Biggest Little City Movement Gets Big Check

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The Biggest Little City campaign was launched 10 days ago by a coalition of local business and creative types frustrated by the way our town is often depicted in the national media.

"Reno has been kind of beaten down through shows like Reno 911," says movement member Courtney Meredith. "It kind of gave us a bad image and it's difficult for a large national publication to do stories on Reno when they have this misconception of who we really are here."

While it might be easier to laugh off such slights, it does get a little tiresome and some who should know say it does have an impact.

"I was recently on a business trip outside of Reno and I heard some comments from people who'd never been to Reno," says John C. Hanson, General Manager of the Peppermill Hotel Casino. "They were not complimentary comments. It really hurts to hear that."

So the Biggest Little City movement intends to change that image through the collected stories of its residents.

Even a grassroots movement needs resources and today they got some--a donation worth $100 thousand dollars from the Peppermill.

The donation includes some in-kind items such as the use of the hotel's printing operation, but it also includes thousands in cash.

"Some of that money will go to developing a trade show booth that we can put in other cities," says Meredith, "and it can also go to one of the larger projects which is our direct mail campaign."

Hanson says the Peppermill felt it was a movement in the right direction.

"I think we've missed our mark many times coming with campaigns developed by outside interests and not by the community. That's why we believe in this one. It comes from the people."

The Biggest Little City movement relies heavily on social media and organizers say they're off to a great start. In 10 days its Facebook page has logged more than 18,000 views and nearly 1,700 likes.