Downtown Reno Cancels Fireworks

by Mike Van Houten / Jan 1, 2009

1/1/09 - STUPID MOVE CANCELLING FIREWORKS - As I watched the news last night, looking at all the revelers downtown at the stroke of midnight looking up at the sky waiting for the fireworks to happen, I couldn't help but think what a silly move it was to cancel them. It was an anticlimactic, almost lame scene downtown. Now, those thousands of people who came this year, probably won't come up next year. Why? Because they were duped. Thousands of people booked hotel rooms far in advance in anticipation of the show, yet it was only announced days before the event that they wouldn't be happening. Nice punch in the gut to those who spent hundreds of dollars planning last night, including booking hotel rooms, traveling up to Reno, etc. I don't buy the argument that a Harrah's representative gave on News 4 last night that 'It was either we lay off people, or we throw fireworks'. The fireworks cost roughly $30,000, split among the casinos that's less than $15,000 each, and that doesn't even pay for one year's earnings of ONE minimum wage job, so cut the crap. You were greedy, you didn't want revelers leaving your parties to go outside and celebrate, plain and simple. Now I read in the papers this morning that some are surprised that so few people celebrated downtown last night. Well guess what, you cancelled the main reason people came downtown! Don't be surprised if maybe half the people that celebrated New Years in Reno this year don't come back next year. I've received over 20 emails from pissed off tourists and residents. Am I being overly critical? Insensitive to the economic situation? Maybe. But you don't stimulate a city's economy by canceling inexpensive ($30,000 is inexpensive by event standards) critical events that draw thousands. What are your thoughts?

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