Reno, pedestrian Reno

I’m going to be teaching in Reno next semester, and from judging from this article I should feel right at home. From the RGJ:

The gaming industry is soaring worldwide but not in Reno, a leading gaming analyst told a group of young Reno business leaders Wednesday.

“This is an $85 billion industry (annually in the U.S.), but as of 1982, it was a $10 billion industry,” said Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada. “So, that is quite an expansion over that period of time.

“That’s the good news,” Eadington told a class of the Leadership Reno/Sparks. “The bad news is that Reno is not really part of this.”

Reno left out

The growth in Las Vegas tourism and the proliferation of tribal gaming in Northern and Southern California has hurt the Reno market, Eadington said. Gaming has also grown in areas such as Oregon, Washington and western Canada, further cutting into Washoe County gaming, Eadington said.

The impact of the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas is also important, said Reno gaming analysis Ken Adams, when asked to comment on Eadington’s speech.

“Go back to 1989 and look at Northern Nevada’s feature markets — California, Oregon, Washington and Canada,” Adams said. “I’m guessing, but there is probably about $20 billion worth of gross revenue coming out of those places now.

“In 1989, the direction of the gaming industry in Reno and Sparks versus Las Vegas has diverged in a fairly dramatic fashion,” Eadington said. “The year 1989 is a critical period in Las Vegas history. That was the year the Mirage and the Excalibur opened, the first of the modern mega casinos.

“It is also the year Harrah’s chose to move out of Reno because Reno was too pedestrian, too parochial, too wrapped up, I think, in dysfunctional issues. They decided to move to Memphis and later to Las Vegas to be in the center of the action.” Analyst warns of gaming decline in Reno

Pedestrian, parochial, wrapped in dysfunction? It sounds a lot like Atlantic City, my hometown. Growing up surrounded by a sense that the city’s best days were behind it probably didn’t prepare me for moving to Las Vegas, which is in the middle of a boom.

Speaking of class, it’s coming along well. I’m almost finished with my lectures, and I’ve already learned a great deal about some topics that I’d previously neglected. I hope the students have as much fun as I am.

Spread the love