The Biggest Little City in the World: Locals tell us how Reno earned its nickname and if it still fits
The city of Reno built its landmark arch for a highway exposition in the Roaring Twenties. When the show ended, the arch stayed and the city asked its citizens to bestow upon it a slogan. “The Biggest Little City in the World” won top prize and s Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The city of Reno built its landmark arch for a highway exposition in the Roaring Twenties. When the show ended, the arch stayed and the city asked its citizens to bestow upon it a slogan. “The Biggest Little City in the World” won top prize and soon went up in lights on the arch.
“My family’s been here since 1840,” a Renoite told us. “[The city] has changed a lot.”
That man declined to give us his name because “people know him,” but he believed Reno’s donated moniker no longer made sense.
“This is like a Midwestern town,” he said. “It used to be storming with people.”
Indeed, the only storming we saw Friday came from the sky – spitting rain, 70-mile-per-hour gusts. But we did find some Renoites who argued: Reno isn’t only the biggest little city in the world – “it’s the biggest little city I’ve been to,” Renoite Brock McCann said – it’s also the greatest.
“There’s a lot of entertainment compacted into one big city,” 22-year-native Maria DeLoach said.
“I like the gambling, actually,” McCann said.
“The nicest people probably in the world,” 77-year-resident Tom Gattis said.
“It’s OK,” our nameless Renoite said with a huff.
This guy again! Our nameless fifth-generation Renoite told us the current city council had sucked all the magic from this once-golden city.
“These clubs are dying,” he said. “That’s all there is to it. It’s not the greatest little city no more.”
And on a dismal, late-fall Friday, verve did seem absent. If the river jumped its banks, Reno looked as though it would go without a fight.
But by night, a city proud of its nightlife looked a little more like the must-see stop our nameless local said it used to be and Reno hopes it still is.
“Beautiful,” Gattis said.
“It’s something that I never thought I’d ever see,” McCann said.