This November edition of the RSCVA Executive Update provides some highlights of the November 15th RSCVA Board of Directors Retreat and Strategic Planning Workshop. The primary purpose of last weeks retreat was to evaluate the RSCVAs Five-Year Strategic Plan to ensure the organization is moving forward and is on the right compass heading to grow visitation in the Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe area. As new companies continue to relocate to northern Nevada, bringing a solid increase to the region’s population, air service is expected to steadily grow at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. With it, positive momentum for growth in tourism and convention sales is apparent. The RSCVA, in the last several months, has expanded and strengthened its network of regional sales offices throughout the United States. Recent additions include new sales professionals based in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Sacramento, augmenting previously existing offices in Washington, DC, Denver, southern California and Portland. Their primary mission is to drive increased levels of convention and trade show bookings from the national corporations and trade associations that headquarter within their regional, geographical territories.
RENO-SPARKS CONVENTION CENTER—EXPANSION FEASIBILITY STUDY
The RSCVA has been given unanimous approval by the nine-member RSCVA Board of Directors to engage a professional consultant to conduct a feasibility study of expanding the existing 500,000-square foot Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC). The Center in its current configuration has 381,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, with the balance consisting of meeting rooms, public area and ballroom spaces. The feasibility study will determine the optimum size, cost, market, funding and other key characteristics inherent to a project of this magnitude.
The growing needs of current convention and exposition customers to increase their available trade show space at the RSCC was cited. Further, many cities in the western United States that compete with our destination are also expanding and/or remodeling their respective convention centers—providing the impetus for the RSCC to stay abreast of its competition and be a premier convention destination for decades to come.
The proposed 300,000+ square-foot expansion will ideally feature the addition of 225,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 75,000–100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The project could be completed by early 2023 and will provide the RSCC facilities to accommodate 3,000 or more exhibition booths, plus necessary function rooms to support meetings, trade shows and conventions.
RSCVA FACILITIES MANAGEMENT PROPOSAL
Over the past 20 years, the Convention Center and Arena industry has changed dramatically. Historically, Convention Centers and Arenas have been managed by local governments as extensions of the community parks and recreation board or convention and visitors bureau. The RSCVA manages five such facilities that include the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno Events Center, National Bowling Stadium, Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center and Wildcreek Golf Course.
With the increased demand for quality customer service, state-of-the-art technology, and a full suite of services, event organizers have high expectations of the venues they consider and select.
Convention and event planners are looking for the same levels of service provided by the best convention hotels within a destination’s inventory. This is compounded by increasing competition from mega-hotels, resorts and communities with newer products. Convention Centers are no longer simply a plain, ordinary vanilla box for event organizers.
The venues themselves are expected to be a part of the appeal and value proposition for convention and event planners to engage, helping drive their success through exhibit sales, sponsorships and attendance.
These expectations have fostered the growth of professional management firms that are rooted in the hospitality industry. These professional management firms are geared toward providing industry “best practices,” excellent customer service and operational efficiencies.
By a unanimous vote on November 15th, the RSCVA Board of Directors authorized the RSCVA to issue an RFP for the consideration of professional management and operations of its facilities.
RSCVA WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER—LEE DILLARD
Lee Dillard, Vice President & General Manager at Harrah’s Reno was appointed to the RSCVA’s nine-member Board of Directors. He will complete the remainder of a two-year term, expiring in March 2019, representing the Nevada Resort Association. An executive with Caesars Entertainment Corporation for many years, Mr. Dillard brings valuable hotel-casino industry experience and knowledge to the RSCVA Board of Directors. Dillard is filling a seat left vacant by John Vineyard, Harrah’s Reno’s Director of Gaming Operations. The RSCVA thanks Mr. Vineyard for his services to the Board of Directors during his temporary tenure.
LAS VEGAS SUN ARTICLE ON RENO’S ECONOMIC RISE
A recent economic analysis from Union Gaming Research of Las Vegas predicts sustained growth for the Reno area over the next 10 to 20 years.
Citing residential development, emergent construction projects and housing prices as positive trends to Reno’s economic future, analyst John DeCree said that the city’s long-term prospects are sound. As “Reno appears to be in the early stages of an expansionary cycle,” visitors, residents and investors alike can look forward to continued prosperity in the region. Click here to read the full article.