Voicemap, an audio tour app company, this week launched a new audio walking tour of Reno along with a second for Lake Tahoe. Local radio producer and podcaster Fil Corbitt worked with the company to create the tours, lending a local voice and local knowledge to the project.
The self-guided, self-paced tours work for groups and solo walkers. The app uses GPS from the user’s cell phone to determine where the listener is and plays specific audio clips for that location, including stories and sound effects.
“You can put your phone in your pocket and my voice will guide you through the tour,” says Corbitt at the start of each tour. Detailed directions from point to point are included in the tour, and the app will let users know when they’ve gone too far off course.
In “Downtown Reno: From the Reno Arch to the Truckee River,” Corbitt takes listeners on a 45-minute walking tour from the Reno arch through downtown Reno to the Truckee River and back. It starts with the signature sound of a slot machine as users begin the tour from the poker chips art at the corner of Virginia Street and Commercial Row next to the Reno Arch.
Sound effects and audio recordings are a big part of the tour. At Reno City Plaza, the former site of The Mapes, listeners will hear the history of the hotel along with an audio clip of its demolition.
The Lake Tahoe tour begins near the Tunnel Creek Café in Incline Village and continues along the East Shore Trail to Sand Harbor. The one-way tour covers about three miles and lasts about an hour; app users should plan to walk the same distance to get back to their car. Along the way they’ll hear about the natural history of the lake and its Washoe Tribe inhabitants, along with more modern information about environmental efforts in the area.
Voicemap’s audio tours are available in more than 250 destinations in 60 countries. The app is free to download in the Apple and Google app stores. Each tour requires purchase. The Reno tour is $5.99 and the Lake Tahoe tour is $6.99.