239 W. 2nd Street
The El Cortez Hotel was built in 1931 in anticipation of a boost to the lucrative divorce trade. In 1931, Reno liberalized its divorce laws and reduced the residency requirement for a divorce from three months to six weeks. The El Cortez Hotel offered luxury housing for couples to stay and enjoy the six-week wait. It was a high-class Art Deco hotel, charging an astounding $6 per night, compared to the typical hotel rate of $2.50 per night. The hotel included a swanky bar called the Orchid Room and a popular restaurant called the Tracedero Room. Both rooms were elegantly designed with stylish Art Deco fixtures. As one of only three remaining major Art Deco buildings in Reno, and as an excellent example of this style, the El Cortez Hotel was listed in the National Register in 1984. It is one of many sites included in the NPS Three Historic Nevada Cities online travel itinerary.
Photo: The El Cortez Hotel is a fine example of the Art Deco style.
– Courtesy Nevada State Historic Preservation Office/Charles Miller