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Reno advice. Most downtown casinos are fine. I have stayed at Circus Circus the last few years. I have e-mail alerts from them and I stayed nine days this year for only $340. I booked in December of last year.
Vacation time may not allow, but you really need to spend 9 days to get the full effect of the race. I always arrive the Saturday after Labor Day, and leave Monday afternoon the day after the races. Racing does not start until Wednesday, but qualifying starts Monday. With the exception of my arrival day, I recommend getting to the field at least 1/2 hour before sunrise, and don't leave until well after sunset. On average it is a 15-16hr day.
Car rental is easy, right at the airport in the terminal, but make a reservation. RARA will start taking press applications around April-May via their website, www.airrace.org.
This year I will reserve a room, it only costs one night of rental to hold the room, and reserve my car early. I will wait until the last minute to book a flight, or earlier if the races are confirmed. Despite what RARA may say, everything is very much up in the air as to whether the races are actually going to happen this year.