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Reno Tahoe Flash Mob at Alpine Meadows

In the midst of a blizzard that brought 54 inches of snow to Alpine Meadows, Microsoft Licensing, GP and Microsoft Student partnered with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Moment Skis and Sentury Snowboards on Saturday, March 19, creating the biggest flash mob this area has ever seen in an effort to promote Reno Tahoe and the products of local companies.  

“It was touch and go that we’d even be able to pull this off, but with employees and videographers that flew in for the weekend, we forged onward,” said Amy Strande, director of Microsoft Student Outreach.

On Saturday, more than 125 people braved the blizzard conditions to gather at the Alpine Meadows Take the Lake Rail Jam Competition, kicking off the event with a surprise flash mob. 

“We went with an 80’s theme, because we were looking to go big and relate to everyone,” said Max Lanman, creative director of the flash mob. “We wanted it to be over the top and fun to watch.”

The goal of the flash mob was to create a viral video to showcase Reno Tahoe and Alpine Meadows, and to promote Microsoft products and locally produced Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis. The event brought together a community of people; including, Microsoft employees, interns, vendors and family; UNR Dance Co-Op members; dance students from Reno to South Lake Tahoe; and Alpine Meadows’ ski team skiers, families and coaches.  The flash mob video can be found at

The idea stemmed from a challenge issued by Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft, when he visited the Reno office in 2010. Holland’s challenge was to think of creative ways to grow awareness and market share of Microsoft products in the community.

“I started thinking that we could partner with local tourism officials and our existing partners at Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis to showcase the area and local products using each partners’ social networks,” said Lynnette Bellin, instigator of the flash mob. “The blizzard made this a herculean feat!”

 “The flash mob was a fun addition to the existing college spring break week at Alpine,” according to Deanna Gescheider, executive director of marketing for JMA Ventures, which manages Alpine Meadows and Homewood resorts. Unfortunately, the competition was cancelled due to weather conditions, but the rail jam proceeded as planned.  Take The Lake Jump Line Competition draws college students from the San Francisco Bay area during spring break.

Over the past year, Sentury Snowboards has created Bing and Windows Live branded snowboards for Microsoft.  Microsoft also partnered with Moment Skis to create a Windows-branded ski.  “The branded equipment  is mainly sold to Microsoft employees, serving as a conversation starter with people on the mountain, so that we can evangelize Microsoft products,” said Ken Skogerson, project manager of the MSLI Marketing and PR committee.

-Lynette Bellin

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester Brings Style of 20s and 30s to Reno



Max-Raabe-Palast-Orchester1The high style and musical glory of the 20s and 30s arrive in Reno, Nev., April 10with a performance by world-renowned Max Raabe & Palast Orchester. Bringing a modern sensibility and an ironic twist to American and German classics, the group’s “Berlin Nocturne” earns rave reviews and sold-out audiences the world over.

“It’s nice to misbehave, in a tuxedo,” says Raabe, the charismatic baritone that leads the retro styled performance. A singer of incredible range, he has a singular ability to capture the cunning rasp of the cabaret singer, the confident belcanto hero, the oily melodiousness of the revue beau, the carefree timbre of early jazz, as well as the falsetto of ragtime, all backed by his stellar 12-member band, many of whom have been with him from the beginning in 1986. The band’s repertoire draws from more than 500 songs including such classics as “Chic I Bum,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “You’re the Cream in My Coffee,” just to name a few.

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester perform April 10 at 8 p.m. at Grand Sierra Resort’s Grand Theatre for Encore presented by Artown. Tickets for Max Raabe & Palast Orchester are just $25, $35 or $45 and are available online at or by phone at 800-648-3568. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Grand Sierra Resort Box Office with no service fees.

-Kristen Power

Exclusive Interview – On the Road with Pauly Shore

Meet the In Laws PaulyOn February 24, 2011, the Weasel himself called the Visit Reno Tahoe offices from Des Moines, Iowa, to talk about his tour and his upcoming show to Reno on March 5 at the Grand Sierra Resort.

Shore has a stand-up career that spans nearly 30 years. He has been a recurring guest on Howard Stern’s late-night show, as well as MTV, David Letterman’s and Craig Kilborn’s talk shows. Shore is probably best known and loved for his roles on Encino Man, Son in Law and Jury Duty.

In his interview with Visit Reno Tahoe (full audio below), Shore talks about his love of smoothies and girls (in that order), shares his favorite jokes, big projects for 2011, and at one point, even gets a little serious as he opens up about his greatest obstacles in his career.

To purchase tickets to Shore’s show at the Grand Sierra, click here.

Travel Channel’s Food Wars takes on the Awful Awful

The date was June 30, 2010.

The place – Rosie’s Cafe in John Ascuaga’s Nugget – day one of a three day shoot with the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars”.

Travel Channel WelcomeThe Travel Channel journeyed to Reno, Nevada to find out where locals would rather eat an Awful Awful burger – at the Little Nugget Diner in downtown Reno or John Ascuaga’s Nugget? In this week’s episode of “Food Wars, host Camille Ford faces a fifty year battle between two casinos.

The original Awful Awful Burger was created by Dick Graves and featured two quarter pound beef patties topped with American cheese and a special sauce served on a mountain of fries.  Graves served his trademark burger at his casinos in Idaho but when gambling was outlawed in the state in 1953 he brought his slot machines and burger south to Reno.  Within two years Graves had opened both the “Little” Nugget Casino and the Nugget in Sparks (now known as the John Ascuaga’s Nugget) and served his signature burger at both.  The two casinos have been battling for the best Awful Awful burger ever since.

“This is huge for the Little Nugget Diner. People come from all over the world to have the Awful Awful in town, and the burger is finally getting the exposure it deserves,” said George Buddy, General Manager of the Little Nugget Diner. “The Awful Awful is really something special. It’s a fantastic deal and the Little Nugget Diner is one of the few places where you know you’re getting exactly what you ordered.”

“We’re obviously thrilled to have the Travel Channel here at John Ascuaga’s Nugget once again. While the main focus will be our signature burger against another, the larger view allows the country to yet again see our area as a fun, quirky and unique destination,” said Michael Traum, Public Relations Manager of John Ascuaga’s Nugget. “One premise of “Food Wars” is to invite viewers to come to Reno and decide for themselves which burger they like best, and that’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

he Food War between the two Awful Awful burgers is a true celebration of all things fantastically funky in Reno Tahoe USA, home of the burger as big as your head.

Catch the episode Wednesday, November 11, at 10:00 pm ET on the Travel Channel. The episode will include Reno foodie Barbara Mills of Back of the House Culinary Adventures ( and  Josh Ozersky, burger virtuoso and author of “The Hamburger: A History”.

About Food Wars: There’s a debate brewing across the country, and it’s taking place in Everytown, USA, with legions of loyal fans passionately defending the local eateries and the iconic dishes that make their towns famous. Host Camille Ford, travel enthusiast and lover of all things food, sets out to find the country’s most celebrated dishes — foods that define destinations and create local rivalries spanning generations. From family feuds to stolen recipes to secret ingredients, Food Wars pits the nation’s most famous culinary rivals against one another for a final showdown, where a blind taste test will settle the debate: Who makes the Best Dish in Town?  To learn more about the hit series Food Wars click here:

About the RSCVA: The RSCVA is the primary tourism agency supporting convention and tourism business for the Reno Tahoe region.  Reno Tahoe supports unlimited possibilities from outdoor recreation to 24-hour Nevada style gaming and entertainment. 

For more information about Reno-Tahoe call 800-FOR-RENO (800-367-7366) or visit

Only Two Weeks Left to See the Show Everyone is Talking About

Le Grand CirqueThe Eldorado’s acrobatic spectacular “Le Grand Cirque” is being extended through November 13 by popular demand!  Don’t miss the show everyone has been talking about!  Voted “Reno’s Best Show” in the 2010 Reno News and Review’s reader’s poll, “Le Grand Cirque” is one of the most awe-inspiring performances to ever hit Northern Nevada. 

“Le Grand Cirque” will captivate you from the beginning with death defying aerial stunts and mesmerizing feats of human strength and grace.  Audiences of all ages are raving this is a show that keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat one moment and gets you laughing the next. 

Garnering stunning reviews around the globe, “Le Grand Cirque” continues to amaze audiences’ right here in Reno.  “The show is joyous… packed with athletes that are at the top of their class.  Colorful, quick and exciting!” says Mel Sheilds of the Sacramento Bee.  “Le Grand Cirque” smashed box office records at the Sydney Opera House and now brings the same electricity to Northern Nevada. 

Join us for a spellbinding performance of “Le Grand Cirque” now extended through November 13 inside the Eldorado Showroom. Tickets start at just $19.95 each with dinner and show packages starting at only $34.95.  Reserve your seats for this awe-inspiring show today; you can visit our Box Office to purchase online at or call 800-648-5966 or 775-786-5700.

-Diana Rogers


Travel Channel’s Food Wars is Coming to Reno!

Awful AwfulThe Travel Channel wants to know… where would you rather eat your Awful Awful burger – at The Little Nugget Diner or John Ascuaga’s Nugget?  This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell the world how you really feel! Food Wars on Travel Channel wants only the loudest and proudest fans to tell viewers everywhere which Awful Awful burger is better.

Below is the filming schedule. Be there or be a square.

  • Wednesday, June 30th at Rosie’s Café in John Ascuaga’s Nugget from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, NV 89431)


  • Thursday, July 1st at the Little Nugget Diner from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (233 North Virginia St)


  • Friday, July 2nd is the Food Wars Challenge at the Poolside Terrace or Celebrity Showroom (TBD) at John Ascuaga’s Nugget from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Food War between the two Awful Awful burgers is a true celebration of all things fantastically quirky inReno Tahoe USA, home of the burger as big as your head.

“Super Fans” of either restaurant that are interested in being interviewed for the show should contact

About Food Wars:  There’s a debate brewing across the country, and it’s taking place in Everytown, USA, with legions of loyal fans passionately defending the local eateries and the iconic dishes that make their towns famous. From Detroit’s hot dog war — Lafayette’s vs. American Coney Island’s — to one of the most famous battles in the country — the Philly cheesesteak war between Pat’s and Geno’s — it’s time to end these rivalries once and for all as Travel Channel presents Food Wars.

Host Camille Ford, travel enthusiast and lover of all things food, sets out to find the country’s most celebrated dishes — foods that define destinations and create local rivalries spanning generations. From family feuds to stolen recipes to secret ingredients, Food Wars pits the nation’s most famous culinary rivals against one another for a final showdown, where a blind taste test will settle the debate: Who makes the Best Dish in Town?

To learn more about the hit series Food Wars click here.

2010 Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival tickets now available for purchase

Lake Tahoe ShakespeareCelebrating its 38th season, the Festival brings you all of Shakespeare’s plays in one night with the hilarious comedy, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and the return of the Sand Harbor music series featuring performing everything from 60’s and 70’s hits, Latin rock, blues, jazz, swing, favorites by the Reno Philharmonic and much more every Monday and Friday night.

The Festival provides audiences the unique combination of a stunning lakeside location, al fresco dining at  Shakespeare’s Kitchen, and performances seven nights a week throughout July and August.  Festival-goers can expect a lighthearted escape in a refreshing outdoor setting to spend time with friends and family. The Festival looks forward to welcoming back loyal fans and introducing first-timer visitors to the magic of the idyllic lakeside setting where you are sure to make lasting lifetime memories.

“This 2010 season we truly looked to adding much more cultural diversity to our programming, having something for everyone, no matter what age. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a hilarious option for the whole family,” said Catherine Atack, executive director of the festival. “Our dinner theater on the beach is one of a kind, as is the experience and memories you make there under a Tahoe starry night, and with our Sand Harbor Music Series, you get to start and end your week with a party on the beach.  Make sure to grab dinner and wine at Shakespeare’s Kitchen on your way in and sit and relax with friends and family while enjoying quality entertainment. ”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare AbridgedTickets are now available online at or by calling 800-74-SHOWS (800-747-4697).  Regular season tickets, start at $22 for open seating tiers and range in options up to the Premiere and Reserved seating sections at $77. Tickets for the music series every Monday and Friday, July 19-August 20, start at $15 for open seating tiers and range in options up to the premier reserved seating section from $50. A nominal ticketing and processing fee will be added onto all tickets. For more information about the 2010 season, educational outreach, group pricing, membership, volunteer opportunities and sponsorships visit online at or call the Festival office at 800-74-SHOWS (800-747-4697).

Celebrate the holidays with ice dancing show

HolidayIce_900x235_eldoThe Eldorado Hotel Casino plays host to a celebration of the holiday season with the Holiday Ice Spectacular playing through Dec. 29 on the Showroom Stage.

This dazzling show is a thrilling combination of skillful ice-skating and theater. Dozens of charismatic, world-class figure skaters will lift, turn and twirl to the tune of a modern mix of classic holiday favorites. The Holiday Ice Spectacular is produced and directed by Jeb K. Rand, a former U.S. National figure skating competitor who has been featured in the Ice Capades, Disney on Ice and the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City. Event Details

Party like St. Nick: Reno Santa Pub Crawl commences Dec. 12

Short of delivering presents the world over, it’s the most fun you’ll have in a Santa suit.

The annual Reno Reindeer Games returns the weekend of Dec. 11-13 with an expanded slate of events highlighted, of course, by the Reno Santa Pub Crawl, where visitors flock to the watering holes of downtown Reno for a night of holiday revelry.

This year, the charity event gets even bigger with a holiday pajama party, discount skiing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and discounts for attendees who book a hotel room. In 2008, event organizers estimate as many as 3,000 Santas crawled Reno’s pubs, and 2009 is expected to be even bigger. There is NO EXCUSE to miss a party this fun.

Reno Reindeer Games Events:

Bowling + Pajamas = Fun. The party starts Friday evening at the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins,” the National Bowling Stadium, with the Santa Crawl Pajama Ball. The mammoth facility usually plays best to 100 lanes of world-class bowling, usually aired on ESPN – Not tonight. Festivities include pictures with Santa, raffle prizes, holiday drink specials and a best dressed in holiday pajamas contest. The cover charge for party revelers dressed in pajamas or holiday flare is $15, which covers bowling and a donation to the Reindeer Charities. For those not dressed in pajamas or holiday flare the cover charge is $20. The party starts at 9 p.m.

Dress festively & get a $39 all-day lift ticket at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe with $5 dollars going to Support the Claus during the Santa Crawl Skiing Extravaganza! Join other Reindeer Game revelers for holiday drink specials and the best-dressed contest. Added bonus: watching hundreds of Santas shredding pow. That’s worth the price of admission.

The magical anticipation of St. Nick dropping down the chimney on Christmas Eve may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean the adults can’t have fun. The highlight of the Reno Reindeer games, the Reno Santa Pub Crawl, brings the whole event home. Basically, several thousand Santa crawlers hit the streets and more than two-dozen participating watering holes of downtown Reno, showing off their best Santa-inspired costumes – the party reaches a crescendo when revelers meet under the legendary Reno Arch.

Event organizers have teamed up with the Silver Legacy Resort Casino to create a killer package: Rooms start at $59 and include a $35 coupon book, $5 food voucher, 2-for-1 drinks at Aura Ultra Lounge, health spa admission, 20 percent Silver Legacy Shopping Discount, $4 off ticket to Catch a Rising Star comedy club and one free ace-in-the-hole.

Adventure film festival features action sports’ best on Tahoe’s silver screen

TAFF-Todd OCinematography is the medium. Action sports and adventure is the subject. Well known as a breeding ground for elite athletes and year-round adventurers, Lake Tahoe is the stage for the 7th Annual Tahoe Adventure Film Festival to be held Dec. 12 at Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa in South Lake Tahoe.

Designed to capture the intensity and passion of adventure, the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival (TAFF) showcases 10-minute clips from the best action sports films of the year in one evening. TAFF organizers spend months pouring over footage from every corner of the globe to narrow down the film submissions to the top 10. Films cover the full spectrum of adventure by the action sports world’s best talent, featuring sports like skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, skating, mountain biking, BASE jumping and other heart-pounding sports. The high-energy films are amplified by live acts including special guest speakers, action sports photography by Aurora Photos, go-go dancers, DJs, and always a few special surprises to keep the audience entertained.

“The festival’s fast pace and action-packed films keep us on edge; that fine line that defines world-class athletes and fuels our passion for adventure at any level,” says Todd Offenbacher, TAFF founder and event host. “We put together a line-up of the best films of the year and showcase them in one night of energy, excitement and fun that appeal to all audiences.”

A highlight of the festival is the Golden Camalot Award which recognizes one athlete or filmmaker for their athletic prowess, achievements and leadership role in action and adventure sports. Past TAFF Camalot recipients include snowboard pioneer Jeremy Jones, 86-year-old mountaineer Fred Beckey, extreme skier Glen Plake, world-class rock climber Tommy Caldwell, and legendary climber/kayaker Royal Robbins.

This year TAFF has partnered with the Sierra Avalanche Center to host the biggest raffle in the festival’s history. Prizes include Lake Tahoe resort season passes, a trip with Points North Heli Adventures, an afternoon with Pacific Crest Snowcats, and enough gear and swag to stock any adventure enthusiast’s garage.

The festival starts at 6:30 p.m. with an action sports photography display from award-winning Aurora Photos followed by the main event at 7:30pm. For festival details, visit Tickets are available at the Montbleu Resort box office or