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by Michael J. Shapiro | June 01, 2012
Outdoor Fun
Eighteen ski resorts and more than 50 golf courses are less than a 90-minute drive from Reno-Tahoe Airport.
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Reno/Tahoe 
Reno-Tahoe International Airport is in the midst of a 17-month, $26 million renovation known as the Gateway Project. The makeover extends a Lake Tahoe theme throughout the first floor of the terminal building and will create a single security checkpoint. Also on tap is an upgrade of all of the facility's restaurants and stores. Already finished are the first phase of what will be a completely remodeled baggage claim area and the construction of a new diner. The project is scheduled to wrap up by April 2013.

The 800-room Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno partnered with Waste Management to launch what they're calling the first casino-based organics recycling program in Northern Nevada. Food-and-beverage staff are separating food and other organic waste material, which is then used to produce compost. This initiative complements the recycling programs already in place at the resort, including for cardboard, paper, plastic, steel and aluminum.

Also in Reno, the 1,630-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino officially completed its two-year, $9.7 million geothermal-well project last September. Geothermal energy from a heated water source 4,400 feet underground now heats all 2.1 million square feet of the property, as well as all of the Peppermill's water -- including in the 43,000-square-foot Spa Toscana and two outdoor swimming pools. The project will significantly reduce the resort's carbon footprint and save millions of dollars in heating costs. Property officials claim it's the only resort in the U.S. that's heated entirely by geothermal energy produced on-site.

Wet lounge at the Grand Sierra ResortThe new owners at Reno's 1,993-room Grand Sierra Resort have initiated a renovation to the tune of approximately $20 million. The main lobby already has undergone a chic upgrade, and now it's the guest rooms' turn. A new lounge, Wet, and a small-plate Mexican restaurant, Cantina, have both recently debuted. The resort has more than 200,000 square feet of meeting space, which soon will be renovated as well.

The long-discussed Boulder Bay project in North Lake Tahoe has been approved by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Plans call for a four-story, 275-room hotel with a 10,000-square-foot casino, to be built over three years. On the site of the former Tahoe Biltmore, Boulder Bay will be designed as a "cultural village" in an environmentally sustainable manner. Construction could begin this year.