As a native Northern Nevadan, and someone in their mid-30’s, this is one of the few times I have really felt Reno was on the cusp of change. Growing up it was always my perception the biggest little city was a gambling town. I can remember being in awe when the Silver Legacy opened in the mid-90s and thought it was only a matter of time until Reno would overtake Las Vegas as the predominant gaming town. While that assertion was clearly the misguided excitement of a kid, that feeling is returning.
Any long-time local can recall the shift from gambling destination to distribution hub, and now, to our possibly becoming a large player in the manufacturing and technology spaces. These changes in local business have helped to reshape our region and perception nationally. Our once limited job market has become a deluge of opportunity. Children growing up in Reno today will have a wider spectrum of careers to choose from as they enter the job market. Every day it seems there is a new local or chain restaurant, brewery or distillery opening. There have been big aesthetic improvements made in the downtown area, especially around Virginia and West Elm. Certainly, there is plenty to be excited about.
Through my employer, I have been lucky enough to take part in a leadership program put on by the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. In doing so, I have been exposed to the opportunities and challenges facing our local economy, which by all accounts, is burgeoning. Touring local businesses, behind-the-scenes glimpses into our healthcare providers and discussions with local politicians have all opened my eyes to how connected we all are. Understanding the cause and effect business growth has on the region, effecting everything from local construction, water-use rights, traffic logistics and energy conservation is astounding.
Being caught up in our daily work responsibilities it can be easy to forget how we are all aligned. Whether you are operating a small business, heading up a major department within a local enterprise or churning out batteries at the Tesla plant we are all part of this cities reinvention. National exposure brought on the Wolf Pack helps with reminding us, as the community bands together to support our teams. I cannot remember a time where any establishment I stepped into involved a conversation about whether our local hoops team would land an All-American, as they do now.
As I am often reminded, it is important to stop and take stock of things we have accomplished. It is easy to let the days blend together as we are mired in our daily stresses. Take a moment to look around and feel good about what we have all done to this point and what else there is to look forward to.