Paddle in the morning, ski in the afternoon and enjoy a festival at nightNew properties, renovations and amenities make the Reno/Lake Tahoe area in eastern California and western Nevada ideal for planners. There is something to be found for any event, whether you are seeking a grand ballroom or conference space with the latest technology. Regardless of the venue, an event is guaranteed to have the placid surroundings of lush greenery, sparkling water and fresh air. During free time, attendees may venture outside and hit the slopes or the water—or even both in the same day. Springtime in Reno is particularly unique, as the emerging city hosts a variety of engaging public festivals, drawing in a plethora of family-oriented activities. The Reno/Tahoe area is also embracing a fresh identity with a modern disposition as the area keeps up with demand for wellness, farm-to-table eating, nontraditional meeting spaces and “bleisure” amenities, a mentality that caters to business and leisure. Reno/Tahoe has begun using fresh and local resources to enhance food and beverage options. In addition, the area is prioritizing getting active, encouraging locals and visitors alike to take advantage of the natural setting. Emerging from a very snowy winter, Reno and Lake Tahoe’s attractions are in full bloom. The sunshine’s warm debut opens up exciting opportunities by the sparkling blue lake. Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fly-fishing, water skiing and white-water rafting are popular activities. Simultaneously, this year’s heavy snowfall lingers, keeping skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing open for enthusiasts. Straddling snow and water activities creates endless possibilities for a visit. The hybrid climate is calling!
RenoThe growth of tourism, destination properties and general interest in Reno is undeniable. According to estimated visitor counts by Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA), Reno/Tahoe welcomed more visitors in 2016 than in any other year over the past decade. “The economic growth Reno is currently experiencing is no doubt helping the city to evolve and embrace a new identity,” says Eric Olson, general manager of Whitney Peak Hotel. As Reno flourishes, tons of activities continue to emerge. During the spring and summer, Reno hosts a plethora of farmers markets and food truck events, some occurring three to four times a week. “During the warm months of the year, Reno embraces the beautiful weather by shifting its focus from the mountains to the street,” says Mike Larragueta, vice president of sales for RSCVA. What’s Happening
Downtown RenoReady for some rough ridin’, toe tappin’, great tastin’ summer fun? Kick off the special events season with the Reno River Festival May 13–14 along the Truckee River in downtown Reno. The festival involves freestyle and competitive kayaking, live musical performances, vendors and other family-oriented activities. The schedule continues to heat up in June. Prepare to turn up the tunes, tap the kegs and throw on your best grilling apron for The Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival June 16–17. At the barbecue block party, groups can sample a variety of microbrews from local and regional brewers while noshing on some finger-lickin’ good barbecue. Also, tune in for live, nonstop rock and blues music. The ever-popular Reno Rodeo will be held June 15–24. Reno hosts Hot August Nights, a nationally acclaimed classic car show, Aug. 8–13. The Great Reno Balloon Races, the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world, will take place Sept. 8–10. Beginning May 19 and lasting through September, Food Truck Friday–Reno Street Food will be held weekly at Idlewild Park. Riverwalk District Wine Walk, which began in April, will take place on the third Saturday of every month through November. Reno also has a vibrant nightlife scene. Between the budding food options, breweries and boutiques, the entertainment definitely doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Prosperous Meeting Destination Reno is a highly attractive destination for meetings and events. A disproportionately large ratio of meeting spaces to hotel rooms gives Reno an advantage over similar-sized destinations. Reno’s hospitality services cater to a diverse group of tourists. Such adaptability is extremely valuable to event planners, who need to perfect all particulars, down to a tee. “We can help planners facilitate those activities, and streamline the process,” says Larragueta. “Our mixed-use facilities can cater to almost any event.” Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel just opened along the Truckee River, and the new Courtyard by Marriott Reno was built just a few blocks away last year. Whitney Peak Hotel, the only nonsmoking and nongaming independent property in the downtown Reno area, recently renovated its 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Tri-Properties is investing more than $50 million in facilities and public spaces, including Eldorado Resort Casino Reno, Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Circus Circus Hotel & Casino. Meanwhile, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is putting the finishing touches on an impressive $100 million renovation project that includes more than 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
North Lake Tahoe
Jet skiing on Lake TahoeNorth Lake Tahoe is a meeting mecca nestled against a stunning backdrop. Visitors can indulge in glamorous beaches, high-altitude hot tubs and luxurious spas, or get moving with kayaking, water skiing, snowshoeing and dogsledding. Leader in Dual-Sports Days A typical day in North Lake Tahoe can include a morning paddle and afternoon ski. This winter’s snowfall exceeded 700 inches, which will permit ski season to extend well into the warmer months—reportedly as late as Independence Day. As the summer approaches, visitors can begin downhill and cross-country mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, golfing, fly-fishing and boating excursions. The aerial adventure course at Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park, open year-round, offers an engaging and action-packed option for team-building exercises. The park features ziplines, tree platforms and rope courses. Groups are free to explore the forest canopy, between 15 to 50 feet off the ground. The attraction is available onsite at Granlibakken Tahoe, a 74-acre property with 24,500 sq. ft. of meeting space. After a winter of successfully testing aerial helicopter tours, Pacific North Helicopters will now be conveniently located steps away from Resort at Squaw Creek. Helicopter tour options include the Six Peaks of Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Sand Harbor and Shirley Canyon, as well as custom tours lasting from 10 to 60 minutes. For tamer tastes, fishing charters, horseback riding trails, hiking, ice skating and guided snowmobile tours are also great options. The nighttime brings lively music, dancing and casino games. Meeting by the Lake North Lake Tahoe is continuously evolving. Resorts have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing new facilities, lodging units and enhanced locations for meetings by the lake. The area offers visitors 30 meeting locations to choose from, as well as more than 7,000 lodging units. Resort at Squaw Creek recently completed a $7 million renovation to enhance guest rooms and experiences. The AAA Four Diamond resort now exhibits a unique, mountain-meets-modern design, complete with Tahoe’s first onsite rooftop garden program. This summer, a helicopter tour at Resort at Squaw Creek will be available, as well.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Truckee, CaliforniaMajor meeting hotels include The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino. Smaller properties such as The Village at Squaw Valley, Northstar at Tahoe and Squaw Valley Lodge offer more intimate mountain experiences. Go Tahoe North—comprising the North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association—provides meeting planners myriad services for determining specific needs, coordinating venue selections and exploring activities.
South Lake TahoeSouth Lake Tahoe has built a reputation as an outdoor adventure hub. Its unique character is defined by the combination of activities, entertainment, dining and gaming. South Shore’s influx of attractive lodging, local craft breweries, innovative dining experiences and new ski-resort offerings continue to expand local tourism. New Hot Spots Slated for June completion, Edgewood Tahoe is undergoing a $100 million renovation. The new lodging space will provide 154 hotel rooms, a health spa and a bistro-style restaurant and bar, along with a conference and event center. The lodge’s design, reminiscent of the great national parks, encompasses 40 fractional residences and enhancements to its golf course. Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe, which recently invested $8 million in property updates, provides exciting meetings and convention amenities. Lakeview Ballroom in the new conference center accommodates large events with seating for up to 250 guests year-round. Large glass doors allow light to flood into the space. Existing Meeting Havens Tahoe Mountain Club expanded its clubhouse by 2,300 sq. ft. and added two state-of-the-art meeting rooms that include complementary natural wood decor. The private lodge offers large windows that provide ambient light. With its proximity to Heavenly Mountain, the rustic resort is a popular choice for winter activities. The 167-room Hotel Becket Lake Tahoe is a modern, eco-conscious—and dog-friendly—boutique hotel operated by Joie de Vivre Hotels. The property has a new restaurant, lobby, meeting space and outdoor terrace featuring views of Heavenly Lake Tahoe. It also just opened Ten Crows, an onsite restaurant featuring Southern barbecue bites with a focus on authentic Alabama-style cooking.
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe,and Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, Stateline, NevadaHarrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa Lake Tahoe and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe offer distinctive twists on flexible meeting space. These casinos have collectively invested millions in renovating accommodations.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada
Mike Larragueta Named VP of Sales for Reno-Sparks CVBIn February, Mike Larragueta was introduced as the new vice president of sales for Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Larragueta directs and mentors the RSCVA convention and leisure sales teams, while providing leadership and strategic direction in the implementation of the RSCVA’s plans, programs, goals and objectives in the convention and leisure marketplace. “Right now, you can go skiing in the morning and golfing in the afternoon, and with special-events season ramping up, there’s almost always some event or festival happening from now through September,” Larragueta says. “Or you can hold three days of meetings, meals and entertainment all under one roof, and never have to leave the resort. “Whatever your needs, Reno Tahoe has a solution. You can’t find that everywhere.”
Reno-Tahoe Tourism TrendsBleisure: The popular term for mixing business and leisure travel perfectly describes the variety of recreational activities, top services and stunning settings offered by Reno and Tahoe. Members of Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and Go Tahoe North all identified bleisure as a tourism trend in their area. Health and Wellness: Reno and Lake Tahoe have placed a new emphasis on wellness, offering aerial silks classes, acrobatic yoga, stand-up paddleboard yoga and guided meditation. Additionally, culinary offerings are bursting with sustainable, farm-to-table and craft options. Local eateries such as Riva Grill on the Lake in South Lake Tahoe offer top-notch ingredients, while fresh water from Lake Tahoe is brewed into a variety of craft beers.
Whitney Peak Hotel, Reno“It’s not all about the buffet anymore—and it’s refreshing to see an evolving food culture in a small town like Reno,” says Ashley Novosad, marketing manager at Whitney Peak Hotel. Team Building with Social Responsibility: Groups visiting Reno and Tahoe have been engaging with local organizations. Volunteering and contributing to projects are now desirable features. One of the most popular programs in North Lake Tahoe is Build a Bike. Completed bikes are donated to the local Boys & Girls Club. In South Lake Tahoe, attendees can partake in beach volunteering or river and mountain clean-ups.