The U.S. Census Bureau recorded about 45,000 people who left the Bay Area from July 2016 to July 2017.
Many of these folks are making Reno their home. Why? The Reno Gazette Journal interviewed five Golden State transplants about why they were attracted to our area. They all work for tech startups and our quality of life was a major motivation to relocate. Many have been familiar with our region for years and witnessed the city’s RENOvation and improvement after the recession when some of the biggest tech names in the game came to the area.
Here are their stories.
Lindsey Dal Porto
Head of Talent, Bombora
A transplant from the Bay Area, Dal Porto couldn’t wait to escape her stressful lifestyle.
"A lot of people who work in San Francisco commute at least 45 minutes," Dal Porto said. "The city cracks me up. Because you go two miles and it takes you an hour and a half."
Now she’s enjoying a 15-minute commute here in Reno. She calls the time difference “life-changing” and while she doesn’t think housing is cheap, it’s a huge improvement from the Bay Area.
"I pay just over a $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment with parking and a dishwasher and a washer-drier," she said of her Reno home. "And in San Francisco, a washer-drier is a luxury. What I get, my apartment and the amenity I have, is probably a third of the cost of what people pay in the Bay Area."
Dal Porto also loves the fact that we are in the middle of an outdoorsman’s Mecca, with Tahoe just a hop, skip and jump away. In San Francisco, you’d have to travel hours to gain that kind of outdoor access.
Project Manager, Breadware
Before moving to Reno, Silva lived in Silicon Valley with her husband and kids. She found that renting a home here was incredibly easy and a major relief.
"You click and you rent. It was not like that in the Bay Area," Silva said. "You had to spend time looking."
Like Dal Porto, Silva was impressed by the smaller commute time in our area. She’s now training to be a yoga teacher, fulfilling a bucket list item. The same training she is doing now wouldn’t have been possible in the Bay Area because of cost and time management.
"I think that's what makes Reno different from Silicon Valley. It's the community," Silva said. "Every weekend there's literally something going on. And it's fun and it's cool. It's whatever you like. if you like cooking there's cooking, if you like hiking there's hiking."
Artist and Industrial Designer, Breadware
Being an artist in Reno is a ton of fun. Robinson moved his family here from Sacramento so that his wife could be closer to her mother and the kids could spend time with grandma. Reno’s cultural environment is incredibly unique, from the different architectural features to the close proximity to Burning Man.
"For example, murals in this town — they are everywhere," Robinson said. "And businesses seem to just sort of welcome that quite a bit. And there's something about the town and people that move here, I compare it to Portland. Not only the businesses but also the homes are open to a little bit of funkiness in art and design."
He added, "Sacramento is a bit traditional. And that’s what I like about Reno that they are open to that. And you have Burning Man. When I moved here last year and started working I was amazed at how many people that event brought to the area. We notice now that when we go to Sacramento, it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Reno is where we play, live."
Talage, a Reno-based tech start-up
Donovan used to be located in Oakland and relocated to Reno to work for a tech-based start-up. He has been so impressed by the cooperation of the local community. He and his fiancée are spending a lot of their free time enjoying the great outdoors, which they weren’t able to do in California.
"People in the community wants to see startups be successful," he said. "We participated at a press conference where the governor came about a month ago. Not many states would put an event like that."
"I would say, the nature here has an appeal," he said. "That has been one major reason why we moved here. We love skiing, we love hiking. Mount Rose is 10-minute drive from where we live in the Incline Village."
As a student at UNLV, Justin’s dream was to live in California. And live he did in Santa Barbara before coming to Reno.
"I moved to California after I graduated. I lived there for 15 years then I got over it," he said. "It's beautiful, it's a beach town. But it's almost odd. It's a bubble. Almost as if you are not in the real world there."
The high cost of living and dangerous wild fires were all the more reason for Justin to look at another place. Living in Reno just made sense.
"I do a lot of businesses in Silicon Valley. It's just a three and half hours from Reno. A lot of my friends started moving here. I actually relocated a business I helped found out here," he said.
When it comes to housing, he finds Reno to be dramatically different in cost compared to California. His place he is renting in Midtown is just walking distance from work and he pays half of what he would back in the Golden State. In California, the property is more run-down and he found himself spending his weekends fixing things. Here, you can get newer construction for much cheaper.
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