RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority says business is up. The agency has reported they have increased future bookings nearly 50-percent since last fiscal year.
The RSCVA said they have really turned a corner since the great recession. The agency claims that nationwide, the convention industry was hit really hard during our economy’s downturn.
But the Reno-Tahoe area is once again becoming a hot spot for business. "And now that things are getting a little bit better in the convention industry and we're shouting with a much louder voice here in Reno-Tahoe, we're getting a lot more requests for proposals for bigger business and we're closing our fair shares," said RSCVA President and CEO Christopher Baum.
The RSCVA has already signed more than 163,000 definite hotel room nights of future convention business in our region. It's a 49-percent increase compared to the last fiscal year, which included 110,000 room nights contracted. "One of the trends we're seeing is there is still big business to be had in a short lead time. Years ago, a big convention would book five years out, but now we've got big conventions booking two or three years out, which means that even if your numbers are a little light in coming years, there is still a lot of hope to fill it in with new business," said Baum.
Another positive trend, Baum said 63-percent of this year's definite bookings are new business for the Reno area. "We're not just booking the same groups over and over again, we're bringing new people in, who for the first time are realizing what a great destination this is, both in terms of environment, facilities, but also value," said Baum.
Baum also said our region has always done well getting sports competitions here, so he says the RSCVA has been targeting national trade and professional associations more than ever before. "We've have a great product for the convention industry and we offer an incredible value, so the challenge was not the product, the challenge was, we weren’t getting that message across effectively, now we're in the inside front cover, first page or two of every trade magazine, with a compelling pitch of our advertising,” said Baum.
Baum said one definite future booking includes the Wizard World Comic Con. For the first time, our region will get a chance to host this type of comic book show that many other bigger cities have hosted. He said that is just one example of our region's continuing success.