A Big Change for a Reno Oasis - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

A Big Change for a Reno Oasis

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Alongside the Truckee River west of downtown Reno is a family-owned nursery that's like no other. You end up on Dickerson Road if you stay on west 2nd Street. You'll see the shops there twice, it's one way in, one way out…a one-mile cul-de-sac. They're all unique, but none more than Reno's best kept secret, "Sierra Water Gardens." How do you describe this place? Co-owner Sutter Stremmel can’t even pin it down. As he told us, "Umm, I'm not sure how I describe it, but people who come down consider it as an oasis in Reno.”

With Koi fish, a succulent “bar”, pottery, pond and wedding grounds, it’s a magical place with a view of the river. Lush plants line the pathways, and waterfalls dot the terrain. Sutter and his wife Samantha are artists, who kept this garden shop as a creative hodgepodge of outdoor beauty and side businesses. Pointing to one structure, Sutter told me, "You know this used to be a chicken coop when we bought it, and then we turned it into a retail space. Then we made it a bar."

If you didn't know about Sierra Water Gardens, you already missed your chance to check it out. It's already closed, for good. Sierra Water Gardens is jumping on a hot national trend, coming back next year as something else entirely: Reno's most unique Airbnb…a rental by day or week catering to folks and families that don’t want the hotel or casino experience. Sutter showed us around. He says the main house is "a 2 bed, 2 bath, it'll sleep 6 people. It's really comfortable. We have cable, we have internet. You can wake up in the morning and have your coffee down by the river. You can go fishing down by the river."

Why are they doing this? He says this was all very high maintenance. Where customers saw beauty, he saw all the work. Pointing toward the pond, he told us, "We're up to our eyeballs in leaves and other detritus, but the pond's 30,000 gallons and it’s a lot of maintenance and a lot of work."

So…all the Koi fish? Already gone. As for the beauty, that won't change. The only difference will be who gets to enjoy it. He also says going Airbnb is a great way to bring in new money for the street's funky businesses, through tourists: "People will walk around, find different things, see and go to different shops and different makers and artists."

 You can rent the whole place for $200 to $400 a night, or by the week starting January 1st, on Airbnb.com.

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