I'll be writing more about the Left Coast Crime in the coming months. In the meantime, here's a bit of a travelogue to whet your appetites...
As regards our host cities of Reno and Sparks, you should know that in addition to Left Coast Crime gracing Reno with its presence, there are many cool aspects to the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area. (Note, every time you hear anyone refer to the more famous Reno, you can quietly mouth the words, “and Sparks” to give sister city Sparks her due. Our host hotel, the Nugget, is in Sparks, after all. As for Tahoe, it doesn’t need any due, as it is glorified by the annual crush of millions of visitors already.)
Reno’s Cool thing #1 - ART
Reno is known as Art Town for a good reason. One is that it has the Nevada Art Museum, with as serious an art collection as you’ll find in any comparably-sized city, and it is housed in a very modern, custom, arty building.
|Nevada Art Museum|
Reno is also home to multiple art galleries. As for the literary arts, Reno is well-anchored in the word firmament by Sundance Bookstore, one of the all-time greatest independent bookstores anywhere.
|One of the world's greatest bookstores|
There are other literary events such as the Reno Literary Crawl that takes place multiple times a year. (We writers are used to groveling, so crawling is a step up…)
Cool thing #2 - TAHOE
Reno is just down the mountain from Lake Tahoe, in many respects the most fantabulous, high-elevation, super pure, super deep, amazing gorgeous awe-inspiring body of water in the world.
|Lake Tahoe - A View To Kill|
Okay, for you sticklers, we’re talking 22 miles long by 12 miles wide, 6230 feet in the sky, (i.e., the lake is 1000 feet higher than mile-high-city Denver), 1630 feet deep (10th deepest in the world), with water that passes many official standards for distilled water (you can see down 70 feet). (Yes, there’s a lake in the Andes that is bigger and higher, but it ain’t deep and pure like Tahoe.) Tahoe has over a dozen major ski resorts, every kind of boating, and many of the most beautiful hiking and biking and cross-country ski trails found anywhere. There’s a reason why Reno changed the name of its airport to the Reno Tahoe Airport. Tahoe is simply, by any measure, one of the world’s most beautiful places. And Reno is its number one access point. When you come to Reno, everyone advises that you schedule an extra day or more to drive up to Tahoe and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. If the weather is decent, I recommend going up #431, the Mount Rose Highway. Take it over the summit. At about 9000 feet, it is the highest year-round pass in the Sierra. Then drive down at least to the overlook above Incline Village. The view from that overlook alone will stay with you forever. Way better is to drive all the way around the lake. When you see Emerald Bay, you are likely to agree that it is near the top of the all-time-most-amazing places. (Can you tell I’m a Tahoe enthusiast? You may have noticed that my book titles all begin with Tahoe…)
|Tahoe astonishes from every angle|
Cool thing #3 - TECH
Reno is the new hot tech magnet, and as such is experiencing a tech boom like no other city. You’ve probably heard that Tesla’s Giga Factory, a facility that also has Panasonic investing major bucks, is currently setting up shop in the Reno area. They followed Amazon, which built a giant fulfillment center in Reno a couple of years ago. Apple is investing $1 billion in a cloud-storage data center just east of Reno. Apple also just bought an entire city block near downtown Reno to build another facility. Then there is that search company called - let me think - oh yeah, Google. Google just bought 1200 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Yes, you read that number correctly. What does Google plan to do with that much land near Reno? Stay tuned to find out. Then there’s Microsoft, which has only three regional operations centers in the world, and one of them is in Reno. Even Berkshire Hathaway has built a power plant in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.
Wait, I just mentioned Apple, Google, Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon in one paragraph. Measured by market cap, those are the five biggest companies in the world. And they are all investing heavily in the Reno area. I guess we better sit up and take notice...
Cool thing #4 - NEW HIP
Reno has a hip thing going that is far beyond its gambling history.
*Did you know that the world’s tallest and largest climbing wall is on the outside of Reno’s Whitney Peak Hotel? It is 164 feet high.
*Did you know that during the spring you can kayak whitewater on the Truckee River in downtown Reno? If you want something more tame, walk the Truckee River Walk through downtown Reno. It is a beautiful stroll along the Truckee, down which all the water from Lake Tahoe flows.
*How about Reno’s vibrant live theater scene with multiple acting companies? For example, the Reno Little Theater is featuring a murder mystery play called Death By Design in the weeks before and during Left Coast Crime. How perfect is that? http://renolittletheater.org/events/event/death-by-design/
|Reno Little Theater|
*Reno also houses the University of Nevada’s Reno (UNR) campus, with over 20,000 students. Compared to the university’s Las Vegas campus, UNR is the harder school in which to get accepted, but its graduates make more money. And it isn’t thirteen thousand degrees in the summer!
*What else? The Reno Aces is a Minor League baseball team that’ll take you back to old-time baseball. Their stadium is right near downtown. Listen to the crack of the bat on a fastball, smell the hotdogs, lick the beer head off your upper lip. This is classic, old-time baseball. When it comes to the essence of the sport, the Yankees got nothing on the Aces.
*And if you’re a flying buff, there are few things more exciting than the Reno Air Races. You can’t get airplane races just anywhere!
Cool thing #5
The old stuff is still strong. The National Car museum will delight you whether you are a gearhead or are merely into old classic cars as modern art pieces.
|The coolest cars ever at the National Car Museum in downtown Reno|
Considered the Taj Mahal of tenpins, Reno’s National Bowling Stadium is world-class. And if you want to visit a casino, there are many to choose from, including the Nugget hotel and casino where Left Coast Crime is taking place.
One more thing, long-time Reno literary presence Sundance Bookstore will be at Left Coast Crime to provide books and literary gravitas. How can this mystery convention not be great?!