Siena Closure is Felt Downtown

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

While it was no secret the Siena was struggling, one day after it shut its doors, its closure can be felt throughout Downtown Reno. People who work and do business near the now-vacant building are finding they have to change their outlook and their routine.

Lori Matheus and Michelle Purdy work at the Washoe County Courthouse, but they also walked to the Siena just as often.

"Our normal ritual for lunch every day is there are four girls and we would walk down to the Siena and have lunch. We headed to the Siena every day for four or five years. We were part of the Siena family, I guess you could say. If we weren't there, they'd realize and ask why," says Matheus.

But now that the Siena has gone dark, these ladies have a new ritual.

"Well, everyday at about 11:30 a.m., we fight about where we're going to go to lunch," says Matheus.

On Friday, they decided on the Spread Peace Café. It's also just blocks from their workplace, but....

"It's not the same," says Purdy.

The towering Siena resort is now a golden reminder of just how hollow our local economy has become. It's something businesses here know well. At Fuego, which sits in the Siena's shadow, the owner says any time a business as large as the Siena closes, it's going to hurt those surrounding it, since there will be fewer people and fewer dollars flowing.

"It's a real nice area; it has a lot of potential, but I don't know," says Justin Martin, a Reno diner.

But some see a bright opportunity.

"You've got so many small restaurants opening up all around it. You've got Old Granite Street Eatery down the street. And I think that we hit bottom and now it's that time that everyone's reinventing themselves," says Jaci Goodman, who was eating at the Spread Peace Cafe.

And while these ladies are left looking for a new regular spot...

"We just kind of wander, we don't have a real home just yet," says Matheus.

At least they're picking up and moving forward. That's something many hope the economy will do.


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