Reno businesses damaged in riot reflect on that night one year later

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 10:20 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Things were already difficult for businesses in downtown Reno on May 30, 2020. So the riot, was the last thing they needed. So one year later the recovery continues.

“We got hit really hard. We were making about 1/3 of what we usually make,” said John Fernandez, owner of Bluefin Poke in downtown Reno

Fernandez says he was watching our coverage that night when he saw his glass door get broken on live television.

“During that day we were actually cleaning up because we had been closed for 2 1/2 months,” Fernandez noted. “We were going to open that Monday.”

Fernandez says he has mixed feelings on that night a year later as he reflects on where we are now as a country

“In a way it’s like moving a little closer,” he said “They see what can happen if injustice is done.”

Another business damaged that night was the Antique Angel Gift and Wedding Chapel. Beverley Van Dusseldorp and her co-owner Ginger say $50,000 in damage was done that night. Their insurance covered all but $1000 of that, but they say it did not cover the hurt.

“Fortunately there were four off duty Washoe County deputies on hand, they prevented the assailants from getting into the shops where they would’ve been a lot more damage.”

One thing all the business owners that spoke to KOLO agree on is that the majority of the people damaging local businesses – were not locals.

“We kept seeing more and more people come in during the days prior,” said Van Dusseldorp. " Many of them had very heavy backpacks, and it turned out that those backpacks were filled with rocks.”

“I live here in Reno since 1994,” Fernandez added. “What I read shows that it was mostly out of state people that did this. It was mainly just those few individuals that wanted to do something stupid I guess.”

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