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A Fearless German Intern Takes on Reno Tahoe

DSC_0004Benedikt Martinac of Germany is studying International Tourism in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. He will graduate in June 2011. His smarts, sense of humor and extensive travel experience will present him with limitless career opportunities, and success, in the tourism industry. This summer (2010) Benedikt decided to do hands-on learning, specifically in the American tourism industry. Being the smart man that he is, he chose to spend his summer in the great state of Nevada. Below is Ben’s adventure in the Silver State from his own perspective. We hope you enjoy reading his take on the Biggest Little City as much as we enjoyed having him.

8.31.10

I’ve been in Reno for 5 weeks now and can’t get enough of the city and its charm. But it’s not only the city. There is so much to see and experience in the area. Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, all kinds of water sports, extreme sports and on the calmer side plenty of golf opportunities, parks, lakes. You name it.

During my internship at various tourism related businesses, mediated by the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), I learned a lot about the Reno-Tahoe area and the fun things to experience nearby.

Last weekend I finally had the chance to show what I’ve picked up so far because three friends were visiting from the Bay area. I was really looking forward to showing them around and check out what the night life is like in “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

I met my friends at my place and took them downtown to check in the hotel. While driving towards Virginia Street, Reno’s casino strip, the tower of the Eldorado Hotel Casino, illuminated in bright pink, and we knew instantly we’re going to have a great time. We parked the car in the garage and via skywalk we were right in the lobby. We checked in, dropped of the bags in the room and rushed back downstairs to the casino for a little gambling session. But no gambling without food – we probably wouldn’t be able to handle all the free drinks and our odds of winning would lower even more. So what better to start off with than the “Best Burger in Town”? As different magazines, such as Nevada Magazine, voted it the best burger in Reno and Northern Nevada, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the notorious Awful Awful. At first the name is kind of a turnoff and makes you think if it’s the right choice for dinner but it’s supposed to be “Awful Big and Awful Good” so we headed to the Little Nugget Diner, located at the Nugget Casino on Virginia Street.

Awful AwfulEntering the Nugget, I was back to the thought if this was the right idea for dinner. Old dark carpets, dark lightning and sketchy gamblers occupying the slots give the place a peculiar atmosphere. The little Nugget diner, at the back of the casino, doesn’t make a much better impression. But its style is kind of appealing. Sleazy, greasy, with only two counters and no tables, the 50’s style diner seemed like it’s going to give us the right amount of energy we would need for a long night.

So we ordered our 4 Awful-Awfuls and waited until a few minutes later the gal at the counter shouted out “order 70, order 70!” That was us – we turned around and what was that? Four huge burgers with a lot of fresh toppings, and if that wasn’t enough, a basket with a pound of home seasoned French fries on the side made “mission Awful-Awful” seem impossible. We looked at each other and we knew nobody wanted to fail.

The first bite was just amazing. A homemade onion bun, fresh lettuce, pickles, perfectly melted cheese and of course a 100% beef patty, so juicy and full of taste that my taste buds were going crazy. I expected it to be good but not this good. I guess the taste doesn’t come solely from the burger itself. The whole atmosphere and the little shabby interior add a whole lot of seasoning to the Awful Awful and make it what it is. Together with the fries it is the perfect combination. Every bite was a delight and surprisingly the burger and the basket of fries disappeared faster than expected

After our adventure at the Nugget, we decided to finally gamble for a while. Barely able to move and 5 pounds heavier than before, we schlepped ourselves back to the Eldorado Casino. The ear shattering ringing of the slot machines and the unmistakable smell of cold smoke, booze and old ladies perfume, same as in every casino I’ve ever been to, make you feel like you’re at the right spot to win some cash or probably lose it but who knows, right?

Three of us sat down at a black jack table, while the other played some slots. To my surprise it started off really good for all of us. We were winning and winning. One chicken dinner after the other – we were on fire! At the end I’ve tripled my stake as did the others and an even bigger surprise just came around the corner. The slot machines seemed to like our friend too because he came back with $350 he just won.

This has been a pretty great evening so far. We had won quite some money and had a whole day in front of us. Now a nice, cool local brew to celebrate our success would be the perfect round up for the night and since we were in the “Best” mood, why not give the “Best Microbrew, and “Best Beer Selection,” winner a chance? Also inside the Eldorado, the “Brew Brothers” offers a selection of 8 microbrews, all with a very unique taste to it. After trying out a few I determined my favorite – the gold dollar pale ale – a really nice American-style pale ale with a very distinct hop flavor and spoors of citrus in the aftertaste. And the best thing – these delicious beers are pretty reasonable. A 15 oz. beer costs 3.50 and 22 oz cost 4.50. Enjoying our beers and the live music, we started planning the next day. It wouldn’t be any less exciting.

Lake TahoeThe next morning, a bit hung-over, our next stop was Lake Tahoe. I definitely wanted to show it to the guys as it is such a big contrast to Reno and shows the diversity of the area perfectly. As one takes Hwy 50 from Carson City up to the Lake the change of environment is stunning. Feeling the rising pressure in our ears, we noticed the change of terrain from desert-like to alpine mountains with ever green pine tree forests. After a few miles we’ve reached the high point and from now on it was all downhill which meant the Lake wasn’t far anymore. And there it was in the distance. Dazzled by the reflection of the sun on the lake, we couldn’t wait to jump in the water.

The lake was full of boats, yachts, windsurfers, water-skiers and other water lovers. But what really caught our attention were paddle boarders. Standing up on a surf board and paddling their way around. We really wanted to give it a shot but we had other plans.

In the afternoon we had planned a whitewater rafting trip on Truckee River. When we arrived at the meeting point we were briefed on how to behave on the river and were given all the safety guidelines necessary for an enjoyable day.

So all suited up in life jackets and helmets we launched the rafts and the trip could start. We were following the guide through some of the most beautiful and remote areas. Trees alongside the river banks give you the feeling there’s nothing else around. The whooshing of the water and the sounds of nature had a really calming effect and it was the perfect getaway. The combination between the class 2-3 rapids and very calm parts make it a challenging but also very recreating adventure. Being out in the wild, totally cut off from the everyday stress is something outstanding and irreplaceable.

After two hours I started to feel the paddling in my arms. Although we were going downstream it was very exhausting. Suddenly, out of nowhere, buildings started showing up at the side of the river. First a few, then more and more, and from one moment to the other coming from total exclusion of civilization, we paddled through downtown Reno. A few more rapids and drop pools in the White Water Park and we made it to the shore at Wingfield Park.

Pretty exhausted but still up for some more attractions, I decided to take the guys to Virginia City, a living ghost town. The old gold mining town seems like it is stuck in the 1800s. Driving into town on C Street is like entering another time. The Sherriff greets you with a friendly “Howdy”, Cowboys nod their heads and tap their hats when passing by and the ladies in their big, decadent dresses welcome you with waving hands.

VCVirginia City used to be one of the richest cities in the United States. In the 1800s a lot of men tried to find their luck in the mining industry and many did. Gold and silver attracted many people and just a few years after its establishment in 1859, Virginia City grew to more than 10,000 people. Also, Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, called Virginia City home and started writing under his alias in February 1863.

Browsing the many little unique shops, we came across the famous suicide table in the delta saloon. Supposedly, back in the 1800s the former owner of the saloon, Black Jake shot himself after losing all his life saving at this very table one evening. Rumors say that his ghost was haunting the Delta ever since. Subsequent to him two other owners took their own lives at the same table years later.

We wandered around town and what better place to go for a drink than the infamous “Bucket of Blood” – a saloon so notorious and brutal that the name mirrors the happenings inside. Apparently, so many fights happened nightly at the infamous saloon, that after cleaning the floors, the bucket where the mop was wrung out was filled with blood. Hence, The Bucket of Blood”.

No blood on the floors anymore but the feeling of entering a saloon in the Wild West and being prepared for a bar fight breaking out any minute is still present. If you too are lucky enough to score a table at the windows, enjoy the breathtaking view overlooking the valley and lean back while watching the sundown.

-Benedikt Martinac, Germany

Nevada’s Tourism Ad Campaign is a Record-Breaker

NevadaA year-long advertising campaign that strategically focused on the most lucrative travel markets delivered record-breaking results, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) chair, announced.

“Our ad campaign reached a carefully targeted group of consumers with the means and desire to travel and convinced them to visit us,” Krolicki said.  “In the face of a national economic downturn, NCOT’s winter and summer ads attracted visitors who spent money in Nevada that generated $110 million in tax revenue directly attributed to the ad campaign, a greater return on our investment than ever before.”

Every $1 that NCOT invested in the ads generated $31 in tax revenue.

“We ran a thrifty campaign aimed at our most responsive and proven markets and got our message to the right people,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. “We also integrated the media to include television, Google In-stream video, Internet advertising and national travel magazines, a combination that helped increase our return on investment. It was a prescription for success and we’re gratified to get such good-news results for Nevada tourism.”

The percentage of consumers who saw or heard the ads in markets where they ran jumped from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 42.9 percent in fiscal 2010, which ended June 30. 

Winter ads featured skiing at Lake Tahoe for TV, and the engaging “Capture Your Heart” ad, which showed two hands forming a heart that framed a Lake Tahoe scene, for Internet and print.  Summer ads focused on outdoor recreation for TV, Internet and print. The ads ran in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.

Key to the campaign’s remarkable achievement was using new technology and strategies to pinpoint only specific markets where consumers were most likely to respond to travel ads, rather than advertising across entire regions, Lewis said, noting that NCOT invested $3.5 million for the entire year’s campaign, 30.6 percent less than in 2009 because of budget reductions.

If you have any questions regarding this campaign, please contact Jolyn Laney, deputy director of marketing and advertising, Nevada Commission on Tourism.

-Content courtesy of  Nevada Commission on Tourism

Ride in a T-6 Airplane during the Great Reno Balloon Race!

BalloonThe Great Reno Balloon Race, thanks to the generosity of the National Championship Air Races, is auctioning off six exclusive airplane ride packages on eBay. The winning bidders will get to ride in T-6 airplanes during the “Missing Man” formation while the National Anthem is sung. The package will also include an official Balloon Race poster and pins.

The package is valued at more than $800 and bidding will start on eBay at $300. The “Buy it Now” bid will also be available for $1,000. Three packages will be auctioned off between Monday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 29. Three more packages will also be available for bid starting Monday, Aug. 30 and ending Sunday, Sept. 5. Bidding will close promptly at 3 p.m. on Sunday each week. The last day to bid will be Sunday, Sept. 5. Visit the Reno Balloon Race website to be directed to the eBay auction page.

The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot-air balloon festival in the nation, and the proceeds from this auction will go directly toward the event’s operating expenses. Those who are unable to bid, but would still like to support the Balloon Race may also make donations at the event’s Web site.

-Rebecca Wikler, special to the Reno Tahoe Blog

Reno is Voted America’s Best Whitewater Town!

Reno WhitewaterOutside Magazine has named Reno the Best Whitewater Town in the country in its annual “Best Towns” feature. The Biggest Little City’s downtown rafting and kayaking park on the Truckee River was chosen for its prime location, lush surroundings and outdoor amphitheater in Wingfield Park. It’s no wonder the location is home to the annual Reno River Festival, attracting hundreds of world-class participants and tens of thousands of spectators each year.

And that’s not all! Outside Magazine also listed the new Aces baseball stadium, affordable housing and renovated downtown area among other reasons to love Reno, as well as the newest whitewater park at Rock Park in neighboring Sparks.

The year-round downtown Reno Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield offers adventure in the heart of the casino and arts and culture districts.  The $1.5 million park is more than 2,600 feet long and beckons kayakers, rafters, swimmers and water enthusiasts to test out the class 2-3 rapids and the 11 drop pools, providing easy access for kayaking maneuvers with a consistent supply of fresh water. The success of the first element of the Truckee River Whitewater Park was followed by a second installment of whitewater adventure. The City of Sparks constructed a whitewater park at Rock Park. Along with pools for kayaking, tubing and rafting for all skill levels, the improvements include riverbank landscaping, shade structures, play structures, parking and better access for people with disabilities.

RiverThe Truckee River also flows through the Reno Riverwalk District, filled with unique shops and restaurants and home to the wildly popular monthly wine and beer walks. The river pathway connects Reno to the beautiful new whitewater park in Sparks. The 12 mile path is perfect for cyclists and pedestrians.

To see Outside Magazine’s Reno listing, click here.

To learn more about the endless water adventures in Reno Tahoe USA, click here.

Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home.

CITY OF SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO TAKES DOWN RENO TAHOE USA BILLBOARD

Reno Tahoe USA Twitter Billboard 1The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) regrets to inform that the City of South San Francisco has decided to remove the Reno Tahoe USA simulated Twitter billboard along the 101 North at Oyster Point on Friday, July 30. The billboard has been active since March 2010 as part of the RSCVA’s robust, new marketing campaign, Reno Tahoe USA…Far from expected. To learn about the removal of the billboard, please contact the City of South San Francisco at (650) 829-6601. Bubba, the talking Bighorn sheep and Reno Tahoe USA mascot, was the proud ‘spokesanimal’ of the LED billboard.

Bubba has requested this opportunity to address the separation. Below is Bubba’s letter.

Dear City of South San Francisco,

            As the saying goes, breaking up is hard to do. Writing this letter to you doesn’t eliminate the pain, but it does make the beginning of the separation a little easier. We’ve shared five glorious months together. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve even winced a few times at all hours of the day, rain, fog or shine. Our relationship has been transparent – easy for the public to read, never having to guess just how closely and seamlessly we worked together. We were such a great team.

            Admittedly, I knew from the beginning I was far more invested in this partnership than you, and deep down I suppose I realized this day would one day arrive. Did you find someone else to replace me on the coveted billboard? Never mind. Don’t answer that.

            Was it the distance? I know people say long-distance relationships just don’t work, but c’mon, we’re a mere 3.5 hours apart. We wrote frequently (at least twice a day!) and admit it – it was fun.

            I want to believe this letter is hard for you to read and that in sending this I’m hurting you, but the harsh reality is you have been ready to sever this bond for quite some time. Don’t expect me to give up the mutual friends I’ve made. I can’t ignore the love I have for San Francisco. Maybe Sausalito or another quality suitor will be more accepting and understanding of the unique and wonderful qualities I bring to a relationship.

            I will always care about you, South SF. I admire your cool, confident aura. Maybe after some time apart you’ll realize the joy and relief I brought to the motorists stuck in that horrendous traffic.

Thank you for the opportunity to know you. I hope you find someone who will make you happier, but I highly doubt that will ever happen.

Sincerely,

Bubba, the Reno Tahoe Bighorn Sheep

www.visitrenotahoe.com

Twitter: @RenoTahoe

Google Chooses Nevada Commission on Tourism as Golden Child of Ad Campaigns

LovelockGoogle has chosen the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s (NCOT) online winter ski commercial as a success-story case study after it attracted 8 million viewers in seven targeted markets, said NCOT chair Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki.

NCOT was among the first tourism entities in the country to use Google’s new technology, in-stream video, which places video ads into online video programs, including television segments, in a commercial break format as on regular television. Viewers who were exposed to the ad in markets where it appeared were 33 percent more likely to consider Nevada as a vacation destination than were those who saw other NCOT online ads that did not use Google’s technology, NCOT’s research showed.

“We seek innovative, cost-conscious ways to maximize the return on investment of each tourism dollar, and Google’s video advertising program achieved this for us,” Krolicki said. “The ads captured the attention of the consumers we sought and stimulated their interest in visiting Nevada. They got our message.”

Tracking technology showed that 45 percent of the viewers watched the entire 30-second commercial that appeared on in-stream video. The lively ad showed skiers on snowy Sierra Nevada mountain slopes overlooking blue Lake Tahoe. Travel Nevada: winter commercial.

“We have advertised Nevada’s tourism attractions in many ways, including traditional television, outdoor advertising, online display ads and mobile ads, and we found the exposure and maneuverability of Google’s in-stream video really got results,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said.

Google used a process called geo-targeting to show the NCOT ad in designated marketing areas that offer convenient travel to Nevada and are home to skiers and snowboarders aged 25 to 54 with high-level household income: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago and Phoenix.

River FestNCOT’s research company, TNS Custom Research, and its Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study enables the tourism agency to track the effectiveness of its advertising campaigns and measure the return on investment, which last winter, when the ads ran, was $22 for each $1 invested. NCOT is funded by hotel room tax revenue that visitors pay, not by the state General Fund.

Google’s NCOT case study is available online Google TV Ads Microsite: success stories.

For more information or news from Travel Nevada, click here!

US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships

 US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014

The additional event bookings will generate 190,000 room nights in Reno Tahoe USA. 

USBC Queens 2The LA Times didn’t call it the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins” for nothing. While most cities have a bowling alley, Reno Tahoe USA has an entire stadium dedicated to the sport, and it’s the one-of-a-kind facility and community spirit that has enticed the U.S. Bowling Congress to return year after year.

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) announced Tuesday that Reno has been selected to host the Women’s Championships in 2013 and both the USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014. This marks the first time in USBC history that both events will take place simultaneously in the same city.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the host city for the 2013 and 2014 USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships,” said Ellen Oppenheim, RSCVA President and CEO. “We are equally thrilled to continue to build our long-time partnership with the prestigious events. We are looking forward to welcoming participants of the USBC and their families to our destination for several more years to come.”

Approximately 85,000 bowlers from across the United States and several foreign countries including England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Bermuda, Canada, Bahamas and France participate in the Open Championships. Additionally, more than 45,000 guests will visit Reno Tahoe for each tournament. The economic impact for both the additional Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014 is projected to be $242 million in direct local spending.

“The positive impact of winning this piece of business in 2013 and 2014 will be felt by all of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shops in the destination,” said Oppenheim. “It also brings Reno Tahoe the opportunity to continue to host one of the largest events in the country. This agreement demonstrates that the National Bowling Stadium is a first rate venue and bowlers enjoy coming to Reno Tahoe.”

The USBC Open Championship will be held inside the one-of-a-kind bowling stadium with simultaneous competition for the Women’s Championships inside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC). The last time the RSCC was used for a bowling event was in 1990.

Reno is writing a new page of USBC history in becoming the first city to ever host consecutive tournaments. During previous Open Championships in Reno, 106,916 teams (representing more than 535,000 participants) have competed for more than $30 million in prize money. The Open Championships or Women’s Championships have been held at the National Bowling Stadium 11 times in the past 15 years and are scheduled to return seven  more times.

Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music. Why not do it in the National Bowling Stadium?

 

About United States Bowling Congress:

The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to nearly 2.5 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

                               

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 www.VisitRenoTahoe.com.

Rand McNally selects The Animal Ark in North Reno

Rand McNallyRand McNally’s travel experts scour the country for outstanding trips and stops, representing the best that America has to offer.  Of the many submissions, Rand McNally editors drive five new road trips and share their findings in the annual Road Atlas. 

Rand McNally, America’s most trusted source for maps, directions and travel content, has chosen Reno’s Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary over hundreds of other locations as a unique travel destination, awarding the Ark their prestigious “Best of the Road” designation.

In the 2011 Road Atlas of America, editors present several 2-3 day road trips highlighting a geographic area’s unique attractions: those which best capture the region’s essence and appeal to a broad range of people. Their trip entitled “Earth Tones: Reno Nevada to Yosemite California” describes a route that showcases the browns of the high desert, deep blues of Lake Tahoe, cool greens of the sierras, the granite gray bluffs in Yosemite and soaring red sequoia trees.  The Animal Ark is listed as one of ten intriguing attractions along this driving tour.   Page 137 offers the details and map.

This designation by Rand McNally is an exciting honor for the Animal Ark and all of Reno Tahoe USA.

Each “Best of the Road” tour has 10-12 recommended stopping points. On the Earth Tones route from Reno, NV to O’Neals, CA, the noted stops include:

Animal Ark

Westbrook Winery (O’Neals, CA)

TNT Stagecoach (Virginia City, NV)

Tahoe Maritime Museum (Homewood, CA)

Sugar Pine RailRoad (Fish Camp, CA)

Local’s BBQ & Grill (Carson City, NV)

Thunderbird Lodge (Incline Village, NV)

Camp Richardson (So. Lake Tahoe, CA)

Tahoe Trout Farm (So. Lake Tahoe, CA)

Nature Center at Happy Isles (Yosemite)

The editor’s route starts in Reno, heads south and around Lake Tahoe, rejoins Hwy 395, south to Lee Vining, then over Hwy 120 and south, ending up in Sequoia.

The Animal Ark in Reno shares this pretigious spot with the following trips:  

Wild, Warm Alaska:  Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska

Earth Tones:  Reno, Nevada to Yosemite, California

Seaside to Summit:  Manchester to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Around Lake Erie:  Cleveland, Ohio, to Windsor, Ontario

Following Old Man River: Natchez to Tunica, Mississippi

In developing the trips, editors consider locations that are lesser-known or off the beaten path, are unique or have special character, capture the region’s essence, and appeal to a broad range of people.   For many travel enthusiasts, these 150-200 mile trips satisfy their search for a long weekend of adventure.  Each trip includes maps and directions and lists of “best known” spots.  In addition, Rand McNally’s experts have presented stops along the route that showcase the unique aspects of each region. 

“We congratulate The Animal Ark for being identified in our 2011 Best of the Road® listing.  While there are multiple options for planning and on-the-road navigation, Americans continue to rely upon the Rand McNally Road Atlas each year to give them the big picture and the finer details of each road they travel,” said Dave Muscatel,  CEO of Rand McNally. 

The Animal Ark is a nonprofit organization that houses animals that cannot be released back into the wild. Glass viewing areas offer visitors a window into nature as they see wildlife up close in natural habitat exhibits.  Educational programming is scheduled for school age youngsters throughout the year and special events offer recreation education for all ages.

The Truckee River is Among the Top Sportsman Summer Destinations!

Fly FishingSportsman Channel has announced its Top Sportsman Summer Destinations and lo and behold, the Truckee River is on the list! Hosts of Sportsman Channel spend their days hunting, fishing and shooting throughout North America. That’s their job! So they should know a quality, living body of water when they see one. With summer now officially upon us, Sportsman Channel surveyed its talent, as well as its newly appointed CEO, to create the Top “Sportsman” Summer Destinations List.

The Truckee River came in 4th place! Here’s what Chad Belding had to say about our river:

Chad Belding of The Fowl Life: “My favorite summer destination is the Truckee River between Lake Tahoe and Reno in the beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. The river provides some excellent fishing during the summer months and the guides at the Reno Fly Shop are experts on the local water. They know the hatches, the timetables, the riverbeds, and food beds. Bottom line, they know how to get you on the fish. This in addition to these guided trips, being very affordable is what keeps me coming back to this area year after year. I love to either navigate the river on a float trip or by cruising the shorelines in search of some new honey holes. My favorite locations to fly fish on the Truckee River are literally minutes from Downtown Reno Nevada and Lake Tahoe. There is a ton to do after I get off of the river with great food, summertime activities, concerts, sporting events, and of course the mountains. I suggest staying at the El Dorado Hotel Casino in Reno. The Eldorado is a locally owned Hotel-Casino that offers nothing but first class accommodations.” Fishing with Reno Fly Shop Guides – El Dorado Hotel Casino in Reno: www.EldoradoReno.com and www.renoflyshop.com

 

You said it best, brother!

 

For a complete list of the top Sportsman Channel summer destinations, click here.

Grab Yer Planner, Mateys! Pirates Take Over Reno & Your Kid Can Fish, Free!

The weather is finally heating up and as is customary for this time of year in our neck of the woods – there is never a dull moment in Reno Tahoe USA. We’re helping you plan your weekend with a long list of fabulously funky events in our region. If you’re bored this weekend, it’s your own fault! Get outside and smell the sunshine! (Free attractions are highlighted by an asterisk.)

THURSDAY

Farmers Market*Sparks Hometown Farmers Market

Thursday, June 10, officially kicks off the farmers market at Victorian Square in Sparks, Nevada. Buy fresh and local at the weekly summertime celebration of good grub and family fun that runs through August 19. The markets features more than 100 vendors offering fresh-picked pro­duce, breads, pastries and gourmet foods, plus cooking demon­strations, live entertainment and unique items for the home and garden. The Farmers Market is held on Thursday evenings from 4–9 p.m. at Victorian Square in Sparks. Call 775-353-2291 for details or visit the City of Sparks’ Web site.

Octanefest

Head to Fallon, Nevada this weekend for a four-day powerhouse jamboree otherwise known as Octanefest that kicks off Thursday, June 10. The weekend will be packed with Rock Crawling, Arena Rock Racing, Mud Drags, Truck & Tractor Pulls, Tuff-Cross (Arena Enduro Racing), Motocross, Tuff-Truck and topped off with Grand Marshal Jeff Ward, Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Johnson and other amazing drivers behind the wheels of SuperLite trucks that will catch huge air on the custom built track. The racing action is just a start to the weekend.  There will be music, a vendor show, a show and shine and a motorsports swap meet.  This is event is sure to be fun for the entire family.

*Budget Friendly Cool Down for the Kids

Thursday, June 10, the Melio Gaspari Water Play Park at 7100 Pyramid Lake Highway, in Spanish Spring’s Lazy 5 Regional Park opens. For only $3, the little ones can cool off in the water play park that’s open five days a week through Sunday, August 29. Features include a giant sunflower sprinkler, spilling buckets, “spitting” horses, a water tower, and other cool stuff out of the Old West. Covered pavilions may be reserved for birthdays and other special events. Daily admission is $3 or it’s FREE for children under 3. Call (775) 424-1804 for more information. For more family ideas, click here.

FRIDAY

Carson City Rendezvous

This Friday through Sunday experience a Civil War reenactments, cowboy stunt shows, camel rides, a blacksmithing competition and live music, arts and crafts at the Carson City Rendezvous.

Museum of Art*Nevada Museum of Art: Free Admission!

The second Saturday of each month enjoy FREE admission to the state’s only accredited art museum! Check out the spectacular exhibits on display right now, including Fernando Botero’s Baroque World or The Human Touch. Afterward, treat yourself to a delicious lunch at the museum’s Café Musée.

SATURDAY

*Free Fishing Day!

Nevada’s annual Free Fishing Day will be Saturday, June 12. Anglers may fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. All limits and other regulations apply.

Once again, the Sparks Rotary Club, Nevada Department of Wildlife and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation Department have joined forces to offer a special community event for the area’s children. Kids will enjoy a fun-filled morning of fishing along the south shore of the Sparks Marina from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Commemorative t-shirts and fishing poles will be distributed at the registration area until supplies run out. There will be fun games and face painting for all ages, and a free barbecue lunch will begin at 9 a.m. with hot dogs, soda and ice cream for registered children.

2 weavers*Western Heritage Festival

Celebrate life in the West at the SparksMuseum’s 2nd Annual Western Heritage Festival on Saturday, June 12th.  This free to the public, outdoor event will be held from 2 pm to 7 pm on the grounds surrounding the museum, located on the on the corner of Pyramid Way & Victorian Avenue.

“Never to be forgotten” traditions and skills are highlighted throughout the day in this fun for the whole family event.   Cowboy poet Larry Maurice leads the show as master of ceremonies. Virginia City native Rich Elloyan’s western music depicts not only his love for Nevada and songs of the land, but as a he adds a unique perspective on the history of the developing west. Lenny Walker a real life train conductor takes us back to Sparks founding singing songs of Railroad lore.

Youngsters get into the spirit with Dummy Roping and leather stamping. Demonstrators will be teaching handmade saddle making, lariat basket art, quilting, spinning, weaving and more.  Jewelers and other artists and crafters display their wares while the wild burros and horse bring the county to town.

Go back in time with Azteca Aztlan dancing in colorful costumes, the Little Warriors drumming the Paiute beat and the Reno Promenaders square dancing to John Hall’s call.

As an added bonus, the Museum is currently featuring Ellis Island: The Lost Mural by Andrew Sabori.  This 19 panel, 84 foot long mural depicts the role of the immigrant in the development of America. (Regular admission fees apply – Children under 12 are free, Adults $5).

High Tech Treasure Hunt

Spent your Saturday afternoon (June 12) along the shores of Lake Tahoe hunting for more than 100 prizes in the sand. Join hundreds of others as you explore South Lake Tahoe on an exciting high-tech treasure hunt. GPS Receivers and a downloadable Passport Clue Book will guide you to your prizes. Grab a partner (or not – that way you don’t have to share) and your adventure on!

Beer CrawlPirate Pub Crawl

When you’ve finished searching for treasure along the shores of South Tahoe, grab yer matees for the 2010 Pirate Crawl in downtown Reno on June 12th from 5 – 10 p.m. Complete with a Rum Tasting Competition, challenge ye fellow scalliwags to a night of shenanigans dressed in yer finest sea-faring rags. Wooden peg or not, we’ll accept you. Just leave that yapping parrot at home. We’ll have enough yo-ho’ing that night to keep the city awake all night.

Mark Twain’s Wild West Weekend

Take the kiddos to Zephyr Cove to celebrate Mark Twain style, with cherry pie eating contests, chili cook offs and cowboy poetry and music. The event runs from June 12-13 starting at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

SUNDAY

Reno Film Festival

The 10th Annual Reno Film Festival is celebrating a decade of spectacular talent and renown directors from all over the world. Running from June 13-20, the annual event features a packed schedule of movie screenings, parties, discussion groups and Q&A sessions. This year, Pilar Alessandra is the keynote speaker. Alessandra is the director of the Los Angeles writing program and has worked as a senior story analyst for Dream Works and Radar Pictures. Don’t miss this opportunity to rub elbows with some truly talented folk.