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by Michael J. Shapiro | June 01, 2010
Aces Wild

The Triple-a Reno Aces

The Triple-a Reno Aces, the minor-league affiliate team of the Arizona Diamondbacks, kicked off their 2010 season in early April. Their downtown ballpark is the main attraction of the Freight House District, which offers dining and nightlife venues in addition to a large outdoor plaza with a full bar. renoaces.com

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Local Update:
Sacramento International Airport launched new express shuttle service to South Lake Tahoe. The Gateway Express Shuttle offers direct ground service twice a day between the airport and Tahoe. The trip is approximately three hours each way and departs from Sacramento terminals A and B; it includes stops at Marriott 1001 Heavenly, Embassy Suites, Harrah's Resort, Horizon Resort, Mont Bleu Resort and Lakeside Inn.

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino opened Tahoe Provisions last summer, a grab-and-go market on-site. The new F&B outlet, which has proven to be especially popular with guests, is a quick and convenient stop for items such as espresso drinks, smoothies, pastries, fresh salads, panini, wine, beer, snacks and s'mores kits to use at the property's fire pits.

The 1,995-room Grand Sierra Resort and Casino opened its third Charlie Palmer restaurant, Briscola. The family-style Italian venue offers fresh, hand-cut pasta and a wide variety of classic Italian cuisine. Briscola accommodates groups of up to 100 for private functions and buyouts. Also new at the Reno resort is a sports bar, Xtreme, which offers round-the-clock service, bar food and a 12- by 8-foot LCD high-definition projection screen (as well as 25 high-def, 42-inch plasma TVs).

Ritz-Carlton HighlandsThe Atlantis Steakhouse, a 220-seat fine-dining restaurant in Reno's 1,000-room Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, opened early this year. The Cove, a private room that seats up to 12 people, is available for private functions, as is the Club Room, which can seat as many as 50. The room includes a self-serve bar; a bartender may be booked as well with advance notice.

The 170-room Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe, which opened last December, went into default in late April due to late loan repayments. Neither the hotel's operations nor its management by Ritz-Carlton will be affected by the filing, according to a hotel spokesperson. The property offers ski-in, ski-out access at the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort, an on-site restaurant, and a 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center.

The 1,635-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino broke ground this spring on a two-story executive boardroom, to be completed later this summer. The boardroom will seat up to 46 attendees and include a prefunction area on the first floor, designed for executive retreats, lecture series or more casual events. The second floor will offer board tables and a media and projection suite.

Meeting Hotels:
 Among meetings-friendly properties in Reno are the 1,995-room Grand Sierra Resort, 1,720-room Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 1,635-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, 1,567-room Circus Circus Reno, 1,000-room Atlantic Casino Resort Spa, 928-room Harrah's Reno, 815-room Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno, 800-room Terrible's Sands Regency Casino Hotel and 318-room Boomtown Casino Hotel.

Hotels in nearby Sparks include the 1,600-room John Ascuaga's Nugget and 220-room Holiday Inn Reno-Sparks.

Larger properties in the Lake Tahoe area include the 742-room Harveys Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort; 539-room Horizon Casino Resort; 525-room Harrah's Lake Tahoe; 437-room Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa; 422-room Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Casino and Spa; 405-room Resort at Squaw Creek; 400-room Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel & Ski Resort, and 302-room Ridge Tahoe.

 Convention Center: Reno-Sparks Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 381,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 53; (775) 827-7260; visitrenotahoe.com/meetings-conventions/facilities/reno-sparks-convention-center

Airport Transit: Reno-Tahoe International Airport, about four miles south of downtown Reno, approximately 35 miles northeast of Lake Tahoe. Transfer cost to downtown Reno by taxi, about $17; most major hotel-casinos in Reno offer free airport shuttle service. Transfer cost to Lake Tahoe by shuttle, $26 to $40

Taxes: Reno, Sparks, northeast side of Lake Tahoe: room tax, 12% to 13.5%; sales tax, 7.375%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12% to 13.5%. Southeast side of Lake Tahoe (Douglas County, Nev.): room tax, 10%; sales tax, 6.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 10%. California side of Lake Tahoe: room tax, 10%; sales tax, 7.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 10%

Group Venue: The Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course and Restaurant, near the resorts of South Lake Tahoe, opened a new event venue last fall. The Beach House is a two-story, 3,652-square-foot home that can sleep eight people and host up to 60 for an outdoor event or 40 indoors. The house is just a few feet from the Edgewood Tahoe Clubhouse. (775) 588-2787; edgewoodtahoe.com

Though it's named for the Polynesian-themed lounge that sat atop the original Harveys Lake Tahoe, the recently remodeled Harveys Top of the Wheel is neither Polynesian nor on the top floor of Harveys. But the venue does offer striking panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains, and it's available for private receptions, banquets and meetings. The 4,575-square-foot restaurant and lounge can seat 240 for dining or up to 288 for cocktail parties. (800) 235-6358; harveystahoemeetings.com

CVB Services: Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, (775) 827-7600 or (800) 367-7366; visitrenotahoe.com

Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, (775) 832-1606 or (800) 468-2463; gotahoenorth.com

Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, (775) 588-5900; ltva.org

North Lake Tahoe Visitors & Convention Bureau, (530) 581-8703 or (530) 581-8701 or (800) 462-5196; gotahoenorth.com