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One of the most enduring icon's of Reno is its the famed "Arch". Arches have been built for centuries, demarcing the entrance to a city, welcoming road weary travelers into a new town. The use of an Arch signifies an accomplishment to travelers, that wonderful feeling of "I'm finally here." Much like the bright neon "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" sign out on South Las Vegas Boulevard (or old Highway 91 depending on your age and historical understanding), the Vegas sign welcomed road tripping Californians into the bright wonderland of Las Vegas, and, in turn, giving these visitors a license to lose their minds - and bankrolls. The Reno Arch has a history that goes way back before the Strip, and even legalized gambling - the first arch in Reno was built in 1899.
The 2nd Reno Arch
A little more than twenty-five years later another arch was built, this time over Virginia Street in downtown Reno, commemorating the construction of the Lincon Highway over the Donner Pass, finally connecting the country into one Transcontinental Highway. This 1926 arch was constructed was of a steel frame and incandescent lightbulbs, (reliable lightbulbs weren't invented until the late 1870s - about the same distance in years we are from the invention of the Stratocaster electric guitar - 2005-1955). This original arch has been refurbished and now stands over Lake Street, just near the National Automobile Museum.
The 3rd Reno Arch
In 1929, a local newspaper held a slogan contest for the city of Reno, the winners slogan would be emblazoned in lights over Virginia Street - replacing the long in the teeth Lincoln Highway completion arch. The winning slogan? "The Biggest Little City In The World"