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'Shake, rattle and roll!'
by Harry Spencer
May 02, 2008 | 779 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<a href= mailto:dreid@dailysparkstribune.com>Tribune/Debra Reid</a> - The skywalk will provide a safe and scenic passage for foot traffic between the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the Atlantis Hotel-Casino.
Tribune/Debra Reid - The skywalk will provide a safe and scenic passage for foot traffic between the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the Atlantis Hotel-Casino.
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Northwestern Reno has been the scene of a swarm of earthquakes in the past 10 days, supposedly totaling more than a couple of hundred in number. Citizens in Mogul and the Somersett areas have suffered the most violent shaking and the most damage. Whether or not these quakes are the precursors of a larger one to come, or are merely aftershocks of the two 4-point-plus that have occurred is anyone’s guess — particularly the seismologists at the University of Nevada, Reno earthquake center.

Gov. Jim Gibbons has been solidly briefed by the experts and has asked Nevadans in this area to make sure they follow the basic rules in preparation for future temblers. With preparation, some very disastrous consequences can be prevented. Best to heed the published advisories.



Umbilical cord forming

The heavy steel work spanning Peckham Lane between the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the Atlantis Resort/Casino is nearing completion and will soon provide an all-weather walkway between the convention hall and the Atlantis. Since it will be a huge umbilical cord between the two structures, local pundits are wondering if the “mother” end of the cord will be the convention center or the hotel/casino. There is no doubt that the south to north movement of nourishment will most benefit the hotel but on the other hand, the north to south movement of humanity may serve to benefit the somewhat moribund convention facility. For years, one of the biggest complaints about events held at the convention center has been the high prices charged for substandard food and drink. Once the “cord” is completed, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authorty can boast to potential conventioneers that it is the only public facility of its kind that is permanently attached to a major hotel casino that provides rooming, food, drink and entertainment, plus on-site parking at the hotel.

The pluses for the Atlantis once the new skyway is finished are obvious: They will receive first call on rooms, they will have a captive audience when it comes to refreshment and meal breaks and, even more importantly, their end of the walkway will empty into the casino area.

Many of the other major hotel/casino properties in the area are not overwhelmed with joy about the project and have taken steps to enlarge their own convention facilities.

One detriment to the RSCVA once the project has been finished is that it could impact their income from the charged parking on RSCVA lots. Recently, many of the participants at the high school volleyball tournament took to parking along the west side of South Virginia Street and braved the traffic to cross to the convention center.

Now that the Atlantis has been successful in bridging two major thoroughfares in the Reno area, can it be long before we see more similar crossovers, particularly in the downtown area?



New outlet for former ‘Voice of the Pack’

Dan Gustin, the long-time voice of UNR sports who was summarily dismissed several months ago in favor of an out-of-state company that will now be responsible for all Wolf Pack communications and promotion, landed neatly on his feet this week as it was announced that he will be the official voice of the new NBA Development League team that will take to the hardwood in the Downtown Events Center this upcoming season. With 800 season tickets already sold for the new team and some 4,000 ply seats available for games, it is pretty well assumed that the lagging ticket sales for UNR games at Lawlor Events Center will suffer even more. The NBA teams that will most likely be affiliated with the new Reno squad will probably be the Sacramento Kings or the Golden State Warriors.



Celebrity corner

The reliable Turner Classic Movie channel recently came up with another film starring a top flight performer with Reno area ties. The actor in this case was William Holden, headlining “Bachelor Father.” It was an old black and white that was filmed shortly after Holden had been on the UNR campus as the lead in “Apartment for Peggy,” which also starred Jeanne Crain and Edmund Gwenn. In the “Bachelor” flick, Holden did something he seldom, if ever, did in his many films: He sang several songs. The voice sounded authentically his but probably ranked along with such golden pipes as those of Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly.

“Apartment” was a big budget, Technicolor flick, that had as its plot the plight of young, married GIs returning to college following World War II. The company was on campus for a couple of weeks and many of us were lucky enough to score bit parts, which meant several bucks in the pocket and a valid excuse to miss class.

In one of the early scenes in “Apartment,” my roommate, Pete Pridgen, and I were placed at the east end of the tram that runs along the lower end of Manzanita Lake. For no particular reason we were first in a long line of book-carrying students who were supposed to walk across the tram directly into the camera, which was positioned on the opposite end. As the shoot started we were on our way and halfway across a recognizable voice behind us cautioned, “Don’t look into the camera!” After the shot we were surprised to find the instruction had come from a smiling Bill Holden who was directly behind the two of us.

Harry Spencer is a freelance writer in Reno. His column about the past and present of northern Nevada appears weekly in the Tribune.
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