Why Here?
James Beard Award finalist Mark Estee is doing his part in putting Reno on the map as a foodie destination. His fifth area restaurant, a butcher shop/bakery/deli/luxury café called Provisions, will debut this month with plenty of event space. The Estee-helmed Heritage is pictured above.

Did You Know?
 The 1,635-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino nabbed the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association's 2014 Sustainability Award this fall. It's the only U.S. hotel heated completely by an on-site geothermal well; other initiatives include two newly installed Tesla charging stations.

 The Chateau retail strip is now open in South Lake Tahoe, with nearly 30,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.

Polished Nugget
The 1,500-room JA Nugget opened Gilley's Dance Hall, BBQ and Saloon this past summer. The Sparks hotel is in the midst of a $50 million renovation that will affect guest rooms, public areas and more.

New Look
The 400-suite Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel is in the midst of its second phase of renovations since it became independent last spring. Look for refreshed premium and balcony suites and banquet rooms.

Local Update
• The historic Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino is under new ownership and could reopen early in 2015. The North Lake Tahoe resort, once owned by Frank Sinatra, includes 219 guest rooms, a spa, meeting space and restaurants. The new owners say they plan to work with the property's existing framework. More details should emerge shortly.

• The former Horizon in South Lake Tahoe is undergoing a $60 million overhaul before reopening as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, likely sometime in January 2015. All 539 guest rooms will be decked out in traditional Hard Rock style with music memorabilia, and the property will offer several new restaurants and bars, as well as a 25,000-square-foot casino. The hotel has more than 14,300 square feet of meeting space.

• Reno's newest non-gaming lodging, the Whitney Peak Hotel, is a 157-room boutique property that opened in May. The hotel caters to adventurous spirits with its BaseCamp venue, which offers a 7,000-square-foot indoor bouldering park and a 164-foot-high climbing wall, touted as the world's tallest. The on-site Heritage Restaurant is helmed by acclaimed local chef Mark Estee. The property also is home to Cargo, a 1,000-seat-capacity concert hall, as well as more than 8,000 square feet of additional meeting and event space.

• The 437-room MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in South Lake Tahoe is in the midst of a $24 million renovation that includes upgrades to furniture, electronics, fixtures and bathrooms in all guest rooms. The work will take place on one floor at a time and should wrap up in May. The casino and convention center are getting new carpeting, lighting and décor, and beginning next spring work will begin to update the MontBleu Theater Showroom, box office and building exterior. That project is set for completion in late 2015.

Resort Revamp
The 1,993-room Grand Sierra Resort continues to debut venues as part of its $40 million renovation. Last July, the nightclub Lex opened, bringing a Vegas vibe to Reno nightlife. All guest rooms are being renovated, as is much of the resort's 200,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: Properties in Reno include the 1,993-room Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, 1,710-room Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 1,635-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, 1,572-room Circus Circus Reno, 928-room Harrah's Reno, 833-room Sands Regency Casino Hotel, 827-room Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno, 824-room Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and 214-room Siena Reno Hotel Spa Casino.

Hotels in nearby Sparks include the 1,500-room JA Nugget.

Among properties in the Lake Tahoe area are the 740-room Harveys Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort; 512-room Harrah's Lake Tahoe; 437-room MontBleu Re--sort Casino & Spa; 422-room Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Casino and Spa; 405-room Resort at Squaw Creek; 400-room Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, and 302-room Ridge Tahoe.

To compare hotels and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Reno-Sparks Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 381,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 53; (775) 827-7260

Taxes: Reno, Sparks, northeast side of Lake Tahoe: room tax, 13% to 13.5%; sales tax, 7.725%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13% to 13.5%

Southeast side of Lake Tahoe (Douglas County, Nev.): room tax, 13%; sales tax, 7.1%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

California side of South Lake Tahoe: city room tax (non-redevelopment area), 10%; city room tax (redevelopment areas only), 12%; Tourist Improvement Assessment, $3 per occupied hotel room, $4.50 per occupied condo/timeshare unit; sales tax, 8%

Group Venue: Small groups of up to 10 can experience back-country skiing via new snowcat vehicles at Lake Tahoe's Homewood Mountain Resort, debuting this winter. The Bombardier snowcat will transport adventurous skiers and snowboarders above the resort's traditional ski area, on the flanks of Ellis Peak.

Contact: Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, (775) 827-7600 or (800) 367-7366

North Lake Tahoe Visitors and Convention Bureau, (530) 581-8703 or (800) 462-5196