Ambassadors walking around Downtown Reno. They are crossing Sierra Street infront of the Century Movie Theaters.

It Takes A City

When the new Executive Director, Neoma Jardon, took over the top role at the Downtown Reno Partnership (DRP) in mid-August, one of her first priorities was to determine the spots that needed the most attention in the 110-block radius of the business improvement district. She worked closely with the Ambassador team to create a map that highlighted the top spots that required daily ambassador attention in order to begin proactively and strategically deploying the Ambassadors. This led to a larger conversation with the City of Reno and emergency services on how to collectively work together to eliminate these clusters. This led to something happening in Downtown Reno that hasn’t happened before and it’s making an immediate difference in Downtown Reno.  

In the last 100 days, employees from the Downtown Reno Partnership, the Ambassadors and the City of Reno, including representatives from the City Manager’s Office, Clean and Safe, Public Works, Parks, Maintenance, Code Enforcement, Reno Police and Fire, have come together each morning at 8 a.m., five days week to do walks in different areas of downtown, taking note of anything that needs to be addressed*.  

Graffiti is being painted over in real-time. Those in need of transportation to a housing unit are transported within minutes of saying they’d like help. Two to three 50-gallion bags of trash are picked up each morning. Broken infrastructure is identified and addressed. This has allowed for a block-by-block evaluation on foot by organizational leads who most often were just addressing issues from behind a desk. What took days, weeks and months to be identified and addressed between organizations are being identified and corrected in real time. 

“By adding these walks into our daily routines, we are putting in the legwork to a more vibrant, safe, and welcoming downtown.” 

This group came together to make these walks a priority to not only assist those in need along the way but to also pick up trash to ensure a clean space for all, shared Cynthia Esparza, the City of Reno’s Chief Equity and Community Relationships Officer. “Our daily walks are a unique approach to our ongoing efforts to build safe spaces for all people in Reno,” Esparza said. “The team is made up of different staff, each bringing their expertise and forward-thinking solutions to improving public spaces. A key piece has been connecting with our unsheltered community. By meeting them where they are, we’ve developed new relationships and connected them to vital resources. It takes a great team to support these efforts, and I applaud everyone at the City of Reno, Karma Box and regional partners for putting in the hours, hard work, and dedication to make Reno better.”

A collaboration that brings together so many different entities – the BID, the City, Police, REMSA and more – is nearly unheard of across the nation. And it’s this collaborative effort that ensures things are getting done and progress is being made to help ensure that our downtown core is safe, clean and vibrant. Bryan McArdle, the City of Reno’s Revitalization Manager, shared that getting an in-depth look into the core of downtown has helped to make adjustments immediately to ensure downtown is safe and welcoming.  

“Our walks have been an incredible opportunity to see what’s happening in real-time throughout our city and discuss how we can work together to make needed improvements and adjustments,” McArdle said. “By adding these walks into our daily routines, we are putting in the legwork to a more vibrant, safe, and welcoming downtown.”  

People have taken to this group’s consistent presence downtown as a handful of individuals come to seek out the group to ask for help with services or other needs. This also led to the creation of a services flyer to create a clear picture of services available to the public. You can find that at Much work has been done, but there is a lot of work still to do for Downtown Reno to reach its full potential.  

If you have input on what you would like to see in downtown or from the Downtown Reno Partnership, reach out to at

*Some of the morning walks have been postponed due to weather and national holidays.

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