Bowlers from around the world began pouring into the Biggest Little City Friday.
They're all here for the start of the World Championship Bowling Congress Open Championships.
Things kicked off Friday night with the opening ceremonies at the National Bowling Stadium in Downtown Reno. More than 80,000 competitors will make their way through Reno through July. And they're happy to be back.
"That's probably the biggest thing," says Dan Stricker, in town from Washington D.C. "The people you run into, the people you meet. And the people you see again year to year."
Hundreds were on hand for the opening ceremonies; something they didn't want to miss out on.
"Last year I bowled a senior tournament in France, Italy, Germany," says Stricker. "I bowled the Irish Open and I bowled a tournament in Costa Rica. This is by far my favorite tournament. I will never miss this tournament."
Exciting for the bowlers, as well as the USBC. For the first time in history, both the Open and Women Championships are being held in the same city at the same time.
"We'll be well over 100,000 visitors between the Open and Women Championships and guests," says Brian Lewis with the USBC. "So that's a big economic impact to the city of Reno."
The economic impact is expected to be more than $100 million.
The men will play the Open Championships inside the National Bowling Stadium. The women, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, where more than 40 lanes are being installed.
So, what keeps these bowlers continuing to show in such strong numbers? One of the reasons, they say, is how much Reno embraces them.
"I just like the atmosphere," says Jim Costello, visiting from San Diego. "Certainly, the gambling is nice for us. An then of course Lake Tahoe. Going down, driving around the lake is such a beautiful area."
And lets face it, you aren't going to find a state of the art venue like the National Bowling Stadium anywhere else in the country.
"You could call Reno, The Mecca of bowling," says Lewis. "The Bowling City."
More good economic news for the city. From now until July, bowlers will fill a total of 100,000 room nights in our downtown hotels.