Officials: Tourism declines in RenoTuesday, July 19, 2011 By Jeanne Jezuit
When asked why he chose Reno as a destination, Greg Wades of San Jose, Calif. said he comes to Reno to people watch, shop and eat. “I like it because it is different and not too far,” Wades said. Despite tourists like Wades, area economic and tourism officials said the region continues to experience a downturn. But the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority plans to bring the area back. Once the tourists are here, the RSCVA hopes to persuade them to leave more of their money in the local economy. “It now is differentiating itself by focusing on outdoor adventure and special events,” Ben McDonald, RSCVA communications director said. Casinos now target the regular gamblers with their own promotions, he added. “The conversion stage is going great,” McDonald said. The RSCVA is interviewing two candidates this week for an open Chief Executive Officer job. Authority officials should make a final decision at the regular meeting next week, McDonald said. “Washoe County’s economic indicators are mostly down beat,” according to a report by Professor Stephen Brown, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Compared to a year earlier, May visitor volume was down by 2.8 percent and gaming was down by 6.6 percent,” according to Brown’s report.