Group Expands Efforts to Fix Reno's Image Problem - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Group Expands Efforts to Fix Reno's Image Problem

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The "Biggest Little City" group is a non-profit that formed last June. It's a collection of city boosters and business owners who believe that the image of Reno to out-of-towners needs a makeover.

Reno has its problems, mostly economic. But the group's Natasha Bourlin thinks the city has taken more than its fair share of shots. As she told us, "We kept reading about, or seeing and hearing about Reno making all the bad lists." Biggest Little City organizer Jamie Kingham agreed: "It's always that thing of all we have is casinos and dumpy downtown, and that's not the case!"

At the group's press conference today (Tuesday) at UNR, city boosters and business owners held a pep rally that reflected a bit of frustration over how Reno has been portrayed in national media. From what we heard in our conversations with them, there are still a lot of feelings hurt over what the TV show 'Reno 911' did to the city's image. Biggest Little City board members pointed to that comedy as the trigger that prompted their organization to form, and to start their campaign. The group's Paul Kline, who also works for the City of Reno, told us, "The world perceives Reno as the TV show if they've never been here, which isn't great for us. You also have a few cliché references on The Muppets (the 2011 movie that featured Fozzie Bear in Reno). It wasn't the jokes about Reno, but the idea that a cultural reference to our town wasn't accurate."

Is this group is a bit overly defensive? Biggest Little City organizer Jamie Kingham told us, "You know, I think it can come across that way, but I think it's just a passionate 'we do love this place.'"

And now the Biggest Little City group becomes a little more official...a new partnership with several local governments and agencies, all of which plan to promote this image campaign.

But the most powerful weapon is the folks who live here. They're asking for stories to post online for a grassroots, viral campaign. As Kingham put it, "We want them to go, 'This is an awesome moment, I want to talk about it,' and we want to put it on Twitter and Facebook and the website. We want to hear those really characteristic stories, and they're really interesting ones."

The goal? To get not just a different picture, but a true picture...of why we love Reno.

-written by John Potter

If you'd like to post your testimonial about why you love Reno, we have a link for you here:

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