Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 | 2 a.m.
The Reno Gazette-Journal repurposed a story online Wednesday listing 10 reasons why Reno is better than Las Vegas. Seems comical, right?
It’s the week of the Fremont Cannon rivalry football game between UNLV and UNR, giving fans of both schools a chance to ridicule the other and draw comparisons. The article says Reno has better traffic (that might be true, actually) and weather (only if you like snow) than Las Vegas.
For us in Southern Nevada, fans of the Scarlet and Gray, there is no argument — Reno is the armpit of Nevada.
Here’s are 10 of the many reasons why:
1. At the Thomas & Mack Center, home of the nationally known UNLV basketball program, there hangs a banner from the 1990 national championship season. At UNR’s Lawlor Events Center, banners hang documenting the program’s advancement in the National Invitational Tournament. Not winning the tourney; just advancing. I write this every year: Reno is a small town with small ambitions.
2. Las Vegas has world-class properties such as MGM Grand, Bellagio, Aria and the Cosmopolitan, among others on the Las Vegas Strip. And the Strip has unlimited entertainment options. Reno has the Grand Sierra Resort. Other properties, especially those in downtown Reno, aren’t glamorous. When the lounge act at Circus Circus, or breakfast at the Silver Legacy, is considered a good time, your standards aren’t too high.
3. In Southern Nevada we got to keep the 702 area code. Reno residents weren’t happy about having to switch to 775.
4. Las Vegas has Jerry Tarkanian, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Greg Maddux, No. 1 LPGA golfer Inbee Park and Andre Agassi. They are athletes who are the unquestioned best at their craft. Matt Williams, from nearby Carson City, had to leave Northern Nevada to play college baseball at UNLV to reach the big leagues. Reno does have Colin Kaepernick, who absolutely destroyed UNLV in the Fremont Cannon game. But Kaepernick has struggled this season with the San Francisco 49ers.
5. Bobby Flay, Giada, Guy Fieri, Wolfgang Puck, Nobu Matsuhisa and other notable chefs have set up up shop in Las Vegas. Name one celebrity chef with a restaurant in Reno ... Well?
6. Las Vegas is a destination for films such as "Ocean’s Eleven," "Hangover" and "Leaving Las Vegas" — all classics. Reno can stake claim to "Sister Act," where Reno lounge singer Whoopi Goldberg was put into protective custody to avoid danger from her mob bosses.
7. Las Vegas was home to the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" series. Reno was home to "Reno 911!," which made fun of the city’s police.
8. Las Vegas has McCarran International Airport, which had 42 million passengers in 2014. It has more than 500,000 takeoffs annually, ranking in the top 10 in the world. Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves 4 million passengers annually, or less than 10 percent of Las Vegas. So, what’s the difference? It’s easy: More people want to come to Las Vegas.
9. We had Mayweather-Pacquiao, host NASCAR and National Finals Rodeo annually, and in 2016 will host the final presidential debate. Reno will hold the PBA World Series of Bowling at its National Bowling Stadium, and, of course, the annual NBA D-League showcase.
10. Reno boasts about its proximity to Lake Tahoe, a far superior area that wants nothing to do with Reno. In Vegas we have dozens of outdoors options — Red Rock, Mount Charleston, Brian Head and Death Valley among them — within three hours, and then we return to the Entertainment Capital of the World where we’ll take the Four Seasons over your four seasons.