Reno-Tahoe tourism industry strong heading into 2017 | SierraSun.com

Reno-Tahoe tourism industry strong heading into 2017

Annie Conway
aconway@nnbw.biz

According to RSCVA's Jennifer Cunningham, the tourism industry has been experiencing positive trends in the Reno-Tahoe region of the past two years.

RENO, Nev. — The tourism industry in Reno/Sparks/Tahoe is continuing to improve entering into 2017.

"The Reno-Tahoe region is experiencing a very positive trend throughout the tourism industry over the past two years," Jennifer Cunningham, interim managing director, said in an email interview with the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. "The weather has been agreeable, in both winter and summer seasons, helping ski resorts and rental shops attract new and repeat visitors."

According to Cunningham, hotels in Washoe County are on track for double-digit increases in Taxable Room Revenues, year-over-year, already outpacing the entire calendar year in 2015, and the average daily room rate is $7 higher than it was in 2015.

The increase in revenue allows the RSCVA the opportunity to advertise in major cities where they previously could not afford to market.

The RSCVA also enters into 2017 with a new CEO and a five-year strategic plan in place.

The RSCVA board voted to fire the organization's former CEO in October 2015. In November of this year, the RSCVA announced the appointment of Phil DeLone as the organization's new president and CEO.

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He last held the position of CEO for Safari Club International, which announced earlier this year that its four-day convention would return to Reno starting in 2019. DeLone is scheduled to start his new position with the RSCVA in January.

"With the board's completion of the strategic plan, and hiring of Mr. DeLone as our new CEO … all that effort is culminating into this moment, when we can finally put it all into action," Cunningham said. "The board has the strategic plan approved, and it will be the guiding, living document we follow and amend to ensure our efforts are efficient and impactful."

The new companies settling into northern Nevada are also beneficial for the tourism industry.

"When EDAWN brings new business to the area, it's not just about economic development," Cunningham said. "Those successes help create a story for people outside of the destination, telling them there is a lot going on here, and they should check it out. This creates more opportunity, opening doors for the RSCVA to reach potential new visitors."

The RSCVA is also continuing to work closely with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority to expand marketing efforts and to continue to bring more flights to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The airport has announced a dozen new flights within the last couple of years.

However, there are still many challenges that the tourism industry faces.

"The primary challenges for attracting tourists to northern Nevada hinge on the weather and the economy," Cunningham said. "… Reno-Tahoe has the hotel, entertainment and outdoor recreation amenities to attract travelers of diverse backgrounds and interests, so our main challenge is making sure all our community partners are working together to deliver a strong message that Reno-Tahoe is the best place in the country for an inclusive, affordable getaway."

For more information or to view RSCVA's strategic plan, visit https://www.visitrenotahoe.com/about-us.