This arch was originally erected on Virginia Street at Commercial Row in 1926 to promote an exposition that celebrated the completion of the Lincoln and Victory highways. Electric bulbs spelled our "Reno" and "Nevada's Transcontinental Highways Exposition, June 25 - Aug 1 1927." Following the event a contest was held by the City Council to find a slogan for the arch. In 1929 a Sacramento man won $100 for his entry, "Reno, the biggest little city in the world." By 1934 some citizens felt that the slogan was passé, so it was eliminated and replaced with "Reno" in green neon. The change was not well accepted. In 1935 the slogan returned with redesigned neon lettering. The arch remained there unaltered until 1963 when it was replaced by a new one. The old arch first moved to the original site of the exposition, Idlewild Park and then to Paradise Park. In 1988, due to its badly deteriorated base, officials placed it in storage.
In 1994 filmmakers paid for the restoration and installation or the arch on East Fourth Street for its "supporting role" in the movie Cobb. After the filming, the Reno City Council launched a campaign to find a permanent home. Reconstructed here in 1995 the arch once again proudly welcomes visitors to downtown Reno.