Jacksonville vs Reno: Recapturing The Magic

October 13, 2015 10 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Reno is known as "The Biggest Little City in the World". Reno was founded in 1868, five years after the Central Pacific Railroad began laying tracks from Sacramento to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. It was named after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed at the Battle of South Mountain during the Civil War. By the 1950s, the city had become the gambling capital of the country and a popular destination for divorces. However, in recent years, the loss of Reno Air and rapid growth in Las Vegas and of Native American gaming in California have had a negative impact on the city.

Like Jacksonville, Reno is a city in the midst attempting to reinvigorate an urban core that has seen better days. While the cities don't share much in common, in terms of scale, economy, culture and climate, Next City's 2015 Vanguard Conference in Reno does offer us the opportunity to see how another community is taking advantage of its natural assets and existing infrastructure to revitalize its downtown core.

Tale of the Tape

To help Jaxsons gain a better understanding of the scale of Reno, here are a few statistics of the city in relation to Jacksonville:


Reno City Population 2014: 236,995 (City); 443,990 (Metro 2014) - (incorporated in 1868)

Jacksonville City Population 2014: 853,382 (City); 1,419,127 (Metro 2014) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Reno (32,497)

City Land Area

Reno: 105.9 square miles
Jacksonville: 757.7 square miles

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2010-2014)

Reno: +4.37%
Jacksonville: +5.46%

Urban Area Population (2010 census)

Reno: 392,141 (ranked 94 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 1,065,219 (ranked 40 nationwide)

Urban Area Population Density (2010 census)

Reno: 2,385.5 people per square mile
Jacksonville: 2,008.5 people per square mile

City Population Growth from 2010 to 2014

Reno: +56,515
Jacksonville: +31,598

Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Reno: Reno-Sparks Convention Center (1965) - 381,000 square feet*
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1985) - 78,500 square feet

*-Reno's convention center is not located in downtown Reno.

Tallest Building:

Reno: Silver Legacy Resort & Casino - 410 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet

Who's Downtown Is More Walkable?

Reno: 86 out of 100, according to 2015 walkscore.com
Jacksonville: 72 out of 100, according to 2015 walkscore.com

Next Page: Reno Photo Tour

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