Reno's Special Events Season Could Be a Record Breaker - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Reno's Special Events Season Could Be a Record Breaker

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Starting in June with the Reno Rodeo, then ending with the Nevada Day parade in October, the 4 months in between are looking packed already. As Special Events Coalition moderator Mike Draper told us, "All signs indicate this year's going to be an even busier event season."

As northern Nevada gaming continues its slow slide, there's more importance than ever on special events to keep our tourist economy, which is still our top economy...profitable. To do that, some of our yearly events are going above and beyond. Hot August Nights Executive Director Tony Marini told us that this year, their event "is offering a new show and shine in downtown Reno this year. We have $40,000 in prize fund money, $20,000 first prize. These are cars that have never been to Reno, so we're excited about that."

The event organizers also tell us there's an unusual early buzz going on. Lisa Jansen, overseeing the Nugget Rib Cook-Off told us, "I get probably 10 to 20 emails a day of people asking me about the event. That's a lot because they want to be vendors, they want to be cookers. It shows me we're nationally known because they're coming from all over the country."

Lisa expects 500,000 visitors for the Nugget Rib Cook-Off this year. The Reno-Tahoe Open expects an increase too. The RTO's Candee Candler told us, "We're looking for 70,000 people. We had over 62,000 last year, and so we expect over 70,000 this year." The Reno Air Races? Marketing Director Valerie Miller-Moore said, "We're going over 200,000-plus, and 221,000 would be an absolute record for us this year."

For the tourists and what they spend in town, the Rib Cook-Off claims a $25 million-plus economic benefit. Air Races: $85 million. Street Vibrations: $50 millon. Hot August Nights? Tony Marini told us, "We think it's around $200 million, $250 million."

For Reno's slate of special events, 2013 just might be a record breaker.

-written by John Potter

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