The Biggest Little List: 10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Reno

If everything you know about Reno, Nev., came from the Comedy Central hit Reno 911!,then you don’t know Reno! he show’s opening montage was actually filmed there – most of it was shot on location in Los Angeles and the surrounding area (and a few scenes in Oregon), using the Carson Substation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Here are a few other things you also might not know about Reno:

Despite the nods to drinking, divorce and gambling… you can get great cannabis service in Reno

As we enter the Nevada market, we continue to strive to work with partners who align with our mission to bring safe and enjoyable products to people who use cannabis as part of a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. Our newest Nevada partner, Sierra Well, is committed to making the shopping experience approachable by providing top-quality cannabis and exceptional service to recreational customers and medical patients in Reno and Carson City. Both locations have highly trained teams dedicated to connecting you with the best cannabis products for your needs. Please visit Sierra Well at one of their clean, modern locations:

Sierra Well in Reno – 1605 East 2nd Street #103

Sierra Well in Carson City – 2765 US Hwy 50 E #A

Reno is named after someone who never even visited the area

Maryland native Jesse Lee Reno was an Army officer and Union general during the Civil War and generally was considered to be an all-around good guy. So, when he died after being shot in the chest by friendly fire during the Battle of South Mountain in Maryland, some of his buddies appealed to name the railroad station in a newly forming Western town after him, a common way of honoring folks back then. Incidentally, Reno wasn’t even his real name: It was Renault, which people apparently had trouble pronouncing. And yes, he was distantly related to the family that later founded the car company.

Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” video was filmed there

But you’d never know that just by watching it: The whole black-and-white video – credited with reviving interest in Ronnie Spector – was shot inside the bland, empty Lawlor Events Center. No word on whether Reno wishes this would stay a secret.

Reno holds a Guinness World Record

In 2014, 540 people gathered at the Peppermill Casino & Resort to play checkers, landing them in the annals of history for the most people playing checkers – and probably the most people yelling, “King me!” – simultaneously.

The National Auto Museum exists because of a famous casino owner

Photo: Reno Tahoe

Most people have heard of Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos, but not everyone knows that founder Bill Harrah, a onetime gambling addict, was also a car collector with very specific parameters for his acquisitions – they had to be the only ones ever made, or the last ones known to exist, or they had to the first or last of the series, or they had to have unique features not found on other cars. According to the museum’s Precious Metal publication, Harrah had amassed more than 1,400 cars before he died at age 60 in 1978 of an aneurysm during heart surgery. This museum collection showcases about 200 of Harrah’s favorites, including a DeLorean, a “Jerrari” (half Jeep, half Ferrari) and James Dean’s Mercury from “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Reno was home to the first, and now largest, Superhero crawl

Photo: Ray Coronado

Mid-month every July for more than a decade, hundreds of Batmen, Wonder Women, Spidermen and Captain Americas have journeyed from bar to bar in search of something to save (their dignity, maybe?).

Reno always makes the top ten lists of “most drunken city”

First, there’s the fact that more than 18 percent of the residents are considered to be binge drinkers, with an average of 14.5 drinks consumed monthly per person. And probably not coincidentally, Reno ranks third for liver disease.

Reno has a National Bowling Stadium

It’s where “Kingpins” was shot, and also where Bill Murray (off-camera) famously bowled three strikes in a row. The 363,000-square-foot, five-story building sports 78 lanes and a movie theater that shows bowling films and tournaments. You can get your form assessed between frames, and there’s a little museum devoted to all things ten-pin. The place is hard to miss: it’s the one with the 80-foot-high bowling ball on the façade.

The city experiences thousands of earthquakes annually

According to the University of Nevada’s Reno Nevada Seismological Laboratory, in some recent years, there have been even more – 5,000-plus earthquakes have occurred, likely because of the fault lines that run beneath the area. The good news: These seismic shifts are barely perceptible, although a couple of hundred each year rank above 3, which means anyone paying attention will have some awareness of them. On the other hand, since so many residents are hammered all the time, who knows?

Reno isn’t the divorce capital of the country anymore

That distinction has been taken by Panama City, Fla., which has been tops for about a decade now. Back in the day, Reno was a mecca for making your marriage go away because it required only six weeks of residency and then it pushed the paperwork through fast (the “quickie divorce”), mainly because it was a moneymaker. Reno does still make the top ten for divorces, though, and Reno Divorce is a great band name – it belongs to a Denver-based rockabilly punk trio.


Author: Kyle Wagner

Kyle WagnerFreelance writer Kyle Wagner has been a journalist for 30 years; most recently, she was restaurant critic and travel editor at The Denver Post until 2014, and has written for The Cannabist and other cannabis-oriented publications since. In 2017, Kyle left Colorado for Sherwood, Ore., to co-found the hemp farm Queen Bee Bliss. In the off-season, the mother of two adult daughters adds to her list of 40+ countries visited, and is an enthusiastic mountain biker and river rat.

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