Events May Sell Tickets but How Do They Effect the Local Economy as a Whole?

Reno, Nevada: home to one of the most diverse and jam-packed event calendars of any metropolitan city in the nation. In 2017, tourism in Reno surpassed more than 5 million visitors, attributing a large percentage of those visitors to the dozens of events that take place throughout the year. These events not only impact awareness and tourism, but also contribute millions of dollars to the Reno economy every year. One of the notable annual events that is a large contributor is the STIHL National Championship Air Races.

According to an economic impact study conducted in 2016 by the University of Nevada, 65 percent of the 117,000 in attendance at the STIHL National Championship Air Races were from out of the area. The study also determined the Reno Air Races contributed $91.7 million of total impact to the local economy that year with nearly $20 million of direct impact to hotels, more than $14.5 million on entertainment and $13.5 million to restaurants.

The numbers directly correlate to one of the main missions of the Reno Air Racing Association: to deliver a safe, entertaining and exhilarating experience for fans while also honoring the military, educating youth and strengthening our community, economy and culture.

Although more than 65 percent of the spectators at the STIHL National Championship Air Races are out of town guests, it is also hugely popular with locals. The event is one-of-a-kind featuring head-to-head air racing at speeds up to 500 mph and six different racing classes. Due to the proximity to Reno and the fact that there is no other event in the world with this level of racing, the uniqueness and family-centric programming serves as the bookend on the long roster of summer events Reno hosts every year.

The 2019 event slate features top-notch entertainment, heart-pounding aerobatics and what promises to be one of its most competitive and high-profile racing fields in recent memory. Attendees will be treated to a rare performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, world-renowned aerobatic pilot Rob Holland, Lucas Oil Air Shows pilot Michael Wiskus, the Commemorative Air Force, STOL racing demonstrations and a F-18 Legacy Flight.

The 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races has a little something for everyone. The one-of-a-kind event attracts visitors from all over the world. Set just 20 minutes northwest of downtown Reno nestled against the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Reno Stead Airport perfectly embodies the feeling of “wide open spaces” that Nevada is known for. Outside of the head-to-head racing the event is known for, there will be opportunities for hands-on activities, local food and fare and historic replica models that can be seen up close.

The STIHL National Championship Air Races is proud to be a part of the Northern Nevada community and honored to provide the region’s schools with free field trips and participate in some of the area’s events including the Reno Aces on Aug. 25 and the Reno Rodeo June 20–29. Individual tickets and box seats for the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races set for Sept. 11–15 are on sale now. Purchase online at

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