Reno Air Races Benefit Area Economy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Reno Air Races Benefit Area Economy

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The air races are one of the biggest special events of the year and its 50th event is in full swing. It's estimated that the Reno Air Races at the Reno-Stead Airport bring about $85-million into the local economy.

"I would believe that it's the biggest week in Reno. It far surpasses Hot August Nights. You might have more people but those people aren't spending money like these people do," says Dennis P. Nobile of Valencia, California.

Mike Houghton of the Reno Air Racing Association adds, "The demographics are upscale. They will spend a little bit more than the average event participant, which also drives the that $85 million in economic impact."

For every plane and pilot at the air races, there is also a crew -- with anywhere from five to 20 people -- all spending money.

"As far as gambling and eating, it's about $4,000. But the guy who owns this airplane, he comes up here and he spends $40,000," says Nobile.

Adele Worrall of Cornell, British Columbia adds, "I would say we're probably looking at four digits, for sure. For sure, when you talk about air fare and hotel and then just spending money and enjoying everything."

With fans coming from countries all over the world they know there's lots of expenses involved with a trip like this. "It's not cheap but it's fun. So, it's worth it. Some things are worth it."

Hotels like the Atlantis are benefitting from the air races.

Just one event that makes the month of September so important to local businesses.

"This just really puts the icing on the cake for us coming out of the summer. It's another big event we can count on every year," says John Carter.

And while you can find people placing their bets on the casino floor visitors are also taking advantage of other amenities.

"We offer everything to almost everybody that wants to come here. Our spa is one of the top ten in the world, and we'll have people skip a day up at the air races just to hang out at the spa for the day."

About 200,000 fans come out to the air races every year. Officials say that number will probably be about 10,000 higher this year.

Written by Paul Nelson

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