No air races hurt Reno

Nov 13, 2001 6:21 AM

Not only did individuals cut back on their flying experiences after the terrorists used commercial planes in their attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., but conventions were reduced or cancelled completely.

And it hurt.

The cancellation of the Reno air races, grounded because of the attacks, had a major impact on gaming revenues for casinos in Washoe County. In recently released figures by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Washoe County saw its gaming win decline by some 8%.

Noted one hotel official, the loss of the Reno National Championship Air Races cost the community “one of the biggest weekends of the year.”

Officials of the air race promotion said the event contributes nearly $40 million to the Reno tourism economy.

The regulators’ monthly report indicated that gaming revenues for Reno casinos were down 8.1% while the Sparks properties decreased by 11.9%.

Some gaming spokesmen said they felt that it could have been worse. Late August and early September promotions such as “Street Vibrations” produced substantial response.

Actually, the drop in county revenues have become common of late. In fact, September showed the sixth consecutive monthly decline.