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City Council Meeting

- Yikes what a day, trying to live-blog on my Facebook Page for downtown Reno while working a day job was quite a feat!

The short of it is: Bruce Walters reassured the city council that the event is not going anywhere, and would sit down with RSCVA / City Council after this year's Hot August Nights and discuss a long term contract for Reno. The mysterious LLC filed in Las Vegas for a Carson City entity turned out to be a foreign company that has nothing to do with Walter's organization, and his patent attorneys plan on filing a ceast and desist.
Surprisingly more controversial is the liquor store / grocery store going in at 330 Evans Avenue, which drew a large amount of public commenters both for and against the project. I compiled my real-time blogging from my facebook page below.

- City Council Public Comment Section: City Council getting railed on not being event-friendly.

- City Council talking about Washoe County and Reno consolidating and putting it before voters. Do you think it's a good idea? Public Commenters have some concerns the public at large might approve it without knowing the more detailed issues involved.

- Bruce Walters to City Council: "We have no intentions of leaving Reno. Long Beach is a sister event."

- A foreign corporation registered the Hot August Nights LLC in Las Vegas. Hot August Nights of Reno has no association with it. Patent agents are ordering a cease and desist against the foreign company.

- Aiazzi to Walters: "Are escalating costs a reason for you expanding?" Walters: Event costs escalating (public safety costs), plus losing two key sponsors. Only $1.8 million in reserve and event costs upwards of $3 million a year.

- Gustin to Walters: "I fully support you trying to expand the event and I believe your numbers, but why does your event have to be in August adjacent to ours?" Walters: It was only availble date we could make it work in Long Beach. "Southern Cal culture is massive."

- Gustin: "Does it make sense for future dates to do it in April or October?" Walters: "It's our goal to market the event so people can cruise from Long Beach to South Tahoe to Reno. Reno will get more show by our event in Long Beach. We split the dates apart enough to allow people to execute that."

- Walters: There is a contract with the RSCVA for Events Center, Livestock Events Center, Ballroom. He is willing to sit down and discuss a long term contract with RSCVA or City of Reno but after this Hot August Nights in two weeks. His staff has to focus on the event first. Mayor thanks Walter for picking up the tab for fees this year while the city is in a crunch.

- Marla (didn't catch her last name sorry): Has worked for HAN for years in bookeeping and data entry, is confident the Long Beach event won't hurt Reno, she knows how many people come from Southern Cal because she does the data entry, about 11%. She said "When people think of Hot August Nights they think of Reno."

- Walters: "If we start to see dillution in Reno's market, we'll make adjustments to the Long Beach event." Sferrazza - "I have some concerns because RSCVA has the task of setting conventions, events, and not to have them on the board of directors for HAN... she has some concerns." Council motions to approve report.

- On tap now is the liquor store at 330 Evans: Public commenters, ranging from an alcohol counselor to a St. Vincents representative, are against it and say it would jeapordize the efforts of those recovering at the Detox Center just yards away. "If it wasn't for the Detox Center, I would be dead" a recovering alcoholic ...said. I am surprised at the number of commenters for this issue. Way more than the HAN issue.

- Byron Bergeron, representative for the store owner, says it is a gorcery store that happens to also sell packaged liquor, at 4,800 square feet. He petitioned local residents on how many would want a grocery store there. "This has nothing to do with the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission. The presentation by these people against it are off base."

- The proposed store owners said only 15% of the 4,800 square feet will be dedicated to selling liquor and would be willing to voluntarily have restrictions on this. He presented photos of construction showing they would carry a large amount of food. Hascheff says there are 14 other liquor stores with 1000 feet of the Community Center so if someone ... See Morewas going to be tempted, there are many liquor stores. Gustin suggested he open as a grocery store first, and the store owner said he would lose revenue. The issue will come back to the city Council on the 26th of July. The store owner will draw a map of the proposed shelving and what will be dedicated to alcohol.

- RSCVA Buildings Manager on their presentation of the Events Center and Bowling Stadium operations: "As long as the bowling stadium remains a bowling stadium, it will never make a profit, most public facilities never make money. "

- The operating losses of the facilities are absorbed by RSCVA, and the debt service because revenue from room taxes are declining are asborbed by the city. Roughly $2 million this year, which had to be funded by other revenue sources. The events center and bowling stadium were funded by SB112 in 1995, and SB477 and SB221 in 2002. All bonds were ... See Moretaken against increases in room tax, which at the time were at a high. The City Council moved to accept the report. I did have to chuckle when a council member suggested we get Madonna or Lady GaGa to play at the events center. The RSCVA buildings manager explained they would want a guarantee of $2 million at least, which would make each ticket roughly $300. Not feasible in Reno, sorry Madonna fans!

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Post your comments
Posted by: SmartBrander - 7/14/2010 7:25:17 PM
Kudos to you DTMO...for keeping us all informed...and your ability to juggle all the information along with your job. Thank YOU!

Posted by: Tom - 8/1/2010 12:00:58 AM
If I understand the calendar correctly, as of today we are one weekend away from the big Hot August Nights weekend. This is the weekend that is supposed to bring 850,000 people to the Reno/Sparks metroplex. A quick online check for rooms, given a request for a room for two people for seven consecutive nights starting Monday August 2 says: Circus Circus: rooms available Silver Legacy: rooms available Eldorado: sold out (good for you!) Atlantis: rooms available Peppermill: rooms available Nugget (Sparks): rooms available I cannot imagine how the second tier properties are doing.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 8/1/2010 8:00:37 PM
Looks like the Cal Neva is sold out as well. Amazing, since when one thinks of hotels to stay at in Reno, Cal Neva isn't usually at the top of that list.