Reno Ties Tourism to White-Water Park

City begins construction on white-water park in effort to lure tourists

Reno officially broke ground last week on a $1.5 million white-water park on the Truckee River, which tourism officials hope will be a catalyst in attracting adventure travelers to the state.

The attraction is being built at Wingfield Park, with construction expected to be complete by November. The park is expected to be fully operational by next summer.

“The building of this white-water park represents a giant step forward for outdoor recreation and economic vitality in our state,” said Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, chairwoman of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

The 1,475-foot-long white-water park will incude a kayak slalom racing course, pedestrian bridges to city streets, and a walkway beneath the Arlington Avenue Bridge.

The park is the first of several improvements envisioned over the next several years for a 24-mile stretch of the Truckee River, which includes Glendale Dam and Pioneer Dam.

Nevada tourism officials said more than 33 million Americans enjoy white-water sports, and kayaking has seen a 50 percent increase in recent years.

The new white-water park has been under discussion for more than four years and has been prompted by the proliferation of casinos in California and nationwide, which compete for tourists with Nevada.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism now promotes outdoor adventure, and Reno’s new slogan is “America’s Adventure Place.”