Over time, Reno Tahoe has become much more than Las Vegas’ little sister. Just 440 miles northwest of Sin City, Reno Tahoe has made significant investments in its meetings infrastructure — including renovations to local hotels and resorts, and a $10-million refresh of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Because the destination is now ready to host more meetings, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority has been finding new ways to reach more meeting planners — and to help bring their ideas to life in The Biggest Little City in the World.
During the past five years, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority has expanded to reach more event organizers throughout North America. The visitors bureau now has seven regional sales offices — from Southern California to the Rocky Mountains and along the East Coast, from Florida to Quebec — all working hands-on with local meeting planners to help them get the most out of the Reno Tahoe area. Whether it’s taking organizers to a Queen concert in Atlanta or a Royals baseball game in Kansas City, Missouri, the Reno Tahoe sales team wants to sit down one-on-one with planners to figure out their needs and wants.
Home to the 600,000-square-foot Reno-Sparks Convention Center (which ranks No. 2 in the country, according to Resonance Consultancy), Reno Tahoe is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of event organizers. For example, a new 20-story luxury hotel — which would be non-smoking, non-gaming — has been proposed for downtown Reno, plus Jacobs Entertainment’s Neon Line District is beginning to take shape downtown as well. The initiative includes 20 blocks of restaurants, retail, and residential spaces on the west side of downtown, and will feature several sculptures from the music and arts festival Burning Man, combined with neon lights. The project is expected to be completed in about five years. “We want to create an environment where people who are sitting around the kitchen table in Sacramento on a Saturday morning say, ‘Let’s get in the car and drive to Reno and see this exciting new development,’” Jacobs Entertainment CEO Jeffrey Jacobs told the Wall Street Journal.
There also are new bars and restaurants opening throughout Reno Tahoe all the time, like Von Bismarck, a German-inspired beer garden that recently opened on Wells Avenue, east of the Midtown District, and Back Bay Pizza & Cocktails, which is near the Riverwalk and offers Northeast-inspired thin-crust pizzas, and features a bar, dining room, and terrace. Ferino Distillery recently opened downtown and includes a cocktail bar, coffee bar, and retail shop. On the horizon, the Sparks Water Bar, a 13,000-square-foot bar and restaurant, is planned for the eastern shore of the Sparks Marina. Plus, getting to Reno Tahoe is now easier than ever due to expanding air service. Recent updates include more daily direct flights to and from major cities all over the U.S., including Atlanta and Houston.
With improved accessibility and updates to its meetings infrastructure, it’s no wonder why planners are turning to Reno Tahoe as their next conference destination. To make meeting in the area even more convenient for organizers, Reno Tahoe, for a limited time, is offering a $5,000 signing bonus to groups bringing at least 1,000 room nights to northern Nevada before the end of June 2020.