RENO, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV)- Safari Club International, a huge money generator in northern Nevada, recently pulled out of an agreement to hold their 2015 convention in Reno. SCI's CEO told News 4 they pulled out because of a lack of air services at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. But airport officials were quick to point the finger back at Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Chris Baum, RSCVA President and CEO Chris Baum said he is surprised by allegations made by airport officials.
In a recent interview, Brian Kulpin, Communications Director for Reno-Tahoe International Airport stated RSCVA needs to book more conventions to fill seats on planes. Kulpin also said they need to do a better job at marketing to visitors who fly here instead of drive.
Baum admits, many RSCVA marketing dollars do go to northern California. "We can't ignore our best customers in hopes of trying to break into a new marketplace," he said. But Baum says as room tax revenue increases, they will be able to expand their reach into more markets.
According to RSCVA booking sheets, a total of 334,337 total rooms have been booked for 2013. Baum says the annual goal is 228,000. Baum says they are getting there but it will take work to reach that goal each year. In 2014, just more than 180,000 total rooms are on the booking sheet. In 2015 the RSCVA has booked a total of 109,144 room nights.
Baum has been CEO at RSCVA for just over a year and says they are picking up the pieces after being down in years past. "For whatever reason the organization had fallen off the face of the earth in the conventions world." But he says that is finally changing. "We wouldn't have booked 40,000 room nights in the past five weeks if people weren't saying, Yeah that makes sense."
Baum says RSCVA has been working to bring the X-Games to Reno-Tahoe in February 2015.