Well, the perfect downtown has plenty of free, easily accessible parking, said one contributor to the vision. Lots of people are milling around through downtown, hanging out on a large central plaza, making their way to the river for more Artown events now that the festival has been hypothetically extended longer than one mere month.
Traffic isn’t clumping up at railroad intersections, others added. Plenty of good restaurants—not just casino restaurants—line the streets. Locals bring their families; tourists bring fat wallets. This ideal Reno has lots of shrubs, flowers and trees. Vacant lots are lined with bark and fenced off with ornamental iron rather than tacky cyclone.
Ah, the loveliness is almost too hard to bear.
No worries. The dreams are just dreams, after all. Especially when your city’s redevelopment agency is on the wrong side of broke. As of March, the agency had racked up about $52 million worth of debt.
Still, with the ideal Reno in mind, about 30 locals gathered Saturday to bat around a vision for Reno. You had to be an early bird to contribute. The meeting started at 8 a.m.
“I get a sense of optimism from the residents of Reno,” said Gennaway, a Pasadena, Calif., resident and a representative of the out-of-town consulting firm hired by the city to run these kinds of meetings. “There’s the sense that something is happening here.”
When Scott Beers of Brüka Theatre visits another big city like Denver, he said, he likes to go where the locals hang out. That’s the scene Reno needs.
“That gives you a feel of community,” Beers said. “The grassroots stuff. Instead of having one real fancy pub, maybe have a lot of little pubs. People sitting outside and just hanging.”
Three members of the Reno City Council showed up. Punctual Toni Harsh arrived right at 8 a.m. Dave Aiazzi and Jessica Sferrazza-Hogan were a bit late.
“When we’re seeing Reno, I think we’re talking about ‘doing'—not just going and seeing, but interacting, participating,” Harsh said. “Reno is not a passive place.”
Aiazzi told the visionaries that their thoughts on downtown were important. But he also reminded them to be realistic. The agency owes the city of Reno’s general fund, and unless the debt is forgiven or more money is allocated, well, the dreams of residents will stay dreams.
“It costs money to do this stuff,” Aiazzi said. “And that’s the problem. We don’t have any money."for Saturday’s March for Compassion and Global Unity have changed. Music by local artists, open mic time and a march for peace starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 on the lawn of Jot Travis Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno. The “peaceful, non-aggressive” walk down North Virginia Street, sponsored by the Campus Greens, starts at noon.
The meeting times and location for Saturday’s March for Compassion and Global Unity have changed. Music by local artists, open mic time and a march for peace starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 on the lawn of Jot Travis Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno. The “peaceful, non-aggressive” walk down North Virginia Street, sponsored by the Campus Greens, starts at noon.