I often use my little Editor’s note to ask questions that I don’t really have anywhere else to ask, questions that I’ve heard conventional answers to—What are the real reasons people don’t vote? What have people’s real experiences been with the Atkins diet?—but sometimes I don’t really believe what I’ve heard.
Last night, I lay a-bed thinking about the future. The question I was fixated on—other than the obvious one, why am I awake?—was this: if Reno really wants to preserve its gambling-based economy, what can be done? I’m not talking about a tax-free zone for retailers on the river. I’m not talking about a train trench so downtown hotel guests can sleep at night. I’m not even talking about an “Adventure Place” regional marketing plan that doesn’t really change or improve the product, just sort of repositions it.
I’m talking the huge, impossible dreams that would honestly change the nature of the town. What would you do if you had infinite resources and a desire to change a region? Would you build a dome over the area from Fifth Street to the river, Center Street to Sierra Street or shut down Virginia Street and create a park-like, art-filled plaza? Would you buy the Yucca Mucker, the 25-foot-diameter tunnel-drilling machine that sits at the Nevada Test Site and punch a hole through the Sierra from Verdi to Auburn, so that the possibility of a closed Interstate 80 wouldn’t keep tourists away during the months from the Reno Air Races to President’s Day Weekend?
I guess it’s the specter of a dark Sundowner that’s got me wondering about extreme solutions. Will the Sundowner become another high-rise weekly motel like the Comstock? Will it become a black tooth in the smile of Reno’s skyline? It seems there must be a solution out there. Drop me a line.