Republished from the RGJ article on Oct. 27, 2013
Written by THE OPINION OF THE Reno Gazette-Journal EDITORIAL BOARD
We love Nevada.
There’s no better time to express that than now as Nevada celebrates its 149th anniversary and moves into its sesquicentennial year.
1. Nevada is independent. Try to think of another state that voted for a Democrat for president and a Republican for governor. There aren’t many, and it makes us a battleground state that the nation focuses on every presidential election. And we’re the only state with a “None of These Candidates” option on the ballot. How cool is that?
2. Nevadans love it here. Despite bad perceptions among outsiders, all it takes is moving here to realize what a great state this is. Need proof? Back in February, the University of Vermont put out a report called “Geography of Happiness” that ranked the happiest states. Nevada? No. 3.
3. Mt. Rose ski resort. The people of a good-sized metro area — Reno-Sparks — live only 30 minutes from great skiing and snowboarding. In January, MSN.com named Mt. Rose one of the “10 Hippest Ski Areas You Rarely Hear About,” while last year Ski magazine rated it one of the “10 Best Mountains You’ve Never Skied.”
4. Even more great skiing. They may not be in Nevada, but other Tahoe-area ski resorts are barely more than a stone’s throw away. Maybe this is why Livability.com ranked Reno at No. 5 for “Top 10 Best Winter Vacation Destinations.” And those nearby resorts are fantastic. Outside magazine last year profiled the 40 best ski resorts in North America. Better than 1 in 7 were around Lake Tahoe — and Squaw Valley ranked No. 1.
5. Amazing special events. People travel from around the world to enjoy events here: the National Championship Air Races (ranked by USA Today this year as one of the 10 best air shows in the world), the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off (ranked this summer as one of the “10 Summer Festivals Worth the Pit Stop” by Salon.com), plus Hot August Nights, Street Vibrations and the Great Reno Balloon Races.
6. Nevada is smart. The state justifiably gets a bad rap for its high school graduation rates, but it’s also got brains. The University of Nevada, Reno is ranked as a Tier 1 research school by U.S. News & World Reports. The Desert Research Institute is world-renowned for its climate and water work, archaeological research and air quality studies. And of 100 cities picked worldwide for IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge Program, one was Reno.
7. Nevada is great for business. No income tax, no inventory tax, no estate tax, no corporate income tax. The Tax Foundation and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council both ranked Nevada as having the third best tax system for businesses in the United States.
8. Nevada knows how to party. Las Vegas can brag about itself, but Northern Nevada is pretty great, too. No other city pub-crawls quite like Reno. This may be why USA Today put the Santa Pub Crawl on its list of “10 Great Places for Christmas Spirit.” Zagat.com in August ranked the Chapel Tavern in Reno’s Midtown district one of the “10 Best Places to Drink Rum.” There’s also one of the greatest parties anywhere in the world nearby: Burning Man.
9. Nevada still does gaming best. Many other states have tried to copy the casino model of Nevada. They come to Nevada for advice on regulation because we know gaming. And for six years in a row, the city ranked No. 1 by Casino Player magazine as having the loosest slots? Reno.
10. Great food. The casinos have brought in world-class chefs, and this has set a high bar for noncasino restaurants. It’s impossible to amble along Reno’s River Walk District and not notice the buzz at Campo, ranked last year by Esquire as one of the nation’s best new restaurants. It’s a large part of why the Daily Meal in June ranked Reno as one of the “Top 10 Underestimated Cities for Food.” Another reason is the GourMelt food truck, which has been celebrated by CultureCheeseMag.com and the Daily Meal.
Then there are ghost towns galore, valuable mineral deposits, wide open spaces, Virginia City, wild horses, hot springs, dirt roads that lead to waterfalls, the old opera house in Eureka, Great Basin National Park, cowboys, Basque food and the best lake in the nation according to USA Today’s readers: Lake Tahoe. We could go on.
In short, we are proud of Nevada, and you should be, too.