For the first time in 15 years, Reno-Tahoe International Airport will actually have international service. A new nonstop flight to Guadalajara, Mexico is tentatively set to begin by the end of this year.
Spokesman Brian Kulpin says the airport hired an outside company to study the economic impact of the twice-weekly flight. The study found it would bring an estimated $20 million each year to the region.
“That could mean a lot more business for our ski resorts, for our hotels, for our gaming, for our restaurants," Kulpin says.
The study also found international travelers stay at their destinations longer and spend more money during their travels. Kulpin says offering flights to Guadalajara’s airport makes sense because a portion of the local community has roots there.
“We’ve seen statistics that the Latino population of our region is 25 to 30 percent of our total population and a large percentage of that do hail from Guadalajara, Mexico," Kulpin says. "So we know there is a market right here for that flight.”
The airport is waiting for final clearance from Customs and Border Protection to get the service underway.