, so grab a friend and escape into the towering pines in the Sierra Mountains. 

6.       Ice skate. Enjoy this chilly wintertime activity, without the chill.

7.       Perfect road conditions. No moisture, no snow, no ice, no sliding. It’s faster and easier than ever to get here!

The Real Tahoe Experience

By Guest Blogger,
Logan Baker

Lake Tahoe is one of the most picturesque places in America. In the summer, the sun rises over the calm lake and creates the perfect setting for a dip in the cool water or an exciting Jet Ski adventure. In the winter however, the lake and the Tahoe National Forest take on a serene and peaceful quality that you must see to believe. Whether you’re traveling by car or air charter, once you get to Reno, Tahoe or one of the surrounding areas, you need to stop by the lake. To really get the full Tahoe experience, you should consider taking a trip through the forest and around the lake on a horse-drawn sleigh or a sled led by a team of Huskies.

2358411405_70cd3cfa8a_zDottie Dennis has been carving trails though the Hope Valley, about half an hour south of the lake, for more than 30 years. She and her team of dogs are familiar with every twist and turn of the valley has remained largely untouched over the last 160 years. If you’ve ever wanted to vacation in the Alaskan wilderness but weren’t willing to travel so far, the Hope Valley is probably the most Alaskan landscape south of the Canadian border. Dennis’ Husky Express is $240 for a 375 lb. weight limit and box lunches can be provided for an extra $10 per person.

Borges Family Sleigh Rides offer excursions around the lake and through the forest on a variety of old-fashioned sleighs. The sleighs are entirely handmade by the Borges family and are pulled by two blonde Belgian draft horses. The trip takes travelers all over the beautiful snow-covered landscape and will conclude at the top of a scenic lookout over Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re bringing the whole family or just that special someone, a Borges Family sleigh trip might be the perfect thing to spice up your vacation. The trip costs $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 11.

If you’re vacationing in Reno or one of the surrounding areas, make it a point to head to Lake Tahoe. The lake takes on a spectral kind of beauty in the winter that is simply unparalleled.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport to Welcome First American Indian Exhibit

Entrance_Flower (3)Reno-Tahoe International Airport will be hosting the first American Indian exhibit in its history and invites the public to the opening reception on Monday, November 14, 2011 from 6:00-7:30pm.  Governor Brian Sandoval, Washoe Tribal Chairwoman Wanda Batchelor and Chairman Wayne Burke from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe are scheduled to speak, accompanied by performances of local American Indian artists.

The exhibit opens during November, National American Indian Heritage Month.  Governor Sandoval has also proclaimed November as American Indian Heritage Month in Nevada.

“We are very pleased that the Nevada Indian Commission could facilitate this project,” said Sherry Rupert, Executive Director of the Commission.  “The partnership we have with the Nevada Arts Council and the Indian Territory made this initial exhibit possible.”

4269271361_cb018036b7_oThe Nevada Indian Commission worked with the Arts Council’s Folklife Program and the Nevada Indian Territory to develop a special edition of the Arts Council’s “What Continues the Dream” traveling exhibit and includes posters drawn from the pages of the gallery guide and photographs of powwow dancers in their colorful regalia; an Indian Territory graphic display; and hand-crafted cultural objects provided by the Nevada Indian Commission. The exhibit will be on display in the Connector Collections Gallery on the second floor, between the B and C gates through January 22, 2012.

“An American Indian cultural exhibit at our airport has been highly anticipated and a long time coming,” added Rupert.  “When a visitor enters the airport they should know they are in the lands of the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone people.”

3177775643_bda0c3d8dd_oThe Indian Commission’s mission is to ensure the well-being of American Indian citizens statewide through development and enhancement of the government-to-government relationship between the State of Nevada and Indian Tribes, and through education for a greater cultural understanding of the state’s first citizens.  The Commission was established in 1965 to be the conduit between the Governor and the 27 federally-recognized Nevada tribes.

Paiute Elder Ralph Burns will provide the opening prayer.  Burns is the recipient of the 2011 Nevada Heritage Award, which honors Nevada folk artists and tradition bearers who are the finest and most influential masters of their particular art forms and who have had a significant impact on the people and communities of the state.  Gayle Johnson a Bishop Paiute Tribal Member will provide the Paiute Flag Song and Red Hawk Warriors along with various Powwow dancers will be on hand to celebrate the evening.

For information on the Nevada Indian Commission visit www.nic.nv.gov and for more information on the Nevada Arts Council and the Indian Territory please visit www.nac.nevadaculture.org and www.NevadaIndianTerritory.com.