Lights, Camera, Action! Part Two

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

The Horizon hotel and casino was base camp for the cast and crew of "Smokin' Aces" -- and the location for many scenes.

After the final wrap of the day, however, people are free to spend their time and *money wherever they want. The casino resort couldn't be more pleased.

"As far as room revenue over 100-thousand dollars. And then of course there's food and beverage and all types of casino gaming. Just every area of the property has been impacted," says Ruby Turner, the Director of Hotel Sales.

She adds that her property markets itself to film production companies because of the extra revenue. "Smokin' Aces'" off-peak shooting schedule was an added bonus.

"We've gotten a lot of incremental business because this is a slower time of year, it's not our peak season. A lot of mid-week business, so it's perfect for us."

The manager at the hotel's Starbucks coffee-shop agrees:

"We expected two really slow weeks for October. No snow, no summer and we're getting really busy and really good business. We have really good sales--better than we expected."

Gustavo Ramirez also let us in on the secrets of the stars: Ben Affleck and Ray Liotta -- two of the films main characters -- prefer venti ice coffees, no sugar. And Ryan Reynolds, another star, drinks a venti cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso.

"It's a clean industry. It comes here, it spends money, it leaves. So yeah, money. It's economic development," says Robin Holabird with the Nevada Film Office.

She says the average Hollywood film drops 35-thousand dollars or more a day on food, gas, shopping.

But for a film like "Smokin' Aces"...and in a city like South Lake Tahoe with gaming...Holabird expects that figure to be much higher. She says one million dollars for the eight days would not be unreasonable.

"I heard a lot say, "I'm coming back!" It doesn't matter what the movie does, they fell in love with the area and they want to come back. They really hadn't been here and realized just how gorgeous it is. So there will be some residual effects."

Repeat or new tourism is another benefit of using Reno, Lake Tahoe and South Lake as movie or TV backdrops... Holabird says that through shows like "Reno 911," people become more familiar with what our area has to offer.

"What happens is people think of Reno again and they think of it and they laugh or smile. That's a good reaction. So it's something that gives us a little more prominence of--where can we go? Reno 911...hmmm..."

On Wednesday, join us at 5:30 for the final installment of "Lights, Camera, Action." We'll take a cursory look at some of the other movies filmed in Northern Nevada over the last century.


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