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Reno-Tahoe takes up big booth to talk up new show venue

Published September 19, 2017
Reno's convention center.

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Interbike is moving to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center next year and to Lake Tahoe's Northstar California resort for its outdoor festival and demo. The RSCVA has nearly a dozen people here walking the show and manning its 20x20 booth, which is in the lobby area.

"It's a big deal for us," said Ben McDonald, communication manager for the RSCVA. "We want to introduce people to Reno-Tahoe and drive awareness about the destination, the access to both with our flights, but also how it relates to Interbike and the proximity to good riding. There are a lot of miles of trails within driving of the convention center and hotel rooms. We want to address the misperception someone might have about Reno."

Aside from its varied terrain, which goes from high desert to sierra, Reno will offer attendees a much more affordable stay, McDonald said.

"We know flying here can be a little more expensive than flying to a larger destination, but once you get here things will be less expensive — hotel, meals and entertainment," he said.

The other thing they want to hit home on: While Reno does have casinos, it's not strictly a gaming destination. "It's an outdoor recreation destination, and the best in the country," McDonald said.

"And I keep hearing bikers like beer. We have a lot of new breweries — almost two dozen in the greater Reno-Tahoe region," he added. Most aren't just tasting rooms, but full-service restaurants.

The RSCVA will be handing out visitor planners, destination highlight brochures and trail guides for retailers to start planning their trip now. Don't forget to pick up your bike maps and brewery maps.

McDonald also said that aside from those amenities, the convention center has changed a lot since the last time Interbike was held there back in the mid-'80s. It underwent a $100 million remodel a decade ago, and it's getting ready to go through another interior refresh over the next six to 12 months that will include new paint, furniture and art.

"We just upgraded the Wi-Fi system for the whole building, which was a $1.3 million investment to bring Wi-Fi up to 10G speeds to accommodate up to 25,000 people," McDonald said.

For those who remain skeptical that Reno can house the industry's annual trade show, according to McDonald, the city has about 20,000 hotel rooms, a number that's disproportionate to the population size but allows the city to bring in large groups for special events.

"The other main thing we're going to be driving home is that when you're here, this is your town," McDonald said. "Everybody in town is going to know you're here. You're going to be an important group in this community for the week. You take over."

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