Everyone knows that gambling is a big deal in Reno, but if one thing can challenge the city's casinos for cultural significance it's bowling. Referred to as the "Taj Mahal of Tenpins", American bowling's mecca, the National Bowling Stadium (NBS), has almost religious significance in Reno. Home to many of the sport's top games, you don't have to be a bowler or a bowling fan to pay a visit - though you probably will be one by the time you leave.
Costing a mammoth US$50 million to build, the striking (pun intended) NBS is where you'll find a professional bowling store, stadium club, theatre and most interesting to tourists, a whopping 78 lanes of bowling! If it sounds huge it's because it is.
The NBS has 65,000 square feet of open space and can hold 1,500 bowling devotees. The stadium also boasts having the longest video screen in the world. Even if you're up in the stands, you won't miss a strike (or gutter ball) with game projections stretching 440 feet in length.
If bowling is a new sport to you, while you won't become a pro in just one visit, you can at least get up to speed with your bowling history. Pay a visit to the International Bowling Museum to learn all about the sport's greats and admire some quirky bowling artefacts. Some history too for film buffs is that the Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson film 'Kingpin' was shot at the stadium.
Though the NBS tailors more to those serious about the sport than casual rollers, it's still a great destination to give high-tech bowling a go, or just to admire the unique architecture such as the giant bowling ball on the roof of the stadium.
Bowling itself will set you back about $US15 for three games, but you can poke your head around the stadium free of charge. Visitors and bowlers alike can enter on Centre Street where you'll be greeted by a proud four-floor lobby and glass elevators.