Hunter's Convention brings millions to local economy

Reported by: Alyx Sacks
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Updated: 1/23/2013 8:07 am

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- It's known as the largest, most exclusive sports convention in the world and it's starting up Wednesday in the Biggest Little City. Safari Club International is celebrating it's 41rst annual Hunter's Convention.

The four day convention is hosted at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

The Safari Club International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation and the protection of hunter's rights. The convention features hundreds of exhibits and auction items.

"It's a biggie for us, " President and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority Chris Baum says.

About 18,000 people are expected to arrive in the next few days for the convention.

"We ramp up for this," Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs, Reno-Tahoe International Airport Brian Kulpin says.

A convention Baum says exemplifies the "who's who" from the hunting and fishing industry and attracts hobbyst from all over.

"It's just a show of such magnitude and impressive staging that it kind of blows you away when you walk in the building," Baum says.

All the visitors will be eating in local restaurants, staying in local hotels, shopping and more. The estimated boost that's going to bring to the local economy is about $21.6 million.

The Reno-Tahoe airport says they're ready for influx of travelers.

"We know it's going to be filling every seat that we have so that means our restaurants our busy, our stores are busy, we have extra customer service, extra security," Kulpin says.

Certainly the type of convention Baum says he wants to continue to bring more of to Reno-Tahoe.

"It used to be that gaming used to be a big part of what we do. Well, gaming has gotten smaller, because you can gamble almost anywhere now. So conventions and meetings need to be about 50-percent of our goings forward," Baum says.

To be clear you do have to a member of SCI to go to the convention. The  cost to sign up is about $65 for a one year membership and you can register at the convention.

The convention goes from Jan. 23 to Jan. 26.

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