City of Reno officials now have a better understanding of Portola and its role as an extended community to Reno, thanks to a whirlwind tour lead by Portola City Manager, Robert Meacher, along with Portola Mayor, Michelle Gault, Portola Council Member Phil Oels, and Jeff Engel, District 5 County Supervisor.
During the tour, Reno Vice Mayor, Oscar Delgado, Reno Assistant City Managers, Bill Thomas,and Kate Thomas were shown the growing footprint of Portola that included the destinations of Grizzly Ranch Golf Course, Graeagle Meadows Golf Course, Nakoma Golf Resort, downtown Portola, and Sierra Nevada Journeys.
On their first stop at Grizzly Ranch Golf Course, Robert Meacher shared his revelation of what is becoming clear in the greater Reno region: “Since last year, we have met with Bill Thomas from the Reno Mayor’s office, Heidi Gansert at UNR, representatives in Truckee and the Nevada Business Council,” explained Meacher, “everyday I am reminded that we are intrinsically attached to one another in what Bill Thomas refers to as the ‘Super Region’ of Reno, which to me, goes beyond Fernley, Nevada down to Carson, up to Truckee and then here. We (Portola) are the only incorporated city Northwest of Reno, the closest one. So, what you are going to see today is the footprint of Portola, the 96122 zip that has a lot of wealth, and a lot of opportunity. Now it’s time to for us to connect politically as we plan for the inevitable growth that is already at our collective door.” Meacher continued, “Portola is already known as Reno’s playground. Let’s create a relationship that eases Reno’s growing pains.”
Mayor Michelle Gault addressed the group in recognition of their interest to tour the Portola footprint. “Thank you for joining us today, as we are very excited to show you the beauty and potential of what our area has to offer,” stated Mayor Gault.
Meacher then spoke to the proximity of the Reno/Portola connection. “See why we are branding this area, Live Where You Want to Play. We have a lot of folks who commute to Reno for work, and we have a lot folks from Reno who commute here to work, including city employees – we are connected economically.”
With each stop along the tour, the Reno City Officials had the opportunity to personally interact with their hosts, which included: Van Batchelder, PGA director of golf at Grizzly Ranch Golf Course; Harvey West III of Graeagle Land & Water and Graeagle Meadows Golf Course; Dan Gallagher, vice president of development, Schomac Group and Nakoma Golf Resort; and, Eaton Dunkelberger, chief executive officer at Sierra Nevada Journeys.
Some of the questions asked by the Reno city officials ranged from population and development growth to the obstacles faced by resort destinations. However, one continuous theme resonated throughout the tour – Reno is presently engaged in the Portola footprint by way of recreation and second home residences. “Clearly there is a reciprocal relationship between Reno and the Portola area,” said Meacher, “we would just like to maximize it.”
The takeaway of Meacher’s message was to entice the Reno Mayor to come over and “see for herself” this region of opportunity with a sponsored dinner by Plumas Bank.
Fast and furious, the tour concluded with a vast amount of new knowledge gained by the Reno City Council members, and quite possibly a lasting impression and the beginning of a great relationship. “We’ve got a good conversation going,” said Council Member Phil Oels.
Communication between the cities will continue, and the possibility to build future relations will be of great interest to the city of Portola.
See the complete tour photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskd2whjq