Now that the RSCVA has closed its fiscal year ending June 30th, a few of the destination’s tourism results and statistics are reported below. Revenues at lodging properties throughout Washoe County continue to grow and are an indicator that the Northern Nevada economy is robust. A few highlights include:

The Washoe County Average Daily Rate (ADR) for all lodging properties for the 12 months ending June 30th stands at $115.53. This increase is $11.12 per room night higher, fully 10.7% higher, from the year prior.

For the 41 businesses classified as hotel properties in the county, the ADR is $121.09. This is an increase of 10.5% year-over-year.

For the first time in the destination’s history, taxable room revenue in Washoe County exceeded $401 million.

Trackable room nights from our three core markets of the Los Angeles Basin, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle tipped the scales at 1,218,148 — a strong measurable statistic demonstrating that the west coast continues to be Reno Tahoe’s biggest market.

With Conventions & Meetings in Washoe County, the top 10 resorts in that market segment consumed 580,816 convention room nights. Of that business, the RSCVA was responsible for 261,955 of those room nights consumed — fully 45.1% of the business that met here.

Also, during this same fiscal period, the RSCVA Sales Team exceeded their annual goal and booked 289,030 room nights of future business that will meet here in the years ahead.

In tourism sales, the destination secured 749,157 room nights, driven from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), travel wholesalers, receptive tour operators, travel agents, and motor-coach, ski, and golf operators.

Overall lodging occupancy throughout Washoe County is at 67.7%.

Downtown continues to flourish with new development.

On the west side of Fourth Street, Jacobs Entertainment has acquired 50 parcels of property, nearly 25 acres of land, that is being readied for development. Nearly 1,900 apartments, microbreweries and other dining and entertainment venues will be featured, all designed to create a welcoming and enjoyable pedestrian experience. When finished, the Neon Line District will change the face of west downtown Reno for the betterment of tourists and residents alike.

On the east end of Fourth Street, across from Louis’ Basque Corner and the Depot, is a proud new business in downtown — The Jesse Hotel & Bar. Taking a classic three-story building from the 1930s, owner Piper Stremmel Reilly spent 15 months renovating the brick structure, creating a luxury boutique hotel inside its walls, coupled with a vibrant and inviting new bar and restaurant.

Called “The Jesse,” the hotel takes its name from Nevada history. The property remembers civil war Major General Jesse Lee Reno, for whom our home town was named by railroad magnate Charles Crocker, in the General’s remembrance.

In the courtyard out back at The Jesse is a spacious and welcoming patio with the Estella Restaurant, a trendy taco and mescal bar. The combination works perfectly, and the historic building is again beautiful after months of effort. The six modern guest rooms are fantastic and the people friendly — have a drink there and check it out the next time you’re heading downtown.

At the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC), the dilapidated 20,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall has disappeared. The aged structure needed demolition and was completely scrapped in late July to make room for more outdoor special event space for the rodeo and equine events while providing more parking space.

The RSCVA is now addressing the old Reno Armory that will undergo abatement and demolition these next months. Once demolished and the Armory site is cleared, the area will be graded to better accommodate the needs of our customers at the RSLEC. During the RSCVA’s Board meeting held August 22, the Board voted unanimously to approve the repair of the expansive north parking lot, as well.

Everyone has probably read in the newspapers about issues facing the local Short-Term Rental (STR) industry. With the success of internet sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, it is easy for owners of vacation property to rent out their homes for a night or two with the click of a mouse.

Most of the time it works, but problems do arise. Primarily up at Lake Tahoe, crowded homes with too many occupants partying late at night is an often-heard complaint from neighbors who have been kept awake. House fires are another. Concerns exist around overcrowded parking clogging narrow streets with cars.

Whatever side one sits on the debate, one thing is clear: the STR industry under the guidance of Washoe County is ready to adopt simple, fair, and enforceable regulations that balance many competing interests and maximize voluntary compliance for the betterment of our community. Addressing the related health and safety issues is also on the work plan.

Washoe County is taking the lead on the issue in collaboration with others involved, such as the RSCVA, the hospitality and gaming industry, Property Management Companies, Fire, Police, and homeowners. The issues are now being discussed with guidelines, recommended regulations and best practices being formulated for consideration. In Washoe County, 960–980 rental units exist at Incline Village and Crystal Bay, while over 100 others are here in the valley. All STR units are subject to Washoe County room tax which the RSCVA collects. If you want more information, contact Kelly Mullin, the County’s Senior Planning Manager at kmullin@washoecounty.us.

In Washington, DC, United States Senator from Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has introduced a bill to reauthorize Brand USA. The bill, SB 2134 would extend the program through 2027.

As the destination marketing organization for the United States, Brand USA’s mission is to increase incremental international visitation, spend, and market share to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the USA worldwide.

The current administration in Washington, DC has attempted to curtail or eliminate funding of Brand USA. If successful, that action would arguably hinder Nevada’s tourism marketing efforts and visitation. We at the RSCVA, and other Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) throughout the country support Brand USA, Senate Bill 2134 and are appreciative of Senator Cortez Masto’s leadership.

Delta Air Lines and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority have announced expanded nonstop air service between Reno and Atlanta. The airline will offer daily nonstop flights from December 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020, and then Saturdays only for a brief period of January 11, 2020 through February 15, 2020. Beginning with President’s Day, February 17, 2020, the airline will offer nonstop service four days a week. Effective May 1, 2020 daily service will be offered nonstop between Atlanta and Reno.

Thanks for your continued interest in Northern Nevada tourism!

Sincerely yours,

— Phil DeLone
President & Chief Executive Officer
Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority

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