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Reno-Tahoe aims to attract new events, conventions to boost tourism industry

A male tennis coach is smiling and applauding as he looks at one of his players.
Daniel Shirey
Team USA Captain Mardy Fish celebrates Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan’s win over Denis Istomin and Sanjar Fayziev during the 2020 Davis Cup in Honolulu.

Two years into the pandemic, Reno-Tahoe is rebounding as a tourism destination. Now, the region is trying to attract more visitors by bringing in new special events and conventions.

Next month, some of the top men’s tennis players in the world will swing into Northern Nevada. That’s when the Davis Cup holds a qualifier between Team USA and Colombia. Charles Harris, CEO of Visit Reno Tahoe, says it will be the first time the region hosts what’s often called the world cup of tennis.

He says spotting new opportunities for tourism as well as business travel has been a priority for the visitor’s authority amid COVID.

“There’s a great combination between a leisure visitor and a meeting and convention visitor that will deliver great experiences and more revenue for the entire community,” Harris said.

Harris says that’s why the authority is working on bringing in large conventions. Last fall, Reno-Tahoe landed the annual conference of Airports Council International, and this summer, it will host the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Globally, the tourism industry isn’t expected to totally rebound from the pandemic for another two years. Harris says Reno-Tahoe’s gaming offerings, special events and access to the outdoors position the region for a full recovery. Still, he says they must remain vigilant.

“I don’t think that we’re out of the woods yet,” Harris said. “You know, without a playbook during COVID, we continue to adjust, and we have to be able to shift needs of the consumer and needs of the clients.”

Last year, despite the pandemic, Washoe County collected more than $420 million in taxable room revenue. It was the most room tax brought in by the region in a single year.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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