Grand Sierra Resorts expects motorsports to build visitation

Richard Silverman, president of the Grand Sierra Resort, sat in his office early one morning, surveying vacant swaths of the expansive property.

As he considered uses for the property, he struck the idea of a weekend of motor sports events at the Grand Sierra Resort that would draw more tourists to the region.

"I was looking for something that could be outdoor, and came up with the concept of doing a moto week," he says.

The resulting Xtreme Outlaw Weekend, scheduled Father's Day weekend June 17-20, will feature freestyle motorcycle jumping events, a Supermoto (dirt/pavement track) race and a 250-mile desert race in the lands surrounding Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

The Supermoto event will be a 1.5-mile race around the Grand Sierra with about 250 riders in different classes, Silverman says.

The 250-mile desert race is expected to draw between 40 and 60 teams. Racers will have a ceremonial start at the Grand Sierra before being escorted by Nevada Highway Patrol to the course at TRIC, says Silverman. The course also will pass through Virginia City.

"There are a lot of moving pieces," Silverman says. "The motocross race will take up three of the major parking lots on our property. It is going to be a lot going on for a 48-hour period."

Silverman expects a large turnout for the events based on attendance of approximately 25,000 motor sports enthusiasts who watched long-distance jumper Ryan Capes clear 316 feet on a modified bike in the GSR parking lot last September.

Entry for the first year most likely will be free in order to generate interest.

"Reno needs these types of concepts and new events," Silverman says. "We are looking at creating many citywide events for Reno and the surround market.

"It could bring in a lot of room nights, and a lot of food and beverage and gaming revenue for our property and our competitors. As we build this into a city-wide event, all boats will rise with the tide."


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