Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Air Show Crash Impacting Reno Tourism

KTVN: ”It is an unfortunate connection, but the horrific accident at the Reno Air Races will also have an impact on our tourism revenues. After all, the Air Races bring in as much as $85 million a year to local hotels, casinos and restaurants.

Just after Friday's crash, many hotels saw many people check outing early and going home.

At the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, the loss of business was met with a step-up in hospitality.

"We had a number of guests who sustained injuries at the site," says Kimberlee Tolkien. "We had hotel staff meeting them as they arrived back here and we have been offering help any way we can. Many checked out early and went home and we never charge fees for changing plans in an event like this."

She also said that many guests were treated at local hospitals and have returned to the hotel to rest up before heading home.

"We also have friends and family here of those who were there and a few who had surgery and are here. We have been doing all we can from picking up medicine for them to transporting them back and forth to the hospitals," Tolkien says.

The Air Races are a big revenue maker for the area. But they aren't the only one. In fact, the loss of business from the loss of the races this year will be made up by the other special events this summer.

"Hot August nights was an entire week this year," says Joe Kelley of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. "That really will help. But the Rib Cook-Off at the Nugget, the balloon races, even the Street Vibrations folks heading in now will help," Kelley says.

Official numbers won't be known until mid-October.

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