River West Resort began as Chism's Auto Camp in the summer of 1927 as a campground consisting of campsites, a large kitchen tent, a boathouse, gas station, and convenience store. Later, 8 motel units and 16 cold water cabins with an adjoining bathhouse were added. After WWII some of the property was set up with modular house units to house veterans coming back from war and using the GI Bill to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. The GI housing made way for more permanent mobile home spaces. In 1958, even more trailer spaces were added by developing a vacant lot that had long served as a stomping ground for local kids.
In 1960, the old Chism home that stood on 2 acres adjacent to the auto camp was purchased. One of the acres was kept as part of the house grounds, and the other acre made room for 15 more trailer spaces. Shortly after that the cold water cabins were taken down, making room for the first 6 RV spaces, and the overnight trade began. In 1979 the park was expanded by replacing 8 of the permanent spaces with 28 RV spaces. In 1980 the park now consisted of 124 permanent spaces, 28 RV spaces, two houses and four apartments. The Property is still bordered by the beautiful Truckee River and scenic Idlewild Park, hence the apt renaming to the “River West Resort”