A high school principals' gathering originally scheduled for the hurricane-damaged New Orleans convention center may fill more than 7,300 hotel rooms in Reno this March.
The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority is expected to
decide on Thursday how much the agency is willing to provide the
event in concessions.
Following Hurricane Katrina in August, all conventions in New
Orleans were canceled through at least March, and New Orleans
tourism officials sought help from other facilities to relocate the
events so they didn't have to cancel.
"We put out some efforts to help groups looking to relocate
from New Orleans, but a majority of them that are short-term have
found homes, mostly on that side of the country," said Carina
Taylor, interim executive director of sales for the RSCVA.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals was the
only event to agree to relocate to Reno.
The event is planned for March 13-22, but the authority's board
of directors first must approve the deal proposed to the group,
which includes free rent at the convention center on South Virginia
Street and a $5 per night room rebate that would be donated to the
Red Cross to benefit hurricane victims along with profits from
concessions at the center.
"Anything we can do as an industry to show sensitivity for what
they are going through and not take advantage of this situation we
take seriously," said Lynn Thompson, RSCVA executive vice
president and general manager of the convention center.
"Anything over our costs could be contributed," Thompson said,
adding that "hard costs" such as utilities likely will be covered
before the RSCVA begins donating profits to hurricane relief.
Besides filling hotel rooms at the end of winter, she said the
convention is a good opportunity to expose Northern Nevada to a
"There is lots of business out there from educators," Thompson
said. "The more we can expose our community to these people, the
better chance we have of generating more profitable business in the