Registration Now Open for Griswold Challenge

Sponsor Tholl Fencing made these beautiful trees!

39 North Downtown is now taking registrations for the 2nd Annual Griswold Challenge that takes place December 7 – December 9, at 39 North Pole Village in downtown Sparks.

The Griswold Challenge is a holiday light display contest where local families, friends, and businesses compete in a contest inspired by Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.

To enter teams will pay a $100 entrance fee for a 10×20 space to decorate. Many displays have themes based on holiday movies or family traditions. Teams are encouraged to build light displays that are creative and use as many holiday decorations and Christmas lights as possible. The winning team will take home Griswold bragging rights and a cash prize!

Griswold Challenge is a People’s Choice award contest so people attending the event will determine the winners. The winning team will receive half of the contest registration fees as a cash prize. The more teams that compete, the larger the prize money awarded. Last year Salon 2000 took home $300 in prize money for winning the Griswold Challenge.

“The Salon 2000 team creatively built a beauty shop display, they even had a mannequin dressed up as Santa. I can’t wait to see what the Griswold teams come up with this year.” said co-chair and community volunteer Lisa Jansen.

Photo Credit – Chris Buckley, KOLO TV

Teams that would like to compete in the Griswold Challenge can download the registration form online at or by visiting the 39 North Pole Village Facebook event page.

For more information about 39 North Pole Village and the Griswold Challenge please contact Angela Handler at (775) 690-2581 or

About 39 North Downtown
39 North Downtown is a non-profit community organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Sparks by supporting special events, development projects, community engagement and growth. The non-profit group supports existing businesses and new businesses to promote vitality and prosperity in the City of Sparks. For more information, please visit, or visit us on Facebook.



BUSINESS Q&A: The Community Food Pantry

Empty Bowls – September 27 at Eldorado Hotel Casino

Organization Name: The Community Food Pantry
Address: 1135 12th Street Sparks, NV
Organization Phone Number: 775-391-0482
Years in Operation: 7
Number of Volunteers: 35

Interview with Barbara Monroy

Q. What is your favorite thing about Sparks?
A. The hometown feel of this generous community.

Q. Can you tell us about your organization? What is your story?
A. The Community Food Pantry provides emergency food to those who are in need in the greater Reno/Sparks area. Twice a week, we offer individuals and families once a month a three-day food supply. Since its inception, the food pantry has grown through the dedicated service of its volunteers who log 5,000 volunteer hours annually. The Community Food Pantry served 20,000 in 2016, half of these were children.

Photo Credit: The Community Food Pantry Website

We started in 2008, when times were hard in the community, as once a week distribution and then expanded to 2 days a week. At our peak we served over 30,000 people during the hardest time of the recession. As things are improving we are serving fewer but with the increased cost of housing we expect to see our numbers increase over the next several years as families will need to cut where they can.

The Community Food Pantry receives its food through a partnership with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, contributions from local grocery stores and generous donations from individuals and families.

Q. How did you get into this organization or what brought you to help?
A. Simply, it was the right thing to do, people in the community need our assistance and we are glad to be in a situation to help.

Q. What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while operating in Sparks?
A. There are many, clients are always overwhelmed by our generosity, we do more than provide food, we build relationships with those we serve. You would be surprised at how relieved people are to receive many items you and I take for granted, toilet paper, a toothbrush, or a can of tuna fish. We have clients who will give us back potatoes because it will increase their power bill if they bake it, or the birthday cake we give to a small child who wouldn’t otherwise have one on their special day. Or when the pantry is running low on items and we are considering closing early on a distribution day, knowing that until our order comes in people may be hungry, and a car pulls up with enough donations to get us through.

Q. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about your organization, but isn’t commonly known?
A. We are always looking for volunteers and opportunities in the community for food drives.

Bowls ready to be painted at Playful Potter for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.

The Community Food Pantry helps approximately 20,000 people a year. They are able to support the community through volunteers and fundraising. Their annual fundraiser “Empty Bowls” is on September 27, 2017 at Eldorado Hotel Casino. You can help support The Community Food Pantry by painting a bowl for the event at Playful Potter, or by purchasing tickets to attend the fundraiser.

Empty Bowls 2017 created at Playful Potter

8th Annual Empty Bowls
Proceeds benefit The Community Food Pantry
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Eldorado Hotel Casino
$30 per ticket

There is still time to paint bowls at Playful Potter located at 1351 E. Prater Way in Sparks. Bowls are $10. The deadline to paint bowls is September 15. Large bowl painting parties are welcome, please contact Playful Potter to make an appointment.

Annual fundraiser for Community Food Pantry
Empty Bowls – Community Food Pantry Fundraiser

Business Q&A: Scoopers Drive In

Business Name:  Scoopers Drive In
Address: 1356 Prater Way, Sparks NV
Business Phone Number: (775) 331-6221
Years in Business: 37+ years in business
Number of Employees: 20

Interview with Colin Richards, Owner

Q. What is your favorite thing about Sparks?
Our favorite thing about Sparks is how close knit the community is. Being here for over 37 years, and seeing the region grow exponentially, yet still maintain its roots, is very gratifying.

Q. Can you tell us about your business?
Scoopers has been locally owned and operated by the Richards family since it opened in 1980. Our menu at the time consisted of a few basic hamburgers, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, cones, sundaes and 15 flavors of milkshakes. Over the years, the menu has expanded to include Specialty Burgers and Dogs and at last count, the number of our milkshake flavors has grown to 48! This, in turn, has led to Scoopers being recognized for “Best Milkshakes” by the Reno News & Review for the last 3 years! In October of 2015, Scoopers opened a 2nd location in Reno at 4040 Kietzke Lane directly behind the Reno/Sparks Convention Center.

Q. How did you get into this business or start your business? A. Michael and Sally Richards opened Scoopers on February 14th, 1980 with the help of their children, Shawn (14), Todd (13), Erinn (12) & Colin (9) along with a handful of some very dear family friends. The family had moved to Sparks a few years prior from the Sacramento/Roseville area where both Mike and Sally were employed by a national petroleum company. Mike was a supervisor who frequently had to travel over the hill to Reno/Sparks for work and he came across our location on Prater Way which had sat empty for some time. Growing up a child of the ‘50s, Mike had grown up in its culture of music, cars and food, and the idea of opening Scoopers Drive In had been a dream that finally became a reality!

Q. What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while doing business in Sparks?
Years ago, the local news was doing a story on long standing Sparks business owners which included Mike along with then owner of The Nugget, John Ascuaga, and a few others. While probably not the most “memorable” moment, Mike felt very proud to be part of the piece.

Q. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about your business, but isn’t commonly known?
It’s very difficult to succeed as a business owner if you don’t put in the time, and enjoy what you do. Mike and Sally often worked 7 days a week for years before Scoopers started to really get its footing in the community. Today, there are still three generations of the Richards family still running Scoopers, and Scoopers has regular clientele that spans four generations!

Q. Are you involved with any local charities? Or has your business won any awards?
While not involved with any one specific charity, Scoopers has and continues to donate to local schools, police and fire departments, youth programs, JDRF, veterans affairs and many more.

Q. What do you like best about doing business in Sparks?
A feeling of belonging is what we love most about being part of the Sparks community. Over the last 37 years, we have made many lifelong friends that started out as customers and this tradition continues today. The people of Sparks have been instrumental in Scoopers success not only by patronizing us, but also by sharing their experiences with friends and family.

Business Q&A: Grafics Unlimited

Photo Credit: Grafics Unlimited

Business Name:  Grafics Unlimited
Address: 1002 C Street, Sparks, NV 89431
Business Website Address:
Business Phone Number: 775-331-1100
Years in Business: 40
Number of Employees: 14

Interview with Jill Pauley, Owner

Q. What is your favorite thing about Sparks?
A. Sparks has been our home for the past 24 years. This area has so much to offer……Our business has prospered, and continues to grow thanks to the many awesome customers that I can now call my friends! We are so grateful to be a part of the downtown Sparks community here on C Street. I really enjoy the neighborhood, the events and the atmosphere.

Q. Can you tell us about your business?
A. Grafics Unlimited started doing business in the ‘70s as a professional mobile graphic decal installation company. Our customers included companies with large fleets of vehicles that needed our services to install their graphics on any type of surfaces.

Grafics Unlimited is a Master Certified Installation Company for both 3M and Avery products with 40 years of experience. We are also proud members of the Professional Decal Applicators Alliance. (PDAA) We guarantee that our experience will provide our customers with a professional installation each and every time!

Grafics Unlimited moved into Sparks in the early 1990s and became not only a mobile installation company but also a manufacturer of premium signage products. Our specialty is to design, manufacture and install vehicle graphics and custom signage.

Grafics Unlimited provided the very first vehicle wrap that Reno saw when we wrapped a 40’ RTC bus for the Red Viper ride at our local Sparks water park. Our business is family-owned and operated with a full staff of professionals. Developing a unique and dynamic idea is our first step…making it come to life is what we do best!

Q. How did you get into this business or start your business?
A. While attending college, Bill Pauley learned how to install vinyl graphics in the early ‘70s from a friend. As Bill’s expertise flourished, his business and client base continued to grow. Quickly Bill was able to hire and train employees to join his team. Once we moved Grafics Unlimited to Sparks and started manufacturing signage, our community was excited to see mobile advertising come to life like never before.

Q. What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while doing business in Sparks?
A. Because of our expertise, Grafics Unlimited was able to gain the market share of vehicle wrapping …to be able to work with business owners to create their mobile advertising from start to a finished product has continued to keep our business exciting and very busy! It’s always rewarding to give back to our community as well. We have been fortunate enough to be able to donate our services to some very deserving individuals. A few years back, we were able to donate a Camo vehicle wrap to a 16-year-old boy for The Miracle Network…. I will never forget his happy face when the vehicle was unveiled!

Another rewarding experience was to donate a Mini Cooper wrap for Each One Tell One…The amazing ladies with Each One Tell One are spreading the word about raising dense breast tissue awareness for early breast cancer detection. They are truly brave courageous women that have had a first-hand experience with this disease. Grafics Unlimited was able to make this Mini Cooper come to life and stand out and get the attention they needed!

Q. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about your business, but isn’t commonly known?
A. Grafics Unlimited has been fortunate enough to travel the world installing graphics. From the 1998 Olympics in Japan, the World Cup in France, and last year to Indonesia for Boeing to wrap flight simulators…our career has spanned the world! The staff at Grafics Unlimited is truly amazing! Each and every day we are able to create and bring planes, trains, and automobiles to life with mobile advertising.

Q. Are you involved with any local charities? Or has your business won any awards?
A. Grafics Unlimited has continued to provide charitable products to local charities, it makes everyone happy!

Q. What do you like best about doing business in Sparks?
A. Sparks is such a friendly small town that keeps growing and growing! I love seeing the community change with new business and opportunity. In 2016, we were so blessed to be able to purchase and renovate our building at 1002 C Street in the heart of downtown Sparks! This building has afforded us the ability to have the much-needed space to continue to grow our business and provide products to our community.

Business Q&A: Sparks Metalcrafters

Photo by: Sparks Metalcrafters

Business Name: Sparks Metalcrafters
Address: 1155 Watson Way #4 Sparks NV 89431
Business Website Address: Under Construction
Business Phone Number: 775-358-0333
Years in Business: 7
Number of Employees: 2 owners 2 employees, 4 total

Interview with Scott Stites, owner and metalcrafter

Q. What is your favorite thing about Sparks?
A. I love how everyone in the community comes together to help out all of our veterans.

Q. Can you tell us about your business?
A. We are a small business that is locally owned by a Marine Corps Veteran. We love our Vets and we love our country. We are proud that we are able to make cool products that really have meaning to people who serve our country and our community.

Q. How did you get into this business or start your business?
A. Sparks Metalcrafters is a DBA under the business Pulse Performance Parts LLC. We originally purchased the machine that makes all of our metal art to enhance our ability to make different parts for our machining business. We made a Marine Corps medallion and American flag for our office and people went wild over them and started asking if we could make different personal items or things that were near and dear to them. The flags were really a big hit from day one; the rest is history and a part of our story.

Q. What is one of the most memorable moment you’ve had while doing business in Sparks?
A. We have had some great memorable moments with the business in Sparks. Regularly we get photos and videos of our customers giving our products as gifts to service men and women and the results are always very touching. To be able to help people create a really cool moment with friends and family never gets old and is very memorable.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Presentation

Q. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about your business, but isn’t commonly known?
A. One thing I wished everyone knew about our business is that we love our vets, our customers, this community and our country. Unfortunately, we don’t get to talk with every single customer, but we sure try.

This Marine is standing in front of a flag sent to him by his daughter. Based on this social media post, you can see the sign meant the world to him.

Q. Are you involved with any local charities? Or has your business won any awards?

A. Our business routinely donates to Honor Flight and the Veterans Guest House. Recently we received a combat mission flag that was flown over many countries during combat missions from the 422nd Signal Battalion. They also gave us several company challenge coins and a certificate of authentication for the flag. They did this as a thank you to our business for sending them a metal flag to where they were deployed in the Horn of Africa. This was a huge honor for us that they recognized us.

422nd Signal Battalion, Horn of Africa

Q. What do you like best about doing business in Sparks?
A. What I like best about doing business in Sparks is that the City is very proactive about taking care of the Veterans of the community.

Sparks Metalcrafters is a great hometown business, and we are lucky that they are part of the fabric of life here in Sparks, Nevada. For more information and regular updates about Sparks Metalcrafters please click here and follow them on Facebook.

Investor Alert – Downtown Sparks Tiny Home x 2

Tiny homes are in demand and with this property you get two cute vintage tiny homes on one lot!

Check out this listing located at 326 16th Street in downtown Sparks.

We call this the Cutie Patootie House
Price: $265,000
2 bedroom
1 bath
1,408 sq ft
5,227 sq ft lot
Built in 1907 and 1945

This property would make a great office space, or an investment opportunity for anyone that wants to own rental property or live in downtown Sparks. With the right enhancements, this property would be perfect for the person that wants to live in one unit and rent the other for additional income.

326 16th Street – Sparks, NV

Most noteworthy, this cutie on 16th Street has a lot of charm, and is very desirable because it is in the up-and-coming downtown district. There is parking, and easy access to I-80 and public transportation.

Photo Credit: Bing

Best of all, this property is within walking distance of Victorian Square and all the businesses and special events that people love to visit in the heart of Sparks.

If you are interested in this property, please contact the listing agent, Barrie Lynn, at Ferrari-Lund Real Estate 1-866-272-8454.


39 North Downtown is all about making the downtown district where Sparks connects. To do that, we showcase property listings in downtown Sparks. If you have a property for sale in downtown Sparks, please email the listing to so we can feature your property on the Blog.

Waterfront at the Marina Groundbreaking 3/27/17

Today was a great day for Sparks, Nevada! Ground was broken at the new Waterfront at the Marina project located on the northeast side of the Sparks Marina. The project is being developed by well-respected co-developers, LandCap Investment Partners and Guardian Investment Capital, both based in Southern California.

The new Waterfront at the Marina developers have several projects in the area. In addition to this new project, they are developing Square One Apartments and the Yard in downtown Sparks formerly known as Bourbon Square, also the 240-unit apartment community at the Marina, the soon-to-be-built Marina Gateway apartments, and two other housing projects in Reno.

Part 1: Waterfront at the Marina Groundbreaking

The new housing development at the Sparks Marina will transform the abandoned parking structure that has been an eyesore for the community into a beautiful five story, 209-unit luxury apartment home community that features one and two bedroom models. The luxury living spaces will have high end amenities including a state of the art fitness center, concierge services, business center, dog wash and dog park, roof top deck, and secure parking. Can you imagine having all of this with a beautiful view of the 65 acre Sparks Marina? This is a great option for people looking for housing in our area.

Part 2: Waterfront at the Marina Groundbreaking

Special Note: We apologize for the quality of the video. We needed a better mic and less wind.

Sparks residents are thrilled to see this new development at the Sparks Marina and are cheering for the “Marina’s Revival.” The original development of that lot started in 2006 but was stopped when the recession hit in 2008. A few years ago, LandCap purchased the Marina Town Centre 3 story mixed use building as well as the abandoned parking garage “as is” with the goal of developing the site. We wish them the best of luck with the project and will be rooting for their success!

Photo Credit: Waterfront at the Marina Website

If you would like more information about the Waterfront at the Marina development, please check out their website. They have a lot of great information and floor plans for those that are interested in the units.

Waterfront at the Marina
375 Harbour Cove
Sparks, NV 89434877-386-1777

Business is getting ready to boom at Outlets at Sparks!

We love hearing about good news in Sparks! Check out this breaking news reported by Colin Lygren on KOLO Channel 8.

We are ecstatic to see all the great new businesses coming to Outlets at Sparks! Click on the map below for the full story!

KOLO Coverage of Outlets at Sparks

Do you like seeing uplifting stories about Sparks on the evening news? If you do, please email or send a thank you note through social media to KOLO Channel 8 and reporter Colin Lygren. You can send kudos via Facebook, Twitter, or through email. The reporter’s email address is

Sparks Businesses Receive Award Nominations

Photo Credit: Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce

The Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada Chamber announced the finalists for its 2017 Annual Chamber Business Awards today. Sparks, Nevada was represented by two finalists in the Large Business of the Year category. The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s annual recognition luncheon on April 20, at the Atlantis Casino Resort.

Ebara International and Northern Nevada Medical Center are both nominated and will be competing against Dolan Automotive Group for the Large Business of the Year award. The businesses were nominated by community members that felt they represented the very best in business acumen and expertise in our region. To qualify, a business must be a Chamber of Commerce member, contribute to the community, and be an industry leader.

And the Sparks nominees for Large Business of the Year are…

Ebara International
Founded in 1973, Ebara International is a leader in the international Pump Industry. Three out of their four business divisions are located in Sparks, including the Corporate Offices, Cryodynamics Division, and Custom Pump Division. Ebara is well known in our community for being a supporter of community organizations and for being a great place to work in manufacturing.

Northern Nevada Medical Center
When it comes to choosing a hospital, Sparks residents pick Northern Nevada Medical Center. The hospital is the largest health care provider in Sparks and has a tradition of providing quality healthcare to thousands of patients each year. The 108-bed acute care hospital is located on 23 hillside acres off Prater Way in Sparks. The hospital is well known for its core values of providing quality, comfort, and care to patients in need. Northern Nevada Medical Center is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc., one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation. Being a part of this larger company allows Northern Nevada Medical Center to provide the latest technological innovations for diagnosis, treatment, and quality healthcare.

During the awards luncheon, The Raymond I. Smith Civic Leader of the Year Award will also be presented to University of Nevada Men’s Basketball Coach Eric Musselman.

For more information about the Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada Chamber please go to

Chamber Recognition Awards Luncheon
April 20, 2017
11:30 a.m.
Atlantis Casino Resort
Tickets start at $35. Individual tickets and table sales are available.  Click Here to Buy Tickets


Welcome to Sparks!

Please join 39 North Downtown as we welcome to Sparks, NV!

Recently EDAWN’s Business Development Team announced that will be relocating to Sparks from Sanford, Florida. The company’s new light manufacturing plant is located in Sparks.

The label company is a one-stop shop for any type of label you could possibly need. They sell thousands of standard sized labels in a wide variety of materials. They specialize in labels you can’t get in other places.

Photo: is an award winning company that will fit in very well in our community. Three core values the company takes pride in are innovation, great customer service, and great employees. It is known as a great place to work and a great place to order from online.

For more information please go to

Welcome to Sparks! We are happy to be your new neighbors!  

Where Sparks Connects