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The Sobering Reality Of What Life Is Like In Reno, Nevada

What do you do when the city where you live is dying?  All over the United States formerly great cities are crumbling, but some are definitely in worse shape than others.  One reader recently wrote to me about what she sees happening all around her in Reno, Nevada.  The unemployment rate in Reno is now up to 11.7 percent, which is well above the national average of 8.3 percent.  But that doesn't tell the whole story.  The recent recession hit Nevada particularly hard and people have been moving out of the state in waves.  In fact, the labor force in Nevada has shrunk by close to 20 percent over the past year as workers have moved elsewhere in search of work.  But even though the labor force is now nearly 20 percent smaller, the unemployment rate is still well above 11 percent.  There simply are not enough jobs in large Nevada cities such as Reno and Las Vegas.  Unfortunately for Reno, it does not have the same kind of big corporate money pouring into it that Las Vegas does.  The good news is that you can buy a house very, very cheaply in Reno because homes were foreclosed on in droves during the housing crash.  Even today, some housing developments that were put up near the end of the boom times look like virtual ghost towns.  The main industry in Reno is "entertainment", but many of Reno's strip clubs and gambling establishments have aged so badly at this point that they just look kind of depressing.  I guess that is kind of fitting, because Nevada has the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation, and Reno has been ranked as one of the top 10 depressed cities in the entire country.  As the city has declined, gangs have moved in and the drug trade is flourishing.  Reno has been called the meth capital of America, and crime is on the rise.  Despite being surrounded by tremendous natural beauty, Reno has become a very unpleasant place in which to live.  But what is happening in Reno is also happening in hundreds of other communities across the United States.  Our economy is collapsing and our cities are crumbling right in front of our eyes, and it is only going to get worse from here.

A reader of my site named Heather who has been unemployed since November of last year recently shared the following with me....

I am living in Reno/Sparks Nevada and I feel like it is ground zero for collapse. There are a lot of people who are in denial right now and cannot see the larger picture. I keep also saying we are the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.  It is quite depressing driving around seeing empty office buildings with vacancies and retail areas just empty. Went to the stores and retail seems pretty slow also. I am volunteering at ProNet locally and it helps unemployed people finds jobs and skills. It has been depressing there too with very little jobs out there for many people who need one.

She said that I should share what is happening in Reno with my readers.  She wanted people to know what those living in Reno are going through.

You might think that since Reno is so sunny, so warm and surrounded by such natural beauty that it would be one of the happiest places in America.

Unfortunately it turns out that the opposite is true.

Reno is actually a very sad place.

In fact, last year Men's Health ranked Reno as the ninth saddest city in the United States.

In response to this ranking, one resident of Reno wrote the following....

In light of this disheartening list-making, it is, of course, important for Nevadans to look on the bright side. Rather than allowing these statistics to depress us further, we can consider them a series of challenges that make living in places like Reno and Las Vegas all the more impressive. You don’t just live in Reno. You survive Reno! To dwell in Reno, you must triumph over the odds that are stacked against you—one of the things we’re supposed to do best here.

If we can withstand all of the emotional curveballs thrown at us because we have selected such a turbulent location in which to reside, we can probably survive anything.

As a lifelong Renoite, I am inclined to respond to these lists with defiance. Yeah, things can look pretty grim sometimes when no one can find a job, and there seems to be no way out.

And that is how many Americans are feeling these days.  They are broke, unemployed, depressed and out of options.

How can you pick up and start a new life somewhere else when you have no job and no money?

Sadly, a lot of younger Americans are turning to drugs in an attempt to escape the pain of their daily lives.

One article that I found attempted to find humor in the raging meth epidemic that is happening in Reno....

Reno has been affectionately called the meth capital of the nation. Some foolishly think mass drug usage can ravage a city as swiftly as it can ruin a user’s clear complexion. In all reality, drug addiction is no more than an endearing quirk, certainly not a cause for concern. Babies and adolescents with addiction-addled parents should stop being coddled and learn how to take care of themselves. I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was six months old­ — I’m sure they can do the same. If there is anything disturbing about the meth problem in Reno, it’s that it shows the lack of variety in this town. Why don’t you try some uppers like MDMA? Your teeth will thank me.

Unfortunately, Reno is far from alone.  In the past I have written about how formerly great cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore are completely falling apart as well.  This kind of thing is literally happening from coast to coast.

There is a very serious lack of decent jobs in America right now.  At this point only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs.

This has made it increasingly difficult for Americans to be able to take care of themselves.

If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare at this point.

And that number does not even include the tens of millions of people that are on Social Security and Medicare.

What in the world has happened to us?

These days most Americans work really hard all of their lives but never end up reaching their dreams.

In fact, one recent study found that 46 percent of all Americans die with less than $10,000 worth of financial assets.

Talk about depressing.

But instead of having us focus on how bad the economic numbers are, the Federal Reserve wants to start measuring how "happy" everyone is.  The following is from a recent ABC News article....

Ben Bernanke wants to know if you are happy.

The Federal Reserve chairman said Monday that gauging happiness can be as important for measuring economic progress as determining whether inflation is low or unemployment high. Economics isn't just about money and material benefits, Bernanke said. It is also about understanding and promoting "the enhancement of well-being."

So what would you say if the Federal Reserve contacted you and asked if you are happy?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below....

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  • justanoguy

    And just 7 years ago Reno and Las Vegas were booming… You had to pay astronomical prices to get a job done.

    Too bad so many people pissed all their money away when they were making it… not that I really feel that bad for them living above their means.

    Nowadays… there are several areas of Nevada very cheap to live in and the standard of living is FAR higher then hundreds of other cities that are out there.

  • metaforge

    As a Reno area resident, I can tell you the downtown casino area is certainly facing some challenges. However there are positive things too: a new ballpark & AAA baseball team is revitalizing the area. The shops along the river downtown are for the most part looking good. Businesses are moving here because Nevada has no state income tax, either personal or corporate, low property taxes, and low rents. As far as liberties, open carry is allowed, and concealed carry is available with a permit, at least in Washoe County. We have a good local farming community, and water is not nearly as scarce as it is down south.

    Don’t worry about Reno and northern Nevada, we’ll be fine. Focus instead of the blighted midwest, with its decimated manufacturing and high taxation and low liberty.

    As for our sister city in the south… when the collapse comes, I would not want to be among the 2 million residents scrambling for water as Lake Meade and the Colorado river run dry.

  • DiscouragedOne

    No Federal Reserve, you lying liars, I am NOT happy, we are still prosperous, but we know how fragile it really is.

  • William Jeffrey Fitzhugh

    You would think some of these people committing suicide would take bankers with them, before they did the deed.

  • William Jeffrey Fitzhugh

    I hope all the casino towns go bust. They only survive on sick gambling. People losing billions. I hope in Las Vegas you can buy a half a million dollar home for $20,000. That city has nothing but casinos and if people don’t go to casinos there is nothing else there.

    • mondobeyondo

      Why bother buying a house in Vegas when you can get one in Detroit for under $6,000?! Sure, it would need a little work (plumbing, electrical, drywall, fresh paint, new roof, and so forth…)

  • md

    got this from a friend who is a retired policeman:
    Thank you for the article. I must tell you that it was written by someone who has never been here. As a retired police officer, I assure you that the meth and gang issues of the 80′s and 90′s have been nearly eliminated. Business is flowing into the area, due to our tax friendly enviornment and educated workforce. Apple recently left California and moved here. Starbucks and Amazon are here and growing. There are still good housing buys, I have had 5 friends from my high school relocate here in the last year to enjoy their retirement. With 300+ days of sunshine annually, a great park system, proximity to Lake Tahoe, world class skiing and more, who could blame them! I left California in 1977 and 35 years later, there is no place in the US that I would rather live. (other than Patoka Lake)
    Reno realized years ago that we could not compete with Vegas for gambling visits, so we diversified and light manufacturing and warehousing provides the most jobs. When I see a statistic about suicides in Nevada, I remind you that millions visit here annually and drinking and gambling take a toll and the numbers are rolled into our modest population, so it’s skewed.
    As a man of your life experience knows, we can’t believe everything we read. One part of me is happy to see this, as this area has been a well-kept secret for years, but sadly, our population has grown rapidly for 30 years and I’d love to see it slow down.
    Hope to see you soon, loved the golf day! Be well,

    • Bill

      I’m with the retired cop. I live in the Northen Nevada area and what I read in the article and what I see when I visit Reno are two different things. Sure, there are gangs in Reno–always have been. But when the population can legally carry and defend themselves, that keeps crime down. Foreclosed homes? Sure, quite a few of them around, but lots of them are being purchased as well. The article mentioned the vacant retail, and although you might find that in spots, for the most part the commercial side of things is doing very well. Rundown casinos? Where have these people been looking? The Atlantis, the downtown casinos, all are beautiful, busy with lots of good shows in town. Lots of other business activity around as the post above mentions. Northen Nevada is a pretty good place to live and a great place to visit.

  • mondobeyondo

    So much for the gaming industry being “recession-proof”. Looks like that didn’t quite work out. Hmm, wonder why?

    Well, let’s see. When people are struggling to buy such luxuries as food, water, electricity and a phone, that leaves little money for the blackjack tables and slot machines. You’ll always have the “high rollers”, but most of the casinos’ bread and butter comes from average tourists hoping to strike it big. Almost nobody ever does, but hey, can’t hurt to dream, right?

    Many former Nevada tourists are doing the “staycation” thing, because of the economy. They are going to local resorts, spas, shopping centers, and yes, even local casinos!

    Has Nevada in general, and Las Vegas in particular, lost its allure? Yes and no. I could always drive to a local metro Phoenix casino if I wanted to. They even have decent entertainment! (The 70′s pop group “America” is performing tonight at one of them.) So yeah, if gambling is your thing, you have many other options. Indian casinos. Riverboat casinos. Atlantic City.

    Where Vegas wins is not so much gaming (aka “gambling” – many other places have that!) – but in all around entertainment. They have Circus Circus. Treasure Island and Caesars Palace. They DON’T have the Stardust, Aladdin or Landmark. Not anymore. (All torn down/imploded.) But there’s still Cirque du Soleil. David Copperfield. Tom Jones. Wayne Newton. Siegfried and Roy (until Roy got mauled by a white tiger a few years back.) And the guy who came in 6th place on America’s Got Talent, who’s giving a sidewalk performance at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd. (Ouch! That was bad! Sorry about that!) And other washed-up has-been former stars. (I’m kidding!!) Frank Sinatra used to sing about New York, “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere!” Those who can’t hack it in New York, go to Las Vegas.

    And Reno? Hmm. Is it still the “biggest little city in America” as that sign used to say?

    Sorry about the Vegas rant and bashing. I do actually like the city – it’s Phoenix with casinos and resorts, and without the steroids of sprawl and urban growth, although that’s changing fast. Anywho, I’m being distracted right now watching those female runners at the Olympics. Heh!

  • MarkV2012

    “What in the world has happened to us?”

    Counterfeit money, given by crooks, to crooks.

  • AgreeToDisagree

    Nonsense. The state governor could simply distribute all unused land in the state equally and tell the people to grow their own crops and build their own houses, raise their own livestock. End of problem.


    In my town of Thompson NY, which is a ghost town from Sept 1st through the end of June, a new 5.3 million dollar library to replace the existing one, was just approved by 504 to 155 votes out of 20,000 +- people..Only the town employees and their relatives must have voted…Everyone else must have been scared to vote NO…

  • bas

    I live in the Netherlands but over here its also starting to show. We are stil part of the core europian countrys but its bad after bad after bas news. Shops are closing, people get fired, problems with derivates in schools, buisnesses, govrnment.Home prices falling. Not quit is bad as the news i see about cities in the united states but alarming enough. In my opinion blogs, youtube, independent websites are the only places to get reliable information about the state of the economy because we are all lied to by our govrnments.

  • SteveOMan39

    I live in Reno! And yes the economy is still struggling a bit here and yes the Unemp. is still high. There are a ton of run down houses, some ppl are buying them up at auctions though. Mostly to Rent I assume for an outrageous price. I think Reno is a place I would not want to raise my kids. I agree Reno is NOT doing good..! When I got laid off & had to move back here it took me 4 months of solid applying for a job to get what I’ve got now. And unfortunetly it’s a very dependent on the economy job but business has been good as of late but we’ve seen a 10-20+% drop in sales in the last month. If there are NO jobs here for ppl and no one is building anything here I assume ppl will continue to live off my tax dollars for as long as they can. I want to move out of Reno but no one is going to pay me what I’m making now. I hate Reno and I think it’s a giant crap hole with one good lake near by.

    • Al

      I’m sure glad I found this website and have read most of the postings here. I really was considering moving to Reno since my last visit there was quite a while ago – all I remember is that it was a pretty nice place. But, wholly crap, what I’ve seen here has totally changed my mind. I currently live in Huntington Beach, CA and although it’s not the garden spot of anywhere, I wouldn’t have hesitation of driving in any neighborhood or for that matter being out by myself after dark. Thanks to all who have laid it out with a lot of emotion and sincerity. I am quite capable of separating BS from the truth. Truth wins. Reno won’t be seeing me anytime soon.

  • Joe

    I am pretty sure things are bad in Reno, just like a lot of places in America. I live in Stockton, CA and things are really bad here, maybe even worse then Reno. Foreclosure capital of America, with a lot of gangs/crime, are murder rate is double this year, compared to what it was a year ago! To top it all off, our city recently just filed for bankruptcy not to long ago.

  • gypsytrampthief

    Collapse happens one person, business, city, ect.. at a time. Now folks are speaking up from around the U.S. But many, maybe millions, don’t buy it. I used to feel sorry for them, but now I am horrified as to what will happen to most people when TSHTF…

  • davis4512

    A view from Canada: I live in Vancouver BC and, for the present, the economic situation here is quite good. We have some of the highest real estate prices in North America with an average house price of $675,000 in the city. Unemployment is somewhere around 6% and there are tower cranes everywhere with new buildings and urban renewal projects going gangbusters.
    Yet I worry. It is inconceivable to me that the USA, our largest trading partner, could go through a major economic upheaval without a disastrous effect on our comfortable life style. For this reason, I follow American politics much more closely than Canadian politics. I find it very depressing that the majority of American voters choose candidates that promise the proverbial free lunch while voices of reason, notably Ron Paul, have relatively little influence. I fear for our collective future.

  • bruce2288

    If the Federal Reserve called me, you could not print at lot of what I would tell them. they would get an earfull and little to do with emotional happiness.

  • Herman the One-Eyed German

    One third of Americans are not on welfare. That is the stupidest thing I have heard in quite some time. Where do you folks get your “facts”?

  • Herman the One-Eyed German

    The phrase “on welfare” leads one to believe that these people receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), formerly AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). “Welfare” was and still is the widely used colloquialism for this relatively small program. You might recall that it was severely shrunk by the “Welfare Reform” legislation in the 1990′s.

    The way you are using the term implies that all people who receive food stamps, unemployment checks, Medicaid, or any other federal benefits other than SS and Medicare are “on welfare”. I am guessing that you are intelligent enough to know that your word choice is deliberately misleading and incendiary to your “readers” who, based on many of the above posts, seem to be factually or intellectually challenged.

    • Left There in 95

      Most people from Reno range from very predjudice to enraged hatred of all minorities. Forgetting about the large Caucasian population that receive government assistance (are on wellfare). So angry at the kids with baggy clothes, and hoodies, while making nothing of the meth sub-cities at nearly every trailer park.

  • Hound

    While home sales are up a tad bit we are still undergoing a finacial crisis. People give up so easy in this town it is unreal and the entertainment business from our casinos are not doing as well as we should be. My hometown will get better, one way or another, and there have been more and more people from California and Mexico coming her to start from the desolated beginning, just as we did. This is a beautiful area to live and the fastest growing town is becoming more and more set in.

  • ConcernedAmerican

    And guess who is right there….ready and waiting… buy this land in these collapsing cities….China. By design…collapse the country, buy the land cheap, move in, make China #2? I guess with the TSA, drones, NDAA, and the rest of it, we may as well be communist in the U.S. nowadays.

    • Tucker Monticelli

      Go back to watching fox news.

  • local

    I’ve lived in Reno for about 13 years, I came here after retiring from a police dept. in California. There is no “massive drug problem” here, nothing that compares with Northern California for sure, in fact it’s just crazy to claim that there is. If you drive around downtown Reno you will see a number of people who are obviously using drugs, probably meth – but for the most part they do their own little hustle, dumpster diving or panhandling and don’t present any real danger to anyone other than themselves. There are no large scale organized drug cartels such as exist in California, so consequently you don’t see the same level of violence, i.e. drive by shootings, home invasion robberies.

    For some reason the author of the article uses proof of his claim of a major drug problem by citing an article written by a UNR student who offers a very negative, largely un-attributed commentary on Reno which ends with a rambling diatribe aimed at someone named Caitlin who I have never heard of.

    Reno was really hurt by the recession, but things are looking up, housing prices are slowly increasing and there seems to be more jobs available. There are way too many empty businesses, so many in fact that I can’t foresee a future where they will all be occupied again. I really dislike winters here, we live about 500′ above town which means the snow sticks here and we end up doing lots of shoveling, downtown it’s not so bad. I’ve thought about moving but doubt if I will…I like not getting stuck in traffic, not having to lock my car when it’s in front of my house, and I really like the people who live here, folks here are really friendly and approachable.

    • franco

      thank you for these words, i am from nj and i visited reno with my wife and son and now we have plans of moving to reno , we think that this is one of the most beautyfull cities i ever seen. who ever wrote this article probably does not even know this beautyfull city

      • Biggest Little Sh…etc.

        I admit I am biased against this place, when you grow up in a poor community and culture you see the worst of any city. However, objectively I would say, the city has a drug problem. I don’t why people defend Reno, regardless of articles and research pointing to Reno having nearly the highest drug problem in the nation. Probably because no one wants to feel the shame of the failures of the city in which they reside. Just screen your kid’s friends and be involved, they should be alright. It is a racially divided city, and each cultural group has it’s popular drug with respective peer pressure.

        • cjbussey

          Reno has always been a city of contradictions. Most long-term residents are not only comfortable but downright complacent. Schools are decent and jobs can usually be found if you’re employable (not on drugs, drunk all of the time, a complete idiot with no skills whatsoever.) Many people come here expecting some oasis for bums, or get stuck on their way to California. Reno can be–and is–a nice place, as long as you get a job and respect yourself enough to stay off of drugs.

          • There Are Better Places

            As a want-to-be hard working citizen, I have nearly been unemployed in Reno for a year. I do not drink and I am not a drug user or an idiot. Also, I have turned down unemployment benefits in order to stay in college. I have been hired and laid-off 5 times since moving here and getting a job originally. (Three years of finding jobs and getting laid-off.) Something of my past job history indicates that this is NOT NORMAL. In Michigan, I was a valued worker. I had no problems finding a job that wanted to keep me. Reno, however, has caused me nothing but stress and pain. I moved here to get out of the bad economic situations near Detroit, but that was a mistake.The jobs here go to a lot of people who are native to Reno. I would like to say that Reno is a great place to live and go to school, but since mommy and daddy don’t pay for my college, I just manage to scrape by. If this is the way to enjoy living in Reno, without being able to go to Tahoe or do anything cool, then good luck.

          • Brittney

            I’ve always had at least one job, if not two or three here in Reno. Not sure what industry you’re in, but I’ve never been unemployed in Reno. In fact, I posted my resume on Craigslist and got 4 calls within the first day of people begging me to come to work for them and my resume isn’t that impressive.

        • notfromreno

          Where are these articles and research? Nevada, yes,…as Las Vegas skews the numbers.

  • Tucker Monticelli

    I live in Reno and while its very hard to get a job, and the city is/was aging to shambles, It feels as though the city is trying to pick it self back up. They just finished revitalizing the freeways and they are the nicest I’ve seen in any state. Beautiful metal statues and artwork, amazing paint job with road barriers having the Sierra Nevada mountains on it. They are cleaning up 4th St. and working on Wells Ave. New baseball park Legends mall and Summit Sierra Mall. Downtown is really old, its going to look bad, even more so now that the economy is bad, but crime is very rare here, you can walk down the street by yourself and feel fine. The mountains are beautiful and there’s always stuff going on like art-town and little festivals. I think Reno wants to move towards a more artsy/green city. Its been nothing but improvements for the last two years.

    • James Freitas

      its funny seeing you here lol tuc!

    • rosetta_stoned

      I did notice the new ballpark downtown.
      And the roads heading OUT of downtown were in great shape.

  • Guest

    All I can say after being stuck here twenty years is, no jobs, locals are liars, cheats and thieves. There is no way out. This place SUCKS.

    • Zulp

      I agree with you 100% Not a Reno native but grew up here for most of my life, so I would know. I haven’t had a problem getting a job here. But the people ruin it for me. I am currently a college student and hoping to get the HELL out of here after my bachelors or even sooner. I can’t take it anymore. 90% of the people you encounter that you think are trustworthy, are NOT. I have lost all faith in this city. People here do not have their priorities straight. Sure it’s a pretty place to live and blah blah blah. You can find a much more decent place that is also good to look at that won’t have you on the lookout for people who are only looking to use you. Trust me people.

  • Judy Storm

    Dear “from here” after twenty years of being STUCK in survival mode, I would like to enjoy life. Northern Nevada, well, the climate is not as bad as some places.

  • Dela Dell

    Reno, NV was one of the worst places I lived in my entire life.

    I am from NYC and was really shocked when I moved to Reno. As a New Yorker I suppose to have a very bad driving skills but in Reno I was a decent driver.

    There is no diversity in the town! It’s a very redneck place with tons of cracked heads all over’em. People are not friendly and there is weird sense of hatred in their faces. I’m not even sure what younger people do there except getting high or drunk in Casinos.

    This is so true ! Just by driving around you can see tons of empty office buildings with vacancies and retail areas just empty.

    it’s ignoring the truth if you just want to say Oh this city is great!

    • Blsitw

      I wouldn’t be surprised if all the positive comments about this horrid place are part of unified businesses online targeting media relations campagn to counter online smears against Reno in order to keep the city from becoming an Oelwein, Iowa. Unless you want your kids to be subjected to the youth culture where if you’re not in a gang or have a hustle, or you’re not a racist cowboy or KKK member, than your no one. Every racial group is shamed in that city. Ever see a young kid ask you to join his “team” (probably something he heard is older brother say, lol), ever see a 12 year old mother, ever see a 14 year old with a tear drop tattoo, ever see 17 and 18 hear old boy throw glass bottles at the little girls calling them the “n” word? And above all – if they are not on drugs now, they will be. I was given black heroine at age 13, was told its a natural plant. I tried speed at age 14. Never did either again.

  • amy

    I lived in Reno from 2003 to 2011. I wish I had left long before I did. I didn’t like it. Yes, it is a crap hole. There are very few “nice” places to live. I had a good job in the casino and I never lost my job so I was luckier than most. I moved to NV from Seattle and in 2011 I knew it was time to leave. I moved to Everett WA which is about the same as Reno in size but it is SO much better. There are TONS of jobs and the water and mtns are gorgeous. The job market is SO strong here and getting a new job was so easy. I hate the thought of having to go back to Reno for work. I just want to leave the moment I land.

  • NevadaGAL

    Ya… I’ve basically lived in reno my whole life. Just started graduate school here too. It’s really an AWFUL place to live… You have Tahoe 40 min. away with the crystal clear blue lake to swim in the summer time, some of the best mountains to ski and snowboard on in the country in the winter time, Donner lake which is 30 minutes away as well, wine walks in the summer, floating on tubes and kayaks down the truckee in the summer…Lets see what else sucks about this town? Oh yeah, all you can eat sushi! Ugh! I live near california (the road) and that area is sooo GHETTO! Wow people really amaze me. It’s all what you make of it and in case anyone couldn’t tell there was a bit of sarcasm in my voice while writing this. Not to mention we have some of the best roads to road bike on in the country. SanFrancisco is 3 hours away, ice skating rink in the winter, hot air balloons in the fall. I’ll admit that the length of our winters can be brutal and our job market is nowhere near great but let’s get real. This place is awesome is like the outdoors and if not then MOVE so no one else has to hear your whining.

    • NevadaGAL

      if you like the outdoors*

    • Biggest little sh….etc.

      The people who were free lunch kids would beg the differ. If you have money, you can shield yourself from the evermore surfacing gang, prostitution, racial tension, illegal immigration and drug problems clearly visible to lower middle and low economically classed people.

      • American Son

        Funny what you said here. It’s true no matter where you live when it comes to whether you have money or not. That is what I have never understood about most people, you live in the best country on the planet. You have the ability to look around you and see that hard work pays off and it truly is the land of opportunity. If you choose to not pay attention to that lesson, you will face all of the social ills you mentioned-regardless of where you live.

    • Brittney

      Thank you! I love this place :)

  • Biggest Little Sh-t Hole

    You are all liars or delusional who say Reno is “alright.” I’ve all locations, to include Sparks (the only place you can safely raise your kids, if you screen their friends):
    -Reno the black/Hispanic ghetto area: Gangs, racial tension and crack and weed affliction.

    -Reno downtown area: Hustlers paradise for drugs and prostitution (as young as 12 and as old as 70); Californian huslers migrate to this place on the weekend, as its better business. Next illegal immigrant employment and exploitation. Then drunks and homeless everywhere. Then CRANK/METH… Motorcycle gangs reasonably peaceful, not so for Hispanic gangs. MSM-Mara Salvat…, Brown Pride, 18th Street. Black gangs seemed to be low key, selling and smoking weed, occasional violence against other blacks, but the violent criminals were of Mexican and El Salvidorian gangs. Horrible place to raise your kids. White “trash” I have little knowledge of other than a handful of trailer parks riddled by the poor white drug of choice- alcohol and Meth.

  • rrnores

    reno is nice enough, if you live in south reno. there are some worse areas, like i dont go to niel road often, but the areas around arrowcreek and some galena is nice. just dont go downtown, theres not much but casinos, and there not even the good ones in the city (i.e. the GSR, peppermill, and atlantis). you live in reno for tahoe, basically

  • Kate

    You don’t even live here, so stop talking about Reno like its a piece of garbage. I’ve lived here since the day I was born and it has amazing nightlife, great people, and safe neighbor hoods. Have you ever written bad things about your hometown? Didn’t think so. Your just taking what you hear from people who don’t even live in Reno. Every town has a couple bad places, doesn’t mean it’s horrible.abye yoi should visit before you judge, huh?

  • Reserday

    I would agree with “local”, this article and these quotes seem way overblown to me. I grew up in Reno and lived there for well over a decade, and gosh darnit, I love that place. There are plenty of meth-heads and druggies and mentally-ill homeless people in certain areas, but it is NOTHING compared to most other cities. I live in Chicago now, and it’s horrendous here. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day in the city without being implored at least once for money, and the many of the beggars here are aggressive, annoying, and sometimes even violent. in my years of experience the druggies/homeless were never a threat. Much of the time, they were actually really friendly, non-aggressive people who just had some serious issues. I used to love talking to with them when I lived there.
    It is true, however, that the job market isn’t great That’s one of the reasons I moved, in fact. However, it costs about half as much to live in Reno as it does in most other cities. You can rent a bedroom in a nice neighborhood for 300$ easy. Also, this article makes it sound like Reno is the next Detroit, which is so not true. My family and friends still live there, and they are doing just fine. Even the ones who still only make minimum wage.

    • Reserday

      Correction, in my years of experience in RENO the druggies/homeless were never a threat.

  • rosetta_stoned

    I actually spent the last 48 hours in Reno. My first visit.

    Stayed and walked in very rough downtown, and spent a Saturday night at an auction at the Elks as a guest five miles out … off Virginia St.

    If Reno is a microcosm of a mid-sized city in America today?

    We are in more trouble than we thought.
    And yet at the same time?

    We’re also in good hands.

  • Steppenwolf

    You are coming across as absolutely paranoid—get a grip! Please don’t foist this ultra-right wing defeatism on us. Just be still and go to Israel and sit on the mountain till the end times come. I prefer to live in the real world. For a long time to come. And I will be here happier than you as well as with greater longevity.

  • Steppenwolf

    By the way , we won’t miss you at all.

  • Brittney

    What a terribly depressing blog. I was born and raised in Reno, I moved to California for a few years after high school, but eventually moved back. I own a home and a small business here and I’m only 27 years old. I go to college at the University of Nevada-Reno. I think Reno is beautiful. We have mountains and trees and some of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. The drug problem here isn’t near as bad as it is in so many other places. Yes, there are a lot of empty buildings and empty store fronts, but that was poor financial planning on the owners’ parts. Our University is 3rd in the nation for technology and is an incredible place. Smart businesses are moving into the area, because of location availability and much lower taxes. We don’t pay a state income tax, because the gambling industry pays it. I love Reno and I’m happily raising my son here.

  • tyler

    There is lots to do in reno by thay I mean jobs ppl say thay been unemployed for months years and that that arnt drug addicts or alcohol users and thay still can’t fined a job well mabe there looking on the rong places here just like anywhere els you have to lern to adapt overcome iv worked almost all kinds of jobs from casinos warehouses to landscape and I can honestly say that there is work here if you want to work I mean really work you can fined it now the whole drug thing well I’m 23 years old been in reno since I was 6 and really the city has changed lots in all ways yea mabe there might be lots of drugs ” mabe cuz at my age and the part of reno I live in I hardly see drug users and if there is thay keep to themselves and are mostly out at night on weekends

  • steve

    I would suggest the author add the phrase “What life is like in Reno for individuals not retired”. I am retired, live in Los Angeles and pay excessive income tax. I understand the plight of younger people not employed but a retired individual’s principal concern is the cost of living including income taxes and the price of a house. I examined three zip codes in or near Reno. Both the price of the houses and the criminal behavior were minimal compared to that in my current depressing neighborhood. The weather is agreeable here in LA but I hate to leave the inside of my house to enjoy the weather because once I do leave I see ubiquitous graffiti, hear unrelenting sirens, watch sneering gangsters, piles of garbage on the sidewalk, cars driving without current tags, cars sitting on blocks in back yards, barking pitbulls tied to those cars and sheriff helicopters circling my house once a week. These conditions happen everywhere but I am troubled by their degree and acceptance here. Behavior that formerly was considered criminal seems to be normal in my zip code. For somebody who doesn’t mind paying 9 to 13% marginal taxes and is willing to shell out two million for a decent house in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles may be suitable ( although the traffic is still horrible) . I realize the choice of a residence can be subjective and disagreements are inevitable but I visited Reno a few weeks ago and based on my criteria it seems to be a better choice for me than anywhere else. I realize that the local residents hate California transplants so I will lie about my former residence so I can merge without conflict.

  • JSebastian

    This article was written kind of in the tail end of the recession…so still a very dark time for a lot of people, especially those who lost homes or most of their investments in the big housing and stock market crash.

    Just wondering….that now that its late 2014 , how have things changed?

    What is the “morale” or spirit like in Reno these days?

  • JXS

    We arrived for a short stay in Reno after leaving seven years ago and I can truthfully say that things look bleaker now than when we left. It is a sad realization of the decline of this city. And what did we witness after only being back for less than an hour? Police answering a call in the downtown area involving a eight white men assaulting a black man over a drug deal gone bad! Yep, same old same old that caused us to leave int he first place. RIP Reno

  • Leon Foonman

    This article’s comment’s are sponsored by the KKK and your local Tea Party members. Right-Wing Trolls are welcome to post all the same old “welfare queens, Mexicans are lazy, black people are criminals, and meth heads are killing me” talking points.

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