burning Man is Big Business for Reno-Sparks - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Burning Man is Big Business for Reno-Sparks

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The onslaught of Burners to the Reno-Sparks area means big bucks for every Burning Man related business around. From airline tickets and RV rentals to stocking up on supplies of ice and water, sales are up this year. And officials with Black Rock City have estimated that take will translate to as much as $35-million to the local economy this year.

Tolee, with the Burning Man welcoming committee -called Air Info at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport- says this year is bigger than ever.

"By the end of the week we will see between 20-thousand and 30-thousand people from all over the world coming in her at the airport and heading to the playa. And they are from all over, Israel, Germany, Australia, Thailand; you name it they've signed this book and they are all here to burn."

That does make it the busiest week of the year for the airport, but that also translates into business for local hotels. The Peppermill has been packed with burners getting ready for the playa and will be packed again as they all return at the end of the week.

"We really depend and work with the Burners," says James Mortiz, Assistant General Manager with the Peppermill. "And every year we see the numbers grow."

Ice sales are up, water sales are up, and quirky clothing stores including the Melting Pot and Junkee Clothing Exchange stock up on Burner-Focussed clothing and sell out no matter how much stock they lay in.

And if you were hoping to arrive in an RV...you better have planned ahead.

Sierra RV and Rentals on South Virginia Street rents out nearly three-dozen RV's for Burning Man every year. And they book out their RV's by March.

"It's like that every year," Marvin Gonzales says of the rentals. "And we get a lot of return business so we book early."

And even for places like bike shops, Burning Man is a dependable money-maker.

The Reno Bike Project sells every bike it can fix up, and folks there say they could probably sell a thousand more if they had space to store them the rest of the year. In fact, this year, they expect to make $30-thousand in just 10 days, which is enough to carry their non-profit for the rest of the year.

And at for profit places like Black Rock Bikes, they laid in 100 more bikes this year than last for rentals and every one is spoken for.

"The thing about Burning Man," says Randy Robison who owns Black Rock Bikes, "is that it's such a great moneymaker. We don't have to fund it, advertise for it, or even put police on it. It's an amazing event that keeps growing and that makes money for a lot of businesses here. It's business we can depend on. And it just keeps growing.

This year 68-thousand tickets were sold for Burning Man.

Written by Erin Breen 

 

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