After big investment in new facilities in recent years, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is stepping up the quality of its entertainment offerings as well.
Pop star Michael Bolton will appear in a show presented by the Atlantis August 20 at the Reno-Tahoe Convention Center.
It's the biggest entertainment production undertaken by the casino property, and it's a first as well for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, owner of the convention center.
Past concerts at the Atlantis have featured mid-tier touring acts who appeared in the casino's ballroom. Bolton is a major and expensive step up.
"In business, every day we are taking risks. That is the nature of what we are doing," says John Farahi, general manager of Atlantis and chairman and chief executive officer of its publicly traded parent company. "Hopefully, we have been diligent to make sure this makes business sense."
Along with ticket sales they start at $54.50 the Atlantis expects the concert will drive business throughout its hotel, restaurants, casinos and retail operations.
And, Farahi says, the event creates an opportunity for Atlantis to bring big-spending gaming patrons to town.
Construction of a $12.5 million skybridge across Peckham Lane that links Atlantis to the convention center boosts the interest of the Atlantis manager in hosting events at the convention center.
"It makes the two properties function as one," says Farahi.
The convention center ballroom will seat 2,450 for the concert. That's double the number the Atlantis can host for a concert in its own facilities.
Joe Kelley, vice president of facilities for RSCVA, says the concert is the first at the south-Reno facility in years at least since the days that the convention center was known as the Centennial Coliseum, and perhaps even longer.
The reason the convention center hasn't been a concert venue? No one has asked, Kelley says.
But he notes that RSCVA has extensive recent experience with the logistics of concerts at its Reno Events Center downtown and doesn't expect any headaches with the use of the convention center.
"It sets up very well. The load-in and load-out is very easy," Kelley says.