Great Reno Balloon Race offering special license plate
June 5, 2017
One of Reno's most popular attractions is getting its own license plate.
The Great Reno Balloon Race is now offering a special interest license plate through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For every license plate sold, the organization will receive a portion of the monetary funds.
"Funding from the plate will go towards our overarching goal of keeping the event free for the public's enjoyment," Pete Copeland, executive director of the Great Reno Balloon Race, said in a press release. "Reaching this milestone, and having our own license plate really illustrates how this event has captivated so many people year after year."
From its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 20 balloons, The Great Reno Balloon Race has taken flight with up to 100 balloons each year. The idea was to create an event that would keep visitors in town the weekend between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races. Thirty-five years later, it is known as a world-renowned and, among locals, a beloved community tradition.
“Funding from the plate will go towards our overarching goal of keeping the event free for the public’s enjoyment.”Pete Copeland, executive director Great Reno Balloon Race
An average of 125,000 people attend the event each year, with visitors contributing to the tourism economy.
According to studies by the Great Reno Balloon Race organization, nearly 40 percent of those attending are not from the local area. Their average length of stay is 4.5 days, bringing an estimated economic impact of more than $6.6 million.
One hundred percent of visitors surveyed by the Great Reno Balloon Race report that they would recommend the event to friends and 98 percent plan to return.
Funds from the license plates will help pay overhead for the Balloon Races.
The initial fee for a standard plate (not personalized) featuring the Great Reno Balloon Race design is $62, with an annual registration fee of $30, in addition to the standard registration fees. Personalized plates cost $97 initially and $50 annually on top of regular registration costs.
The Great Reno Balloon Race will receive $25 from the initial fee for each plate purchased, and $20 from the annual registration.
The Great Reno Balloon Race special interest license plate will be available through the DMV website or in person.
Every person who purchases one of the license plates, from now until Aug. 31, will be entered into a contest for a chance to win a VIP experience during the 2017 event. The winner will receive a hot-air balloon ride for two in one of this year's special shapes, "Yellow Bird," a depiction of the popular Tweety Bird character, access into the VIP tent, and VIP parking.
The license plate depicts four traditional multi-colored hot-air balloons.
This year's balloon race runs Sept. 8-10 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. For more information, visit renoballoon.com.