More sports tournaments mean more tourism money for Carson City |

More sports tournaments mean more tourism money for Carson City

Sandi Hoover

Seven years ago, the Carson City Recreation Division started a sports tourism campaign that can only be described as a huge success, the division’s operations manager Joel Dunn said Tuesday.

Dunn was guest speaker for the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s new monthly lunchtime presentation, “Soup’s On.”

“The more successful we are in bringing tournaments to Carson City, the more tourism directors will want to come here,” Dunn said. “We’re here. We wanted to be a sports tourism destination, and we are.”

Dunn told the group of more than 100 attendees that the campaign has had a $77.6 million impact on Carson City since it began in 2005. It has resulted in $1.5 million in sales taxes going into the city’s general fund and another $1.5 million collected in room taxes.

Expenses for salaries, services and supplies amounted to only about $218,000, he said.

“We’ve spent $218,000 and brought in over $77 million for our investment,” he said.

Dunn was more than happy to share the love, naming 17 participants such as All World Sports, the Chamber of Commerce, the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, businesses, the city’s hotels and motels and numerous sports groups.

He called the chamber a “champion for sports tourism” and credited it with creating an interest and an awareness. He also praised the CVB.

“If it were not for the investment of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, we would not have a campaign,” he said.

The CVB spent $15,000 the first year, and will spend $77,600 for 2012, he said.

Chamber Director Ronni Hannaman said many communities have already jumped on the sports tourism bandwagon.

“In their redevelopment efforts, one of the major accomplishments made by Reno was the building of a sports complex for the Reno Aces – now a major draw,” Hannaman said. “Cabela’s, known for its sports merchandise, can be considered part of this effort to attract sports enthusiasts.

“Though Reno went overboard in their spending and was convinced the economy would endure, they did what they thought would attract dollars to the downtown core. And let’s not forget the impact of the Wolf Pack,” she said.

“Sparks is another great example of a community that gets it. In 2008, they completed their 100-acre Golden Eagle Regional Park, the largest public works project in their history, to attract locals and tourists,” she said. “And they attracted Scheels, another major sports attraction.”

She also credited Carson City voters for thinking of the city’s future.

“The citizens of Carson City had a similar vision, but more on a local scale, when they voted to pass the landmark Question 18 vote in 1996 to tax themselves to build their sports fields for our youth,” Hannaman said.

As the new sports tourism campaign gets ready to kick off next month, Dunn estimates it will have an estimated $17.5 million economic impact on the city this year.