Those days are over, and all the outdoor bowling championships and climbing walls installed to attract visitors probably won’t change that. The local economy is in shambles, done in by the double whammy of the national recession and the rise of Indian casinos in California. Unemployment is rampant.

That presents a serious challenge to President Obama as he tries to repeat his 2008 victory in Nevada, a key swing state then and now.

“I think he’ll have a harder time doing it this time, because we have so many people who are unemployed … and a lot of people blame the president,” said Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, a moderate Republican who doesn’t personally hold Obama responsible for his city’s plight.