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Snow Fun Around Tahoe

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Looking for some fun and snowy activities to do this winter? Skiing and snowboarding are always popular options, but we’ve come up with a few other ways to get out into the snow.

Sledding is always an exciting way to spend a winter day outside. With the snowy mountains just a short drive away, many sledding areas are accessible to almost anybody. Granlibakken is one of many local resorts that has a sledding area that is open daily, and they offer saucer rentals for those who do not have their own. Squaw Valley has snow tubing lanes at their SnoVentures activities center that are accessed by a new covered magic carpet surface lift. Soda Springs Resort is another option to fulfill all of your snow tubing desires. Their very own Tube Town has more than eight long runs and a 390′ surface lift! Northstar California’s tubing area is another place to go. The 200 yard tubing hill is accessed by tow lift and is sure to be a wild ride!

Snowshoeing is another awesome way to have fun in the snow and view some beautiful winter scenery. Mount Tallac Trail and Fallen Leaf Lake Trail are great options, with 5 and 10 miles of trails respectively. Tahoe Adventure Company offers customized snowshoe tours throughout the Lake Tahoe area that are lead by knowledgeable guides who will educate you on area history and facts. North Tahoe Adventures is another great group to get a snowshoe tour from. With four easy to moderate trails, ranging from .75 miles to 4.5 miles, their guides will give you the experience you’re looking for. Squaw Valley Resort also has options for every snowshoeing fan. All trails originate at the Resort at Squaw Creek (accessible by shuttle from the Squaw Valley parking lot), and they even offer night tours so you can snowshoe under the beautiful winter moon.

One more unique winter experience is dog sledding, and Sierra Adventures is a great place to go! Cruise through the high Sierra snow on your very own dog sled and bring the kids for their Family Dog Sled Excursion. Tahoe Dog Sled Tours offer tours seven days a week (weather permitting) pulled by a team of trained Huskies, that last about one hour through the Sierra Nevada mountains. Squaw Valley Resort is in on the dog sledding action with Wilderness Adventures, as well. They’re offering hour-long tours led by a racing guide and team of eight to ten Huskies through the Squaw Valley Meadow. Guests ride in a four-person sled and will move at speeds of about 13.5 mph.

These unique and unforgettable experiences are a great way to have some winter fun with the whole family. Visit each individual website for schedules, reservations, and more information to plan your trip. Remember to dress warm!

For more local holiday and winter activities check out our “Must Do” Holiday Events blog.

Locals are Glowing with Holiday Spirit!

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One of the best parts about the holiday season is all the decorations that people put together. Some people put Christmas lights on their houses the day after Thanksgiving and some turn their lights on even earlier. Checking out Christmas light displays is one of the most fun and easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s a great family activity. If you’re wondering where to find the best collection of holiday lights, we’ve found some great places around town with extremely festive decorations!

Lights of Tenea is an extremely popular residential lights show that has been a local favorite since 2004. This year’s show will top those of previous years with wild decorations such as eleven animated fireworks, seven animated characters, six lasers and three special effects lights, falling snow effects, and over forty six thousand lights! All of that and more will definitely inspire you to do some decorating of your own! This local show has always been spectacular, but perhaps the best part is their involvement in charity work. The homeowners of the Tenea house started fundraising for Evelyn Mount’s Outreach Program back in 2006 and soon after added Friends of Multiple Sclerosis and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to their efforts. Visit their website for directions, show times, and more information on the Lights of Tenea history and their fundraising programs.

In Sparks on Junction Drive the Light Show Bro will be performing his synchronized musical light show now through December 31st. At this show you will see thousands of lights synchronized to a 13 minute mix of music, which you can listen to on the radio at 89.3 FM or through their website. This year donations for the Northern Nevada SPCA, so viewers are encouraged to bring item such as dog food, cat food, blankets, and cleaning supplies. For a full list of necessities and wish list items, check out the SPCA tab on their website.

A local holiday light fanatic is a finalist for USA Today’s America’s Best Private Holiday Lights competition. Jeff Kendell’s home, which is located on Solitude Drive in Galena, is decorated with over 30,000 lights that are synchronized to four festive songs. This home has been covered in holiday decorations for eight years, and Kendell has no plans of slowing down. According to the homeowner and decorator, the display takes “110 hours to put up and another 70 to take down, plus 60 to 120 hours to program each song.” Dedication like that has surely paid off, and this display is not one to miss!

The Hidden Valley Parade of Lights has been lighting up east Reno for 32 years. The Christmas light displays in the neighborhood is a contest of the homeowners association that always attracts viewers from the public. The neighborhood tradition gets many homes to participate, and it’s a great spot to go for some holiday light viewing. To enter the neighborhood take Pembroke Avenue east from McCarran Boulevard and drive past Rosewood Lakes Golf Course. Once you see the holiday lights you’ll know you’re in the right place!

Reno Airport Announces New International Non-Stop Flights to Guadalajara

Feliz Navidad to Reno Tahoe USA and Guadalajara! New twice weekly non-stop flights between Reno Tahoe and Guadalajara began this week!

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Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is proud to announce new non-stop service between Reno and Guadalajara, Mexico beginning Dec. 16, 2014. This new service will help put the “International” in Reno-Tahoe International and is the first scheduled international air service at RNO since 1999. The twice weekly service is the culmination of months of work between Volaris and a dedicated group of Reno-Tahoe partners including the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSVCA), local hotels, casinos and ski resorts, the Hispanic Chamber and Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado. The airport has worked closely with NCOT to develop key relationships in Mexico. Reno-Tahoe hotel, casino and ski partners have offered room deals for the new international travelers. The Hispanic Chamber has been working with the airport to connect with the local Latino population and to be ready to promote the flight and welcome Mexican travelers to our community. The airport worked closely with Customs and Border Patrol in both Washington and San Francisco, as well as with the Nevada Federal Delegation, to obtain landing rights for the flight that will bring an estimated $20 million in economic impact to the region each year.

Volaris will operate twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.

For more information, visit www.renoairport.com.

Ring in 2015 with Reno Tahoe!

Reno Tahoe is wrapping up 2014 and beginning 2015 with a bang. Various locations around town are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the new year in a big way!

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The Eldorado Resort Casino will ring in the new year with rollicking parties throughout the property, countdowns and Champagne toasts, plenty of celebratory party hats and favors handed out on the casino floor and a spectacular downtown fireworks show at midnight. Downtown Reno will be aglow as tens of thousands of revelers pack downtown Reno for the nonstop, 15-minute fireworks show. Hundreds of sparkling pyrotechnics will be shot off and there will be spectacular viewing from every angle.

The Nugget will be offering New Year’s meals at all of their restaurants, and the Celebrity Showroom will feature dinner and a show with live entertainment. In the casino there will be a free champagne toast and a countdown to midnight, complete with party favors.

Peppermill has a number of events going on the ring in the New Year. The Capri Ballroom Party starts at 9:30 pm on December 31. Come dance to the sounds of Maxxt Outt, who will be performing live. At midnight there will be party favors,

a balloon drop, and a champagne toast. In The Terrace the Inciters, an 11-piece Northern Soul band, will be performing live. On the casino floor, the party keeps going with free champagne and festive party favors from 8 pm to 12:30 am. EDGE nightspot will host their Tick Tock NYE party with DJ Four Color Zack. Many Peppermill eateries will be serving special New Year’s menus to make your night of celebration complete.

Circus Circus Reno is planning a night of free live music with Escalade, free party favors, and fireworks at midnight. Some Circus Circus eateries, such as The Steakhouse at Circus, Courtyard Buffet, and Americana Café, will be offering New Year’s menus throughout the day. Visit their website for all the information!

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino’s LEX Nightclub will be partying the night away at The Black Tie Affair. This “exquisite night of celebration” will feature sounds by Enfo and Nick Ferrer. Ticket options include general admission entry at 10 pm or early admission, which grants you access to an open bar from 8 pm to 10 pm.

Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno will be hosting their New Year’s Even Rockin’ the Dome Dance Party starting at 10 pm on December 31. The night will include a drinks, party favors, live performance by DJ Kentot, champagne toast at midnight, fireworks, and one big party in the Silver Baron Ballroom all night long.

Cargo will be playing host to Apple Z on December 31. This “shiny new band” is composed of multiple music veterans from a wide range of genres. Their collective experience in all types of performance arenas has allowed them to rethink and remake timeless popular music. Tickets for this Cargo event can be purchased at the front desk of Whitney Peak Hotel or by calling (775) 398-5400. Whitney Peak Hotel will have a special New Year’s package for all guests. The package, which is priced at $250, features a Deluxe Room, full-course Chef’s Table dinner and champagne at Heritage Restaurant, two tickets to the Apple Z show in Cargo, and a bottle of champagne in your room.

Reno’s Knitting Factory and Amplified Entertainment present Amplified DJ’s for their New Year’s Eve celebration. Starting at 10:00 pm, party the night away to great music at one of Reno’s most popular concert houses. The Knitting Factory is 18 and over and has a full bar for visitors 21 and older.

Heavenly Lake Tahoe is also throwing a New Years bash. Head to the Village at 6:00 pm for a night of fun and celebration. The event will include games, a performance by The Fire Groove dancers, a photo booth, face painting, live music by Wes Quave, ice sculpting by “Fear-No-Ice”, and a fireworks show and a Gondola Ball Drop at 9:00 pm (in unison with the Ball Drop in New York City’s Time Square). Guests are then encouraged to spend the rest of the night and ring in 2015 at some of Lake Tahoe’s many casinos, bars, and clubs.

The Bounce Festival and Bass Heavy are teaming up for another New Year’s Eve event at Tahoe Biltmore. Starting at 8pm head up to the lake for music and entertainment from acts such as LNR, Smasheltooth, and Andrew the Pirate. Get ready to dance the night (and 2014) away and celebrate the New Year with such a unique show. Check out their event page on Facebook for more information.

Snowglobe Music Festival will be held at the Lake Tahoe Community College Campus Deember 29 – 31. Spend a few days up at the Lake listening and dancing along to some of the best DJs and artists around. The lineup includes major acts like Disclosure, Skrillex, Phantogram, Cherub, and many more. 3-day tickets have already sold out, but single-day tickets and shuttle passes are still available.

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At VEX Nightclub at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe you can celebrate New Years Eve at a party featuring DJ Rockwell. Hats and party favors will be provided, along with complimentary champagne for all VIPs. Doors open at 9 pm and dance acts will perform throughout the night until 1 am. Andreotti’s at Harrah’s will be hosting a New Year’s Eve drinks and four-course dinner (view the menu here), along with live performances by local musicians Pier Perotti and Corky Bennett.

If you’re looking for a place in Reno to watch the firework display and countdown to midnight, head to the streets of downtown for a 15 minute show taking place from multiple casino rooftops. The main crowd of party-goers will join under and around the Reno Arch to watch the display, so be sure to watch the display put on by Circus Circus Hotel Casino, Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, and the City of Reno! Countdown to 2015 and send 2014 out with a bang! After the main event, keep the party going and head out to the plethora of local bars that are within walking distance from the Reno Arch and Downtown.

Christmas Wonderland Dazzles this Holiday Season

The Eldorado Resort Casino is ringing in the holiday season with one of London’s biggest Christmas shows. From the producers of “Spirit of the Dance,” the Eldorado Showroom presents “Christmas Wonderland” – a holiday extravaganza of pure Christmas magic through Dec. 27.

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Guests will be taken on an unforgettable Christmas journey in this glittering, dancing and singing seasonal spectacular. “Christmas Wonderland” is an enchanting holiday show with a dazzling costumes, breathtaking scenery and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole.

The audience is invited to sing along to Christmas classics including White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Santa Clause is Coming to Town and many more.

Get into the holiday spirit with “Christmas Wonderland” in the Eldorado Showroom through Dec. 27. Tickets start at just $25.95, children 12 and under from $19.95 with dinner and show packages available from $35.95. For more information on show times and tickets call 800-648-5966 or visit www.eldoradoreno.com.

Exciting “Must Do” Holiday Events Around Town

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The holidays are here, and our area has tons of winter activities for you to participate in to keep you and your family happy and full of holiday cheer. This season is always a busy one, so to make things easy we’ve made a list of events going on around town and put a few of them here for you. All you have to do is have fun!

The Reno Ice Rink is always a favorite for this month. This year it will be hosted at the Reno Aces ballpark and will be open all the way through February. It’s definitely cold out on the ice, but skating is always fun regardless of your skill level. People and children of all ages head to the rink for some holiday fun, so be sure to join them! For more information visit our blog post dedicated to the Ice Rink.

The Eldorado is ringing in the holiday season with “Christmas Wonderland”, one of London’s biggest Christmas shows. The Eldorado is calling it “a holiday extravaganza of pure Christmas magic”. The show will be filled with dancing and singing of traditional Christmas carols, such as “Winter Wonderland” and “O Holy Night”, and the audience is encouraged to sing along. There will be beautiful costumes, a gorgeous set, a skilled and entertaining cast, and “the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole.” Performances will take place Tuesday through Sunday until December 27. Tickets are on sale now.

For some grown-up fun, the Santa Crawl will be taking place on Saturday, December 13. T’is the season to dress up in your best Santa costume and crawl to over 50 local bars with your friends! This crawl is expected to draw in a whopping 15,000 festive crawlers who will take over the streets of Reno for a night. Santa, reindeer, elves, and Ms. Claus will all come together for one giant holiday party! Be sure to buy your official Santa Crawl cup at participating retailers around town and get ready to have some fun!

Reno’s Wine Walk is holiday themed this month and is encouraging walkers to dress in their ugliest Christmas sweaters for the event. Head down to the Riverwalk District on Saturday, December 20 and enjoy wine from nearly 30 local businesses in the downtown area. For $20 you will get a wine glass and access to some delicious wines and a great time, and on the 20th a portion of the proceeds will benefit Cancer Awareness of Nevada.

For some holiday fun up in Tahoe, visit the Resort at Squaw Creek for A Star Spangled Christmas where the Truckee Tahoe Community Chrous will be singing for all to hear. They will be commemorating the bicentennial of our national anthem by performing the Star Spangled Banner, a Star Medley and Star Carol. The Chorus will also perform Schubert’s Mass in G, Gaudete!, a Jolly Jingle Christmas Medley and a sing along to get in the holiday spirit. They will be performing December 13 at 7:00 pm and December 14 at 2:00 pm. Get your tickets now!

December 20 through January 3 Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be hosting Holiday Celebrations up on the slopes! Santa will be skiing along with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley throughout the month, so keep an eye out for them! In the Village carolers will be singing your favorite holiday songs, so cozy up to the fire and listen while you sip on some hot chocolate. Sqauw’s Olympic Ice Pavilion and SnoVentures Activity Zone are also great spots for some family holiday fun. There will also be a kids scavenger hunt during the month-long celebration to go along with the other holiday festivities. Head up to the mountain to be a part of this winter celebration!

Shop Local This Holiday Season!

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The holiday season is always full of shopping, and Reno-Sparks is urging you to support locally owned businesses this winter. Saturday, November 29 (the day after Black Friday) was American Express Small Business Saturday, but we hope to continue this movement all season long! To make things easier on you, we have compiled a short list of locally owned businesses that would love to be a part of your holiday shopping! This is not an all-inclusive list, but the City of Reno has a map of many more of our local businesses, and the Buy Local movement has a list of local businesses in town.

For locally owned Reno gear, visit Reno Envy in downtown. From T-shirts to key chains to mugs to hats, Reno Envy has all your Reno-related gifts. Their logo, a simple trailer, was meant to be a parody of the John Deere logo that consumers loved enough to make it permanent. Their playful spirit and understanding of Reno’s culture makes them the perfect retail representative for our city. If you venture into Reno’s up-and-coming Midtown District you’ll find Junkee Clothing Exchange, a store filled with recycled clothing, accessories, antiques, and furniture that you won’t find anywhere else. Their funky, retro vibe combined with a heightened understanding of current fashion makes Junkee the perfect place to find a new unique piece that is totally you. Also in Midtown is The Melting Pot World Emporium. This store isn’t your typical retail spot; it’s Reno’s main place for Burning Man preparation. Filled with Steampunk accessories like goggles and belts, and clothing designed with Reno’s counterculture in mind, The Melting Pot is a great place to shop for your not-so-typical holiday list items. Bigtruck Brand in Lake Tahoe is a local “American cut and sew head wear supplier”. Their products have gained to support of various celebrities and professional athletes and are the perfect gift for any hat-wearing, Tahoe-loving person on your holiday shopping list. For avid skiiers, Sparks is home to a Moment Skis shop. These high-quality skis are handmade in Sparks and are popular among local (and national) ski fanatics.

Happy Happy Joy Joy is Reno’s local toy shop for people of every age. They have a wide variety of classic and collectible toys, retro games, and independent books. The store is all about fun, so head there to add some fun to your holidays! Sundance Books and Music is located in the historic Levy Mansion and has books and music to fit everybody’s tastes. They have hundreds of new and used books and music (CDs and Vinyl), as well as DVDs, magazines, journal and other gifts. To make things super easy, Sundance has created a Holiday Gift Guide to help you with your shopping.

If you’re looking to please a foodie, Big Horn Olive Oil Company is a great place to go. They carry ultra-premium, certified Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars that are absolutely delicious. Whispering Vine is the spot for a bottle (or two) of wine for those big holiday dinners and parties. They have well-known crowd pleasers, as well as unique small-batch wines that you wouldn’t expect to find here. They carry wines from all over the world, in tons of varietals, and are always more than happy to help you find something delicious that fits your needs. Whispering Vine also has a holiday guide on their website to finding the perfect wine for your special occasion. For the sweet tooth visit Dorinda’s Chocolates for a plethora of chocolates, caramels, cookies, and more to satisfy every dessert craving this holiday season.

The Santa Crawl Is Back!

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One of Reno’s most popular bar crawls is back in season. This annual local fundraiser (with proceeds going to local schools) will take place on Saturday, December 13 and is a great way to kick off the holiday season! For their 14th year the Santa Crawl is expecting 15,000 crawlers to dress up in their holiday gear, so more bars have been added to the crawl list and their pre and post crawl activities will make for an entire weekend of Santa fun! Be sure to buy your cups at participating locations around town, and book a room at the Silver Legacy using their Santa Crawl discount code to keep you and your friends safe all weekend long. Participating locations for cup purchasing include: Chocolate Walrus, Prism Magic, Junkie, and Adam and Even in Carson City, so be sure to pick your cups up early because official Santa Crawl cups means official Santa Crawl drink deals! To stay safe and spirited, visit the Santa Crawl’s page of Rules and make sure to follow all of these festive guidelines in order to have a smooth crawl.

There are PLENTY of local bars participating in this year’s crawl, and the goal is to hit all of them before the night ends! A few of these include: Rum Bullions and Drinx at the Silver Legacy, 5 Star Saloon, 1864 Tavern, Club Cal Neva, Chocolate Bar, Freight House District, Sapphire Lounge at Harrah’s, The Loving Cup, Louis Basque Corner, Our Bar, Sierra Tap House, Tonic Lounge,  St. James Infirmary, and many, many more! The trick to this crawl is to plan ahead. Grab a map (available at the Silver Legacy and wherever you can purchase a cup), gather your friends, throw on your warmest Santa gear, and be ready to have some fun!

For those who are in town for more than just Saturday night, Reno Pub Crawl has organized some pre-crawl activities going on around town that will definitely keep you entertained! On Friday night two-time Emmy winner, NY Times bestseller, and GRAMMY winner Kathy Griffin will be performing at the Silver Legacy at 8pm. This funny woman will be in town making guests laugh all night long! You can buy tickets here. On Saturday morning there will be a holiday themed 5k run/walk at Wingfeild Park near downtown Reno beginning at 10am. This Great Santa Dash has partnered up with the Santa Crawl, so all adults entered will receive a Santa Crawl Cup. This 5k will support the AIY Foundation to help local schools, just like the Santa Crawl. To register for the run, visit the Great Santa Dash webpage. And finally, for those of you who don’t think a 5k and a 50+ stop bar crawl is enough, the Santa Crawl has teamed up with Mt. Rose for some Santa Skiing on Saturday, December 13. If you dress festively you will get a discount on an all day lift ticket (with a portion going to Support the Claus)! There will also be Santa Crawl drink specials in the lodge and a mass Santa photo taken at the top of the Kit Carson Bowl at 11 am.

Above all things, remember to be safe. Don’t ever drink and drive, don’t let yourself or your friends go anywhere alone, and be sure to drink lots of water before and during the crawl. The Santa Crawl is about holiday cheer and festive fun, so keep things nice and not naughty throughout the night! Have fun, crawlers!

All Aboard The Polar Express!

The Polar Express is headed to Nevada!

Looking for a fun and unique way to celebrate this holiday season? The Polar Express is pulling through Carson city all month long to offer you and your family an unforgettable winter train ride. Rail Events Inc. is inviting you to join them for a ride inspired by the holiday book and movie, Polar Express. This trip to the North Pole will be filled with tons of holiday-related activities, such as caroling and a reading of The Polar Express with hot chocolate and cookies, followed by a meeting with Santa who will hand out sleigh bells to the children, just like in the story. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas to stay comfy and warm during the trip. This train ride is something that the entire family can enjoy together, and the story of the Polar Express is one that many people are familiar with.

The event is one hour long and will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 22nd this year. The Polar Express departs from the Carson City Eastgate Depot. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to get them here while you can! VIP parlor car tickets are also being offered this season.

For information on The Polar Express event or to find other train stops throughout the country, head to Rail Events Inc. to find the answer to all your questions. For information on the local stop, visit V&T Railway’s website.

Great Western Marketplace Is Officially Open!

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Reno’s first and only indoor marketplace is complete! Great Western Marketplace, a family-owned development, celebrated their grand opening on Black Friday. This new retail concept will host a wide variety of “micro-businesses”, artisans, craftsman, entrepreneurs, retailers, food and drink purveyors, and more all in one place. The Marketplace was designed as a low-cost option for new entrepreneurs who are looking for a place to start and for pre-established companies to expand their business. In addition to each vendor, Great Western Marketplace will include cafes and bars, indoor and outdoor seating, live entertainment and special events, plus plenty of parking (they’re boasting over 1,000 free spaces!).

Vendors include: a farmer’s market, Stattons Boutique clothing, Honest Meats, The Baker’s Basket, Dolled Up styling tools, Freshway Fish, Transformations home decor and jewelry, Silver State IT Solutions, My Nona’s Country Boutique pet gifts, Soozii Cream Cheese cheesecake bakery, and Ricardo Barraca artwork. Great Western Marketplace selects their vendors based on the vendor’s passion and the high-quality of their products, and it strives to support local business.

The Marketplace will also serve as a satellite broadcast location for Shamrock Communications. “We are pleased to have our radio stations broadcasting live from the venue promoting this fantastic new concept,” asserts John Burkavage, general manager for Shamrock Communications in Reno. “Great Western Marketplace is an outstanding entrepreneurial effort on the part of the developers and will give small businesses a new way to bring their products and services to market.” At least once a week Shamrock Communications will host live broadcasts from their Great Western Marketplace location with Reno radio personalities from 107.3 KNEWS news talk, 104.1 KRZQ alternative, 106.3 POP FM, and Martini Radio 105.3.

Great Western Marketplace is located in Northwest Reno at 4855 Summit Ridge Drive and is open Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sundays). For more information on the concept, a complete list of vendors, a vendor leasing application, or anything else please visit the Marketplace website. Be sure to checkout this exciting new marketplace this weekend to support local businesses and discover new shops!