Biggest Little City Slogan Now Rallying Cry For Reno Public Pride

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The Biggest Little City in the World. It's been on every Reno Arch since 1929 and now its being used again, not as the latest attempt to rebrand the Reno market, but as the rallying cry of a public pride campaign.

The thinking goes something like this. Most of us could live elsewhere, but we choose to live here for a whole list of reasons, reasons that taken all together, make up the character of our town.

But periodically someone takes a shot at our town. The Reno 911 TV show, too many magazine and newspaper articles to list here. Even the Muppets have had their turn.

And while we may laugh it off, after awhile it gets a little wearing.

So, a group of local folks, business types, artists, PR people among them, started kicking around ideas about addressing the problem.

They could have come up a new slogan. The RSCVA and others do so, it seems, every other year.

Their efforts are designed around advertising campaigns. Well meaning and necessary they may be, but they have rarely made locals stand up and salute and most are quickly forgotten.

The kind of movement they were talking about needed something unifying.

"We kept coming back to the Biggest Little City," says group member Natasha Bourlin. "We thought why reinvent the wheel."

And so, Biggest Little City it is. The campaign was unveiled at a press conference Wednesday.

As a grassroots effort should, it is designed to recruit rather than sell, through a website, some advertising, even do-it-yourself T-shirts and, of course, social media, all using in various ways, the Biggest/Little theme.

In fact, there was a mass tweet at the press conference. If you see something bearing the hash tag #biggestlittlecity.

Best of all for a grassroots movement they didn't have to pay thousands of dollars to a marketing firm to come up with the slogan. It's been there in front of Reno for most of a century.

The original Reno arch built in 1927 commemorated the Transcontinental Highway Exposition.

Obviously that couldn't remain up there forever, so a contest was held. A man from Sacramento came up with The Biggest Little City in the World. He was paid $100 dollars.

It will surprise no one to learn not everyone fell in love with it and it was removed in 1934. There was outcry and it was put back up a year later.

It's enjoyed acceptance ever since and may be uniquely suited for this purpose.