Can downtown Reno be revived?

So retailers, restaurants and services are waiting for all these new apartments to fill in before making the decision to risk their business downtown (RN&R, January, 2023)? It seems the Downtown Reno Partnership convinced itself that’s the case. The problem isn’t just foot traffic; it’s the “don’t go outside” mantra of gaming that sets the tone. Small business can do much better elsewhere without that challenge surrounding them.

Larry DeVincenzi, Reno

I remember the Reno of the 1950s and 1960s, and I loved the city then. So vibrant and alive. When they tore down the Mapes, I knew it was the beginning of the end, and I don’t think Reno will ever get its groove back.

Brad Nelson, Reno

Silver State on the silver screen

Some additions to your Northern Nevada films listing (RN&R, January 2023): Tom Selleck in An Innocent Man, shot at the old Nevada State Prison in Carson City; The Wizard (a Nintendo Movie) with Fred Savage in Minden; and Misery with James Caan and Kathy Bates in Genoa are just a few more that I recall. Nice article, RN&R. Thank you.

—John Procaccini, Carson City

I enjoyed the article on essential Reno movies and feel that one essential Reno film was missing from the recommendations: Hard Eight by Paul Thomas Anderson, a brief Reno resident. Many sources will claim Anderson disowns this film, because he did not get a final cut, but it is excellent nonetheless. Not only does Hard Eight capture a more grimy downtown Reno of the past, full of outcasts and lost souls, but Anderson truly went on to become one of the nation’s greatest film directors. The film features strong supporting roles from Samuel L. Jackson and Gwyneth Paltrow, a brief cameo from young and then unknown actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, and glimpses of a lively Sundowner hotel and casino that exists today as nothing more than a hollow shell of what it once was. The times do change.

Brandon Clark, Reno.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers also suggested: Smokin’ Aces, shot at Lake Tahoe; Blind Fury, starring Rutger Hauer; and Far From Home, a 1989 flick starring Drew Barrymore, shot in Gerlach.

Gannett cut RGJ to the bone

I was one of the Reno Gazette Journal’s weekly columnists for 20 years and was part of (Gannett Corp.’s) million cuts (RN&R, January 2023). I was let go with an email saying, “This is your last column,” no explanation. When I asked to write a final one just to say good bye to readers … I was told it wasn’t personal; they cut all the columnists. I was living in Ireland and just accepted it. But to me, the columnists are the heart of the community, and opinions are an important part of every newspaper. My hat’s off to Frank and staff for building the RN&R as they have!

Erin Meehan Breen, Reno

Remembering the Donner Party

Wonderful writing about the Donner Party’s Christmas experiences (RN&R, December 2022). I visited the memorial in 1985, when I met and interviewed (Ordeal by Hunger author) George Stewart’s widow, Theodosia. Don Scott had driven me and some of his friends to Donner Lake. This written account took me right back, as it’s so evocative.

Steve Williams, Reno

Bike paths should be cleared of snow

I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that if I don’t shovel the snow from the sidewalk in front of the home I own, and someone slips and falls and cracks their head open, I can be sued. Does the same not apply to the city of Reno when they don’t bother to shovel the snow on the Truckee River Path? For those of us who live in Reno, work in Sparks, and commute by bicycle, that’s our freeway. Well over a week after the last December snows, there are still random patches of snow and ice all over the path. Not sure if the city of Sparks has shoveled their side, either. There are far fewer, but there are still some dangerous patches on their side of the river path as well.

—Peter Menchetti, Reno

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