The Whitney Peak Hotel at a distance with the Reno Arch

Isaac Hoops/ Nevada Sagebrush
The Whitney Peak hotel as it stands on Friday, Aug 14. Students expected to in Canyon Flats and Uncommon Reno will be housed at the Whitney Peak for upwards to three weeks.

Editor’s Note
: The Nevada Sagebrush received copies of the contracts signed between the owners of Canyon Flats, Uncommon Reno and the University of Nevada, Reno through a public records request. 

Students at the University of Nevada, Reno expecting to live in Canyon Flats apartments and on the seventh floor of Uncommon Reno will be housed in Whitney Peak Hotel for upwards of three weeks as construction is completed. 

According to Dean Kennedy the Executive Director of Residential Life, Housing and Food Services, Canyon Flats will take upwards of three works for construction and furnishing to be finished at the property. Students living on the seventh floor of Uncommon Reno are expected to live at the Whitney Peak for three days. 

Kennedy added the university is trying to house all students on the same floors in the hotel. 

“…[University housing] will do everything we can to group students together on floors, so we don’t have students intermingling with other hotel patrons,” Kennedy said. “There’s going to be transportation provided to and from the hotel via a bus.” 

Students living at the hotel are expected to follow updated policies set by university housing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Policies include: 

  • No guests inside residence halls 
  • Social distancing
  • Inform housing staff if they feel sick or test positive for COVID-19 
  • No gathering in groups larger than 25 people at a time on campus

Canyon Flats 

According to the contracts signed between the university and Cardinal Group Management/Canyon Flats III — owner of Canyon Flats — Cardinal Group will provide transportation to and from the hotel. 

“Landlord shall coordinate and provide, at Landlord’s expense, third-party transportation to the University of Nevada-Reno’s main campus between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for each Displaced Resident housed in a hotel that is more than three (3) city blocks from the University,” the contract between the Cardinal Group and the university read. 

The Nevada Sagebrush reached out to the Cardinal Group and was redirected to Kennedy for comments. 

Students are expected to receive a “displaced resident allowance” that will be issued every Monday of each week the students are housed at the Whitney Peak. 

According to the contact, the Cardinal Group will pay students a $25 per day allowance. The contract further added the allowance will be wire transferred. 

Despite the contract, according to Kennedy, students will be given their allowance in Wolf Bucks. 

“So they’ll be able to use that money on campus to get their books,” Kennedy said. “They can eat on campus, supplement their meal plans if they want to. In talking with students the priority is if they can use that money like in the bookstore, that’s  probably the most helpful. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Students can expect to receive payments on their move-in day. 

The university has leased out Canyon Flats for 12 months, but makes rent payments in 10 installments. Over the 10 months the university will pay $645,386.80 each month in rent, according to the contract. By the end of the lease, the university would have paid $6,453,868. 

Each unit will be furnished, including all appliances and each student will have their own individual rooms. 

Uncommon Reno 

Students assigned to live on the seventh floor of Uncommon Reno are expected to live at the Whitney Peak for only three days, according to Kennedy. 

Due to the displacement the university will be responsible for providing transportation to and from the hotel. According to Kennedy, a bus system will be put in place similar to the model used at Wolf Pack Tower. 

Wolf Pack Tower was a wing at the Circus Circus- Reno used to house students for the 2019-2020 academic year after an explosion in July 2019 damaged the two largest residence halls on campus. 

According to the contract signed between the university and CA Student Living Reno II — owner of Uncommon Reno — students will receive $25 per day if they are displaced. The contract added students will receive the compensation via gift card. 

Kennedy said, students will receive their compensation through Wolf Bucks. 

The Nevada Sagebrush reached out to CA Student Living Reno II, but did not receive comment. 

Per the contract, the university will be paid $10 per day per displaced resident. Compensation is said to start Friday, Aug 14. 

The university is to pay $3,549,960 over the span of 12 months in rent, according to the contact. 

Each unit will be furnished, including all appliances and each student will have their individual rooms. 

Parents create Facebook group to navigate housing

According to Kennedy, as of Thursday, Aug 6, 250 students remained on the housing waitlist. 

Housing capacity has dropped from 3,100 per year to 2,400 students for the 2020-2021 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Parents have created and joined a Facebook group called “Phase 3, Class of 2024 Parents, the University of Nevada, Reno” to discuss issues and experiences they have had navigating housing of their incoming students on campus. 

Many parents, like Pamela Smith, expressed in the group their disappointments. 

“My son got a message that they are no longer able to accommodate phase 3 or waitlist for housing,” Smith wrote. “This is [definitely] not a good feeling. His [application] date was 4/26, we were hoping for a different outcome. I guess he’ll be staying home now. He’s disappointed to say the least.” 

Karen Boone said she was confused about what to do with her student. 

“Fellow Phase 3 parents: as August 7th approaches I am watching the anxiety my daughter has both about her all online classes and the housing uncertainty,” Boone wrote. “We live in CA and do not intend to secure non-University housing. How are you determining how long to hold out for dorm housing? I spoke within Housing for 30 minutes today and understand that if she gets housing as an April 30th applicant it will likely be because someone drops out mid-semester. I am not sure that would be a great situation to put her in.  Do we defer and hope for Spring semester housing? Write the whole year off and hope for housing as a sophomore? Abandon UNR entirely? What are your thoughts?” 

Despite parental concerns, students have joined the group trying to sublease their apartment rooms in Identity Reno, Younion and The Highlands apartments. 

Andrew Mendez can be reached at or on Twitter @AMendez2000.