Meetings Boom in Reno and Lake Tahoe
Originally Published in Successful Meetings Magazine by Leo Jakobson | October 03, 2017. Full article can be found here -
The meetings and incentive business is gathering steam at one of the country's most scenic resort areas
Things are booming in Lake Tahoe and Reno these days. The game-changing battery-construction Gigafactory that electric car maker Tesla is operating (and still building) in Reno is making the area a tech hub able to attract the likes of Microsoft and Apple, to say nothing of a major renovation in the works for the Reno--Sparks Convention Center.
The completion this summer of the $100 million Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe capped the infusion of "over three-quarters of a billion dollars in capital investment over the last five years" in the area, South Lake Tahoe Mayor Austin Sass noted at the opening ceremony of the waterfront property. He's not the only local with that opinion. "The meeting and incentive business in North Lake Tahoe has been fantastic over the past couple of years and continues to grow with each season," says Jason Neary, director of conference sales for North Lake Tahoe. "We have recently seen a tremendous uptick in incentive programs, incentive spending, and increased spending with our DMCs. In 2017, we saw the convention and visitors bureau generate the largest number of leads and the largest number of room-nights booked throughout our history."
The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe is the big news on the Nevada side. Set next to the Edgewood Golf Course, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, the lodge offers 154 rooms and suites with gas fireplaces and private decks or terraces. It boasts great lake views, particularly from its "Great Room" overlooking the year-round heated pool and hot tub, which has a wall of windows several stories high. Amenities include an 8,500-square-foot spa and a fitness center, an Adventure Center, a bistro, and bar. The Lodge is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection.
The LEED-designed resort project included a substantial run-off-focused environmental component for the resort, golf course, and beyond. It has a 2,964-square-foot divisible ballroom, as well as a 1,500-square-foot pre-function room and a private dining room that can host a 40-person banquet. There is also a 16-person boardroom. Beyond this, groups have access to the facilities at the lakefront golf course's Edgewood Tahoe Clubhouse, which has two indoor event rooms, the 2,500-square-foot North Room, which can hold up to 300 for a reception, and the 1,664-square-foot South Room, which can handle receptions for up to 120. Both have floor-to-ceiling windows with lake views. The North Room looks onto a 1,218-square-foot deck and 1,500-square-foot event lawn. The South Room has a 715-square-foot deck and another event lawn.
In South Lake Tahoe, Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino recently completed a $3.8 million update of the resort's 17,000-square-foot Special Events Center, which brought in state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems while replacing the carpet, wall coverings, furniture, and fixtures. And work is wrapping up on a room refresh, bringing a contemporary style and double-soundproofed walls. With its next-door sister property, Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, there are a combined 50,000 square feet of event space, as well as 1,254 rooms. Other recent additions include South Lake Tahoe's Coachman Hotel and boutique Hotel Becket, along with two Reno properties, the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel and the Courtyard Reno Downtown/Riverfront.
Up in the mountains, Vail Resorts' Heavenly has a new lounge, the California Rooftop Bar at the California Lodge, some fun events like craft-beer sampling on the snow, and the return of the Tahoe Mountain Lab On-Mountain Co-Working Space -- a great place to hold meetings between runs. Like the company's two other area ski mountains, Northstar California and Kirkwood, Heavenly is participating in Vail Resorts' new "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint," which sets a companywide goal of zero net emissions and zero waste to landfill by 2030, as well as zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.