101 Winter Events For Reno

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Can't find anything to do this winter? How about a trip to the "Great Reno Divorce-Off?" If that doesn't sound like any fun, what about a weekend outing to "Melting Man," a winterized version of the hit summer festival? Of course these events don't exist yet...but they soon could.

Reno tourism officials are searching for the next great winter event idea...and they've asked for the community's help. The goal is to bring big winter events to our region, a time that is normally the slowest time of year for our local tourism economy.

Marketing specialists at the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority have collected ideas from the community about how to bring tourists to our area, even after the weather turns cold.

The community came up with 101 ideas in three weeks...things like ice events, athletic competitions and music festivals...and of course, a celebration of divorcees. Some people were thinking out of the box.

"An idea to build a ramp across the arch with snow. It might be a little expensive and esoteric, but I guess there are all sorts of things you can do," said Jim Mort of Reno.

"There were some interesting ones here for sure," added Reno's Mary Winston.

Others had a familiar idea, but with a twist.

"The burning man thing ("Melting Man") could be interesting. Anything to do with a fire. During the winter and an outdoor event, it would be nice to be warm," said Jim Patera of Washoe Valley.

"Our idea is 'Seven Delicious Sins.' It would be a week-long food and wine festival," said Lacey Scott of Reno.

Tourism specialists asked people to submit ideas that would bring people to Reno from out of town, especially those who wouldn't normally come here. They hope at least one of these events could help fill up some empty hotel rooms in the wintertime...and hopefully, gain national recognition.

"People forget, an event like Hot August Nights started with an idea and turned into an institution. That's what we're looking for," said Michael Thomas, Executive Marketing Director for RSCVA.

Members of the community voted for their favorite events...hoping they'll one day become a reality, like the most popular summer events that return each year. The top five ideas will be considered...and in a perfect world, will premiere in Winter of 2008.

"There are ideas that make you chuckle, but then you say maybe that's not that crazy. People might travel in from out of the area to see something like that," said Thomas.

Tourism officials met this afternoon to count up the votes...and decide which five ideas are the most feasible...and the most likely to draw crowds.

They plan to release the results tomorrow, and ask for more input from the community. After that, it's just a matter of finding someone to host the event...that could be the City, the County, Parks and Recreation...or even a casino...anyone willing to take on the job.