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Event organizers, squads deserve a cheer

Nevada Appeal Editorial

What happens when you put 800 members of high school spirit squads in one place?

You get a lot of noise, for sure, but also a healthy shot in the arm for the local economy.

It also brings a reminder of how much Carson City could gain if it had a venue able to handle large conventions and gatherings.

For those not within earshot of Carson High School last weekend, the event was the first-ever Silver State Spirit Competition at Carson High School, and it was a success on several levels.

Most notable are the efforts of the girls. The Carson High All-Girls Stunt squad was named the 4A state champions, but even had they not done so well they and their coaches would have had much to be proud of.

Since January, the team has been practicing almost daily for two- to three-hour sessions to get ready. Anyone willing to put in that much time toward a goal has a good template for achieving success.

Putting on such a large event is a huge undertaking, and the organizers, including tournament director and Carson City resident Terrie McNutt, should be commended that it went off so well.

Local businesses should also thank her.

At the Piñon Plaza alone, teams rented out 112 rooms, and several other hotels also hosted teams during what is one of the slower business months.

The only downside is that there’s no guarantee the event will be back in Carson City next year, even though that would be McNutt’s choice.

That’s because if it grows any larger, as expected, there won’t be a venue big enough to handle it.

The city has a lot of assets, but convention space for large groups is not one of them. And it’s probably not going to change soon.

The city doesn’t have enough hotel rooms to justify a large convention center. Instead, those groups and their money go to Reno, Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas.

The business community is making strides to keep events brought forward by residents in the community. Aided by the city’s 100-room hotel-casino license rule, construction springing up along the freeway corridor and redevelopment efforts downtown, we have a good chance of retaining them and the dollars they bring.

But for now, it looks like large events and conventions, along with the money they bring, will remain a road trip away.