Reno, NV. KRNV- The head of the Reno Air Races announced today the organization expects to reach its fundraising goal of $500,000 by it's deadline of December 15th. Air Races CEO and President Mike Houghton said, "I'm pleased to say I think it is probably going to end up being a very early Christmas present for our organization and for this community and all the stakeholders."
The announcement came within a few hours after board members of the Reno-Tahoe Convention and Visitor's Bureau unanimously supported a resolution to provide the Reno Air Races with $100,000. The bulk of the money will come from the RSCVA's general fund, which will ensure other special events that receive funds through the RSCVA will not see their budgets cut as a result of this appropriation.
RSCVA CEO Chris Baum said, "This is good news for an iconic event. Special events are our secret weapon in northern Nevada and this is one of the greatest of all. We've got to keep it around for a long, long time.
Houghton said, "The Air Races are moving full speed ahead for 2014."
The event suffered a significant set back following a plane crash in 2011 which caused a spike in the event's insurance premium. Houghton said it went from $300,000 to nearly two million dollars." He noted, "We've been through a period of reaction to the horrible tragedy that took place. We've been in a phase of recovery at that point." He said changes have been made that he is confident will result in lower insurance costs.
In the meantime, several community leaders agreed the event's survival is vital to the local economy.
Atlantis Hotel & Casino CEO John Farahi said, "It is a global event. It puts us all over the world. People come to this event and it just celebrated its 50th Anniversary for Air Races. That is not easy to start an event and have that kind of history and that kind of international impact."
Glenn Carano, General Manager for the Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino said, "The Reno Air Races is a good piece of business and important for the economic vitality of the entire community." He added, "It is something we don't want to lose. We can't keep on losing things we need to keep on winning things."
Reno City Councilwoman, Sharon Zadra said, "It is just obvious that in a critical time with proven numbers we need to setp up and support those that support our economy."