Hot August Nights, but the days are quiet
Appeal Staff Writer
They come back to their hotels in Carson City after dark, after the Hot August Nights festivities in Reno and Sparks wind down.
Although the visitors help fill up a majority of Carson City’s 1,700 rooms, the next morning they leave Carson City in their flashy hot rods and cruisers. And so the cycle repeats itself this week during one of the region’s largest events.
“Obviously if the event is in Reno, they want to be in Reno,” said Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Candy Duncan. “It won’t have as big of an impact as one of our own events, but maybe when you get up in the morning you want to have breakfast in Carson City, or fill up your gas tank before you leave, so I think it has an impact that way.”
Sean Sever, Piñon Plaza director of operations, said his hotel has sold out for both weekends but it’s not all Hot August people, which is a good thing for them.
“People stay here and then drive to Reno and spend their money there, which doesn’t help us out too much,” he said. “But we did have a guy come in this weekend with a car when we had the big rain storm. He wanted to park his car under the portecochere because he didn’t want to get his car wet.”
Jaswinder Dhami, Holiday Inn Express general manager, said the week is starting off good for the hotel. Compared to last year business is up about 40 percent. The Holiday Inn Express is Carson City’s northernmost hotel, until the Hampton Inn opens in the fall.
“So far we project over 90 percent occupancy the rest of the week and even into next week,” he said. “Usually Carson City doesn’t see a lot of classic cars until Wednesday or Thursday.”
With no official events scheduled for Carson City, some businesses are making up their own.
“We had a sock hop on Monday night,” said Fandango Casino General Manager Steve Forester. “We had 22 cars here and about 50 to 80 people for the sock hop for the first time. We want to keep it going every year, so we’re trying to participate. Even Hot August Nights started small.”
Carson City benefits from other regional events, most of which are in Reno, such as the balloon and air races. Hot August Nights used to be No. 1, but the Genoa Candy Dance has steadily increased in popularity. But, then again, the Hot August Nights visitors are distinguishable.
“We see the cars, we know they’re here,” Duncan said.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
By The Numbers
For the week of Hot August Nights 2004, Carson City’s occupancy rate was at 77 percent.
“Looking at rooms available for this coming weekend, quite a few of our properties are sold out but not all of them. I would anticipate that by the end of this week more will be sold out,” said Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Candy Duncan.