Monday marks day five of the 'Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.' The big event is basically the kick-off of special event season, here in the Truckee Meadows. Chris Baum is the President and CEO of the RSCVA and says if the rodeo and Reno River Festival both started the year off strong.
"I know the stands were full, at the rodeo, when I was there," Baum said. "I know the banks of the Truckee were packed, on the weekend, for the River Fest. So, we know it's positive."
You could say the special events season got underway, as soon as the chutes opened for Extreme Bulls, Thursday night. It won't end until this fall, when events like Hot August Nights and the Reno Air Races come along.
"I've never seen a city that has a lineup of special events at the world class caliber that we have in the Reno-Sparks area," Baum said. "It really is pretty incredible."
"That's the great thing about living in Northern Nevada," Steve Schroeder said. "We love special events and it's great to be the first one really to kick off the season. So, we actually start with the original horse power, the horse, and we kind of end it with Street Vibrations, which is another form of horse power."
Schroeder is the Director of Communications for the Reno Rodeo and says that out of the 1,000 Reno Rodeo competitors, only 30 of them come from Nevada. Those visitors are good news for area hotels and restaurants. Officials with the Peppermill say they are having a record year for Reno Rodeo business, and they hope that continues with other events.
"Those are all events, I think, not only to drive business into the area, but help create a positive image of Reno into our feeder markets, which are really important," Director of Marketing Operations Bill Hughes said.
But events, like the Reno Rodeo, are also a huge attraction for locals. 150,000 people are expected to pass through the gates and 90% of them come from within 100 miles.
"It's great when our visitors come from out of town but for locals, too, this is an incredible resource we have available, in the Truckee Meadows, that people should really appreciate," Baum said.
The Reno Rodeo lasts longer than most special events, too. The average visitor stops in for 4.5 days of the 10-day event.
"It's just 10 days of a great time to come together and celebrate, see friends and hang out, be at the rodeo," Schroeder said.
The Reno Rodeo brings between $42 and $45-million of economic impact to the area, every year. The only ones that bring in more are Hot August Nights, the Reno Air Races and bowling tournaments.