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Reno-Sparks Convention Center May Be Expanding For Larger Events

Blurred, defocused background of public event exhibition hall showing cars and automobiles, business commercial event concept
Blurred, defocused background of public event exhibition hall showing cars and automobiles, business commercial event concept

Reno, Nevada’s tourism industry may be making bigger leaps. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno-Tahoe may be expanding.

A feasibility study was approved by the RSCVA board of directors to determine the reality of expanding the center. The center last received a major renovation in 2002. During that time, the center grew 500,000 square feet of meeting space and 381,000 square feet of exhibitor space.

The Reno-Sparks Convention Center has been named by Trade Show Executive as the 39th largest convention center in America. However, the RSCVA board of directors intends to make the center even larger. This is because size has been a determining factor for many events in recent years.

For instance, the Outdoor Retailer show chose to move from Salt Lake City to Denver after an environmental debate. The RSCVA had attempted to attract the Outdoor Retailer show but was unable to accommodate the size of the convention.

The most common size of trade show booths is 10’x10′. It’s essential for convention centers to be able to accommodate hundreds if not thousands of these booths.

The RSCVA will be hosting the trade shows of Interbike and Safari Club International. However, the two events may be a challenge with the capacity of the convention center. According to RSCVA CEO Phil DeLone, it’s for this reason that the RSCVA will be needing new construction.

“[Interbike] will outgrow this building lickety-split,” said DeLone. “There’s no question about it and they’ve told us that, too.”

The number of attendees for the Safari Club convention has already begun to outgrow the space. Up to 18,000 people attended the most recent convention in Las Vegas. That number will only be larger at the Interbike convention, which hosted up to 23,000 attendees in Las Vegas in 2015.

Increased business for local restaurants, services, and airports are just some of the benefits these conventions have on the community of Reno-Tahoe. The economic impact of the Interbike and Safari Club conventions is estimated to reach $160 million. But how does the RSCVA intend to expand to accommodate larger events and increased tourism?

The study for the expansion of the center will be looking at the possibility of adding room for 900 more booths. This alone will make the convention center capable of hosting up to 80% of the country’s trade shows.

However, the construction of the additional space will take some time once the study has been completed. Carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper are the four most common metals used in construction. The RSCVA would need to invest in these materials along with the actual physical construction of the building.

The RSCVA board of directors has also voted to look into hiring a professional firm to manage the center’s facilities. The use of a firm could make operations at the center more efficient for larger events.

“[Having a professional management firm] allows us to get back to our focus,” said chairperson of the RSCVA board of directors Bob Lucey. “Which is selling our region and marketing our region.”

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