Bowling News USA - June 27, 2012 2012 Bowl Expo Trade Show Launches Today in Reno..
Reno is on a roll in the bowling world.
More than 300 amateur and professional women bowlers converged on the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno for the 2012 Bowling’s U.S. Women’s Open and first-ever Senior Women’s Open.
Their presence over the next week is expected to pump $2.3 million into the local economy through spending, meals and other spending, according to the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority.
Coinciding with the Open will be the Bowling Proprietors Association of America International Bowl Expo at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, anticipated to generate another $8.7 million.
The Storm Products Booth is number 251.
And already under way at the bowling stadium is the separate U.S. Bowling Congress Women’s Championship, begun in April and running through July 8, with an expected $52 million in economic impact.
Local officials welcome the financial injection, but an added visual twist on the Open is seen as a strike in marketing: ESPN television cameras and the Reno Arch.
The top five Open finalists will compete next Wednesday evening on four lanes set up on Virginia Street under the arch. The event will be aired across the U.S. and beyond on ESPN2 on the eve of the Fourth of July.
“I don’t think it can get any better than that, especially under the Reno Arch,” Mayor Bob Cashell said Wednesday.
Reno’s roll won’t end there. While this week’s Open is a one-time event here, the stage has been set for years to come for more tournaments at the National Bowling Stadium.
Six U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments are already slated for Reno through 2018. And under an agreement approved last week by the city with the USBC, there will be 10 tournaments from 2019 through 2030.
Add it all up, and “It’s a pretty compelling case that this is the bowling headquarters of the U.S.,” said Chris Baum, CEO of the RSCVA. “Reno loves its bowlers, and this shows their commitment.”
As part of the deal, the city of Reno will use a $2 addition to the room tax on the largest downtown hotels, approved by the 2011 Legislature, primarily for improvements to the National Bowling Stadium.
RSCVA officials say the additional tax has generated nearly $1.6 million from last July through April and is expected to bring in about $2 million annually.
“The people of Reno have stepped up to make a tremendous commitment to bowling,” Stu Upson, USBC executive director, said in a statement. “Public funding for sports venues is increasingly rare. For a city to invest millions of dollars to completely renovate and upgrade a stadium is an historic accomplishment.”
Among the bowling stadium additions and renovations over the next six years:
The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame on the first floor, already completed.
Adding 10 bowling lanes on the first floor by February 2013 for instruction and side tournaments.
Replacement of the bowling stadium’s video projection system by February 2013.
Replacement of all 78 bowling lanes on the fourth floor by 2016.
Replacement of stadium seating with flexible space by 2016.
Construction of a new food and beverage outlet with a sports bar theme by 2016.
Refurbishing the stadium’s exterior by 2018.
The stadium has hosted numerous USBC tournaments since it opened in 1995. Baum applauded the organization for its commitments amid competition, including El Paso, Texas, which will host the 2015 Open championships, and Orlando, Fla., where Disney wants to build a bowling stadium.
“We are delighted that the USBC has officially agreed to keep the National Bowling Stadium in Reno as its home away from home all the way through 2030,” Baum said in a statement.
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