Reno city officials are serious about keeping the USBC Open Championships and USBC Women’s Championships coming to town after the current tournament-hosting contract expires in 2018.
On Wednesday, the City Council voted unanimously to impose a $2 room tax on seven downtown hotels with non-restricted gaming licenses: the Silver Legacy, Circus Circus, Eldorado, Sands Regency, Siena, Cal Neva and Harrah’s.
The fee is expected to generate about $2.3 million per year, which would be used for revenue-backed bonds to fund improvements to publicly-owned tourism and entertainment facilities within a one-mile radius of the downtown area, including the National Bowling Stadium and the Livestock Events Center.
The Livestock Center already has lost several major events due to its deteriorating condition, and officials fear the Bowling Stadium could lose USBC tournaments unless improvements are made to that facility, which opened in 1995.
Although the Council did not mention specific improvements, Joe Kelley, acting President and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, said the building could receive a new facade, as well as modernization of its fourth floor, where the bowling lanes are located.
Approval of the room tax came just a week before city officials are scheduled to meet with USBC officials about a contract extension during International Bowl Expo in Texas.