The Reno Wine Walk: My Opinions & Thoughts
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
Every third Saturday of the month from 2:00 to 5:00 pm the Riverwalk Merchants Association hosts a Wine Walk along the Truckee River in downtown Reno. Since I have only been once before, I joined a group of girls this past Saturday so I could write up a review blog on the monthly event.
The concept for a Wine Walk is brilliant – serve drinks to hundreds of patrons while they are forced to drink inside your store until their beverage is gone (due to open container laws) and advertise great deals and promotions on all your products. Unfortunately for downtown Reno, this doesn’t really work seeing as only 4 of the 23 merchants are stores, and the rest are restaurants and bars.
The common promotions we saw while walking from place to place were for drinks and food, such as $5 Jell-o shots at 5-Star or $2 mini burritos at Antonio’s. These may encourage wine walkers to try foods at new places or drinks at different bars, but all in all, it more encourages everyone to just drink til their drunk, and the only business that truly leaves profitable is Uber.
But, although it doesn’t benefit the local boutiques and shops like I think it should, it still provides a fabulous time for Reno-nians. We are the Biggest Little City because everywhere you go, you are bound to see people you know, and this is of course true at a Wine Walk. Every stop along the route is filled with hellos and hugs as you see friends from work, class, and everyone else in between. When I asked the group of girls I was with why they continue to go to the Wine Walk month after month, they answered because it’s a community social event where you always see people you know.
An advantage of the Wine Walk during the Spring and Summer is the perfect weather. Saturday was one of the nicest days Reno has seen in a few weeks, and we couldn’t have been more grateful. We were able to take some amazing photos, and walk around enjoying the sun and warmth of the day.
Even with the beautiful weather and great time I had with friends, I can’t ignore the cons of the Wine Walk. First and foremost, anyone who has ever had a decent glass of wine will be disappointed at the boxed wine presented by the bars. Only a handful of stops offers anything poured out of a bottle. But, for an estimated $0.86 per pour, you can’t expect the best.
And next, the lines. Every stop includes a large line to get into the participating location, and then a line to get your taste. But, with the increased popularity of the Wine Walk and the good weather, it’s to be expected. The image to the right is the line of people just waiting to get their glasses filled at Silver Peak! We skipped that one! My friends said it wasn’t uncommon for the Wine Walk to run out of glasses and wrist bands, making many people that arrive too late unable to participate.
I think overall, $20 for the Wine Walk is worth it to spend an afternoon with friends, outside, drinking alcohol. But, as a marketer, I do believe there is greater potential for the small businesses and boutiques of Reno to use this event to stir sales for their stores.
Have you participated in a Reno Wine Walk? What are your thoughts about the event? Comment below and let us know what you think!
Interested in learning more about events in Reno? Check out my other posts about things to do in Reno, NV!
Reno Wine Walk
Distance: 3.8 miles
Driving Time: 8 minutes