Safari Club Convention has Big Impact on Local Economy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Safari Club Convention has Big Impact on Local Economy

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The Safari Club International Convention is expected to bring $21 million into the local economy, which is great news for our hotels and restaurants.

Noel Foley is the owner of Foley's Irish Pub and says there won't be an empty seat in the house when the convention closes for the day.

In fact, he's even taking reservations for a lot of different groups from the event.

Others are checking it out for the first time. "It appears to be a mom and pop place, rather than a chain of some kind," Jim Brune said. "So, I kind of prefer this."

Foley says the SCI Convention is one of the biggest events for his pub and he hopes it continues for years to come. "A lot of repeat business that we've built up a rapport with, over the years, and they just absolutely love coming to Reno," Foley said.

Foley says he wants to make everyone feel at home. With so many hunters in town, he's even added a few specials to the menu. "We bring a lot of game items on like venison and buffalo burgers," Foley said. "And they just buy into it and so do our locals."

Safari Club members are also filling up local hotels. The Peppermill's rooms are full and that demand is allowing for higher rates. "To them, even if we're charging $200 a room," Bill Hughes, Peppermill Director said. "They think it's a great deal because they're used to being in cities where 3, 4, $500 a night, especially for the quality of rooms we have here."

The Qualls flew in from San Antonio, Texas for the convention and are also looking for things to do while they're in town. "We're going to do a little bit of gambling at night, do a little bit of cocktails at night, and probably do some dinners out," Robert Qualls said. "And I have a spa package booked for half a day tomorrow," Louisa Qualls said.

And when you're on a trip like this, the cost starts to add up. "$2,000 to 3,000 if you include the airfare and the hotel and the rental car," Robert Qualls said. "So, we're about $3,000 or 4,000 out," Louisa Qualls said. "I don't even want to think about that, now," Robert Qualls said. "Holy cow."

The Qualls say they also plan to head up to Lake Tahoe on Saturday for a snowmobile trip. It goes to show that the economic impact is also being felt outside the city limits.

Written by Paul Nelson

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