Welcome to the August issue of the RSCVA Executive Update, covering information related to the July 27 RSCVA Board of Directors meeting, as well as other relevant tourism insights and developments from the past month. Since our last update, the RSCVA has launched two additional newsletters to 4,900 corporate travel buyers and wholesalers, as well as 16,000 meeting planners across the country. These efforts are part of our more aggressive approach to keep “Reno Tahoe” top-of-mind, as we work to attract more visitors, and positive attention, to the Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe destination.
ANOTHER EXCITING YEAR
After a record-setting Fiscal Year 2015-2016 for Taxable Room Revenues in Washoe County, it is evident that FY 2016-2017 will follow in record-setting fashion. Through May, Taxable Revenues for Washoe County lodging properties are up 9% year-over-year. Average Daily Rates throughout the destination have contributed significantly, realizing a 7% increase year-over-year. Cash Occupied Room Nights are up roughly 2%, an increase of nearly 60,000 rooms year-over-year. Final data for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 will be reported at the August Board of Directors meeting. The RSCVA’s fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th.
The RSCVA Board of Directors have approved to move forward with a bid to host Emerald Expositions’ Interbike International Expo from 2018 to 2022. Interbike represents 21,000 potential room nights annually for its week-long event, which is currently held in Las Vegas each September. I’m hopeful we’ll have positive news to report in this newsletter next month!
More than 7,000 people attended The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks National Convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, July 16-19. The National Convention of the American Legion will be in town August 18-24, with an expected attendance of 8,000.
RSCVA WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER VICK WOWO
Vick Wowo, senior sales manager of Whitney Peak Hotel, was appointed to the RSCVA’s nine-member Board of Directors. He will serve a two-year term on the Board, representing general business and the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Wowo was chosen from a list of four candidates during the July 27 Board of Directors meeting. During the meeting, the Board’s three elected officials expressed their desire to continue to receive multiple candidates from the appointing bodies – the Nevada Resort Association, Incline Village/Crystal Bay General Improvement District, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce – pursuant to NRS 244A.601.
NEW DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
The RSCVA is pleased to announce the hiring of Robert Chisel as our new director of finance. Formerly the director of finance and administration for the City of Reno, Mr. Chisel has more than 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, and has first-hand knowledge of many of the facilities the RSCVA is tasked with operating.
REGIONAL AIR SERVICE CORPORATION
Following the June Board Meeting, where Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority President & CEO Marily Mora presented positive air service data points, the Board of Directors moved to increase RSCVA’s annual financial support of the Regional Air Service Corporation (RASC) up to a maximum of $250,000. RASC is an organization formed by both public and private entities to serve the mutual desire of increasing air service to the Reno Tahoe area.
VISITOR ORIGINATION ANALYSIS Local strategic services company, OnStrategy was retained by the RSCVA to collect data from its hospitality stakeholders, to help us define the areas from which Reno Tahoe visitors are coming. This unprecedented effort, made possible by collaboration with Reno Tahoe hoteliers, is designed to give the tourism community a better understanding of our customers, as well as insight on how we can better reach them. The full report should be available for public consumption in the coming months.