NNBW Support Your Local Business Sweepstakes profile: National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)
National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)
Location: 10 S. Lake St., Reno, NV 89501
Name(s) of Owners: Non-Profit
How Long Have You Been In Business: 30 Years
EDITOR’S NOTE: On April 7, the NNBW launched the “Support Your Local Business Sweepstakes” as a way to support local businesses in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Sweepstakes in April and May, we’ll be featuring each of our business partners in a special Q-and-A. Today, we profile the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection).
NNBW: Tell us about your business and some of the most important services you provide?
Answer: The National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) has been recognized as “One of America’s Top Ten Automobile Museums.” It’s located along the banks of the Truckee River, at the corner of Lake and Mills Streets, and showcases more than 200 remarkable automobiles in 100,000 square feet. The Museum features theatre presentations, galleries, exhibits, vibrant street scenes and artifacts that bring displays to life. It’s a dynamic and popular venue for special events as intimate as 60 and as large as 1,200 guests. The Museum is also home to the Nevada Space Center, including the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada.
NNBW: What are some of the key things your business does to ensure premium levels of customer service?
Answer: The Museum has been a leader within the automotive museum field because of operational and educational programming accomplishments. Dedicated to education, a visit to the Museum is a captivating experience in itself; however, the Museum’s commitment has not ended there. The multi-day history symposiums, which are open to the public, began in 1996 and remain the most valuable and significant program. Symposiums feature national and local scholars, authors and living history performers. All have been funded in part by grants from Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and all have been approved by the Nevada Department of Education for teachers to earn in-service credit. Since inception of the NAAMY Awards program, all symposiums have earned NAAMY Awards of Excellence, including many First Place awards.
NNBW: What makes Northern Nevada such a great place to own and operate a business?
Answer: The people, the rich Nevada history, and the strong local pride make working in northern Nevada uniquely ideal. Despite the fact that Reno was built on the gaming industry, due to the corporate friendly environment, the area has become a tech magnet. You can go to ski in the morning at one of the many world class ski resorts and then sit on the shore of Lake Tahoe and take in the beautiful view — all in the same day. The Museum has a close historical link to Northern Nevada. The Museum’s collection includes 175 of cars of the former Harrah Automobile Collection (HAC), which was founded by William Fisk (Bill) Harrah. Bill Harrah was a prominent gaming pioneer who founded Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos. He assembled the largest and most historically significant collection in the world that reached approximately 1,400 vehicles.
NNBW: As a local business owner, why do you feel it’s important to give back to the community?
Answer: It’s so important for museums to be a local place intertwined and inseparable from local realities and issues. We are located in our community, but we’re also a part of our community. The Museum works with the Museum Studies program at the University of Nevada, Reno, to create internship opportunities for local students. We created a STEM program and offer field trip opportunities for local K-12 students.
NNBW: What are you doing to support other local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Answer: We are partnering with other local businesses to create collaborative social media marketing campaigns. We’re also supporting our volunteers in this time of isolation and quarantine.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.