I was voted Best Blogger and Downtownmakeover.com was voted Best Local Web Site in Reno News and Review's Best of Northern Nevada 2010!
What a pleasant surprise! It truly means a lot. To be recognized by my readers and downtown fans as a true asset to the community is the highest compliment. There's no denying my web site is about a niche topic, and so it's not unreasonable to assume winning these categories is a huge nod to downtown itself.
One cool thing about this site is it's a living history of the transformation downtown has undertaken.
When I first started this site, I was a bit naive ...a cheerleader for massive projects downtown, a loudspeaker for every developer that had a project and could afford to produce some renderings to wow people. Gradually from that point to present day, this site has gone from serving developers' pr needs to being a hub and cohesive presence for downtown businesses and residents.
Now it's more important than ever to enjoy what we have downtown, and to continue the transformation. The best independent stores are downtown, some of the best eats and drinks are downtown, we have the best movie theater in Reno, the best performing arts theaters in the valley, and downtown serves as the playground for 17,000 University of Nevada Reno students.
Now that real estate has fallen to realistic pricing, people are moving downtown too. Into the Palladio, into the Montage, a few into the Riverwalk and Arlington.
So, I'll be here to keep up the momentum, keep reporting on downtown development/redevelopment, and help downtown businesses as much as I can. Why? Because it's my neighborhood! Not to sound cliche like a politician, I care about the health of the neighborhood I walk through every day. And I've learned that a single person can make a HUGE, lasting impact.
I receive the occasional email that asks, "Why do you do this? Are you crazy? Nuts? What's your ulterior motive? Are you running for office? Who do you work for? Is this an RSCVA site?" The answer is no, I am not crazy or nuts, I don't work for the City of Reno or RSCVA, I'm not running for office, I work for my own company, JM Studio, and there is no ulterior motive. I just happen to be very good at web design and search engine optimization, and saw an opportunity where I can use what I am good at, and give back to the community, and help make sure it doesn't turn into a wasteland. That's my ulterior motive...
There have been times throughout American history where urban neighborhoods within cities have undergone complete transformations, and the most successful transformations were spurred by the citizens taking back their neighborhoods and working with local government.
So what's next? My next step is to continue branding downtown Reno as one solitary unit, and not fragmented neighborhoods like Cal Ave, the Riverwalk, the Casino District, etc, because it's all within a half mile of one another, and all easily accessible to residents and tourists. Stay tuned for a totally wicked mobile version of my site with special features for iPhone and Android users!