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Riveting RSCVA-owned event targets shoulder season

Rob Sabo
rsabo@nnbw.biz

Blue Genes Jam, the new special event unveiled last week by Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Baum, was developed specifically to extend the area’s special events season and fill dark hotel rooms in the fall.

September is one of the hottest tourism months for the region, beginning with the Great Reno Balloon Race, followed by National Championship Air Races and culminating with Street Vibrations. But when the annual fall motorcycle rally ends, so does the steady stream of visitors to Greater Reno-Sparks.

Blue Genes Jam could draw additional tourism revenue to Reno-Sparks through its “shoulder season” — October through the start of ski season in late November or early December.

“We do really well from May through September, but then things drop off in the fall,” says Baum, who developed the idea for the event. “It extends that season, and also gives us the impetus to see what we can do after that. We can add an entire month of great activities in northern Nevada. ”

The inaugural Blue Genes Jam will be Oct. 2-4, 2015, and will consist of a mixture of denim-centric events, from a classic rock or country concert at Reno Events Center to a vintage blue jeans expo at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Other concert venues could include Cargo at Whitney Peak Hotel and the Knitting Factory, close to the Virginia Street site where Baum says the first-ever pair of riveted blue jeans was created by Jacob Davis in the mid-19th century. Baum and the executive team at RSCVA will spend the next year polishing and executing plans for the Blue Genes Jam.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” he says. “We have a lot of the basics in place, but we will be reaching out with the ‘lunatic fringe’ of the jean world, people who live and breathe jeans, and making sure those people are kept up to date. We need to make sure the fashion world and publishing world is up to date and try to get magazine publishers to come here and shoot editorial spreads and photographs to run in their fall issues.”

RSCVA doesn’t have a specific budget set aside for the event, Baum says, since its new fiscal year begins July 1, 2015. But it promoting the event shouldn’t cost much, he adds, since the RSCVA already has staff in place and controls some of the facilities tied to Blue Genes Jam.

“From a cost standpoint, we are leveraging the RSCVA’s assets for this. If we decide to do a blue-jeans golf tournament, we could do it at Wildcreek. We know the owner, because it’s us. This is a great way to use our facilities at a cost-effective basis.”

Blue Genes Jam is the first event in many years to be run by the RSCVA, Baum says. The eventual goal would be to grow the event and hand it off to an independent group to manage, much like the balloon races or Hot August Nights.


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