• $625   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $842   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1346   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

76% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
casinos, rodeo, desert landscape, nearby skiing 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Reno roommate rundown:

"The Biggest Little City in the World" is Reno's seemingly beloved nickname.

Reno certainly does a lot XXXXL . . . especially for a city of about 250,000 (barely M). Their well-deserved cowboy reputation as mostly miners mostly in the past has morphed into outdoor sports and gambling.

Casinos are their most popular attraction you and your roommates might not want to overlook, as long as you have no problem with gambling: spiritually, personally, financially, etc.

Even if you don't gamble yourself, Reno's casinos host bargains on restaurants and entertainment, not just the traditional buffet & booze combo (although you can certainly find those too), but brewpubs, steakhouses, coffee shops, and sushi bars. Also comedy clubs, theaters, special cinema screens, go karts, mini golf, arcades, and bowling alleys.

In the casinos, we mean. All inside that last paragraph inside the casinos of Reno. Usually cheaper than similar somewhere else? Many casinos here say they're more "family-friendly" than Vegas. But that's as family-friendly as gambling can get, we suppose? If you don't have a problem, etc. . . . enjoy the bargains!

Other seriously cowboy stuff looms large in Reno, much of it taking advantage of their seriously seasonal weather and incredibly rugged landscape.

Would you like to climb things? Like walls and cliffs and rock faces and sheer drops? Reno is very competitive in both natural and artificial "climbing walls." Superior rock climbing offers itself along the granite faces around Reno. For the less experienced and daring (as an alternative or to get ready?), there are many indoor climbing gyms.

The open desert terrain surrounding also offers smooth to really rough mountain biking.

There are also classic car and motorcycle gatherings, and martial arts and combat sporting events. On Reno's three lakes in summer, kite flying and wind surfing abound, with skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling in winter. Along with ice hockey and soccer. Plus multiple golf tournaments along with roller derby teams.

And there is an actual rodeo, well attended.

And that seriously seasonal weather? Seriously roommates, you could seriously die. So be awesome and don't. For any outdoor sporting activities (including driving!) in and around Reno, keep a watchful eye on your own hydration, and if you're overly hot or way too cold, all more than usual.

Reno is mostly about 4400 feet above sea level. Along with mystical-looking high desert geological features and temperatures above 100 alternating seasonally with snow . . . altitude sickness is also possible.

Reno is on the low side of the altitude range likely to cause illness in healthy individuals, as most who come down with any altitude sickness first start noticing symptoms between 6000-8000. However, extended athletic activity in Reno might still cause a problem in someone not used to altitude but otherwise very fit, at least initially, at least until they become accustomed. Meanwhile, they might not even understand right away that it's altitude sickness. Tell all your athletic roommates to keep it in mind.

We also need to warn you it's about an 8 hour drive to Vegas. Yes, even at night, and that's when things are going well. A lot of gambling fans want to gamble in both. That's understandable and you certainly can, because it's legal in both.

But again. It's about 8 hours to Vegas. And that'll be across an almost all desert landscape, with long stretches between any town large enough to provide food and gas.

In the nearby mountains, driving gets dodgy in the winter when it snows, especially if you don't have tire chains and four-wheel-drive. Driving in the desert outside of Reno in the summer can be dangerous too, and the heat is hard on your car.

Along with archaeologists who played a role in the mining boom and the pioneers who settled the Truckee Valley, today's Renoites are still mining for gold.

In casinos, sure, but also literal gold.

Reno and surrounding areas are still a significant contributor to the world's gold supply . . . along with other valuable rocks and beautiful fluorescent minerals.

Reno roommates need to remember not to croak out there in the desert doing seasonally dangerous things with rocks, valuably sparkly or massively rock face or Burning Man rock n'roll or otherwise. Safety first!

The rest of the Reno roommate lowdown:

  • Reno is in western Nevada, 15 miles east of the California border, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and in the Truckee River valley.
  • With several world-class ski areas nearby, ski season brings Reno a lot of weekend tourists.
  • home to Sierra Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and the University of Nevada
  • There is a transit system, mostly buses, called RTC Ride. It's mostly for the dining, gambling, and shopping needs of tourists as it serves multiple downtown destinations including casinos and the airport, but you can also go a mall or two, the University of Nevada, and downtown Sparks. (Otherwise you and your roommates will need a car.)
  • Reno is the closest major city to the Burning Man festival (Black Rock City, but Reno is the next major city), so many Burners stop off for a while along the way.

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Reno's:

  • Nevada Museum of Art: The four-level building is inspired by the topography of Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Special focus on Art of the Greater West, Altered Landscape, and the Work Ethic in American Art.
  • Rancho San Rafael Regional Park: The whole thing started off as a cattle ranch back in 1890, now 580 acres of most of the stuff you'd expect in a park along with a horse pasture, an arboretum, a botanical garden, trails, picnic pavilions, disc golf, and the Great Reno Balloon Race!
  • Idlewild Park: Along with a horseshoe court, a skate park, and its own train, this park also hosts Reno's Municipal Rose Garden.

Here's the city of Reno's official .gov for "How Do I ..." from community engagement to reporting issues, which you and your roommates might need.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.