By ALAN SNEL
After losing out on the sweepstakes to snag the coveted Outdoor Retailer trade show, Las Vegas learned today that the national bicycle trade show called Interbike is leaving Sin City after this year’s show next month and will be in the Reno-Tahoe area for 2018-22.
Interbike brought thousands of bicycle industry leaders, bike shop owners, suppliers, racers and fans to Las Vegas annually every September.
Bicycle industry leader Ray Keener, of Boulder, liked the move.
“I think Reno is a great choice. It checks most of the boxes for a bike show location, with the minor exception of easy access by air. On the other hand, the industry seems to manage OK getting in and out of Monterey, which is even more limited,” Keener told LVSportsBiz.com.
“I’m pleasantly surprised at how positive the response has been. This is an industry of people who are not that easy to please! I think ‘Vegas fatigue’ was so strong that people are relieved with ‘anywhere else.’ We here in Colorado were hoping for Denver, and the combination of lower costs and excellent close-by riding make Reno a better choice,” Keener said.
Local Las Vegas bicyclists who enjoyed attending Interbike at Mandalay Bay Convention Center were bummed based on local Vegas Facebook comments.
Emerald Expositions, which puts on Interbike, is also re-branding the annual trade show with a shift of events in the days during the week of Interbike.
First, it’s being called, “Interbike Marketweek,” and it will start with a consumer festival on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Northstar California Resort near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevadas.
Northstar is home to Northern California’s largest bike park with countless downhill runs, cross country trails and is accessible by gondola and chair lifts. It will be a venue that will allow consumers to test products.
The consumer demo will continue Sunday, Sept. 16, through mid-day, and will transition to the OutDoor Demo that afternoon and will be open only to the trade show participants after 2 pm. OutDoor Demo will continue Monday, Sept. 17 and will run from 8 am to 6 pm with free gondola access to all attendees.
Then on Tuesday, it’s time for the traditional trade show from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC) just south of downtown Reno.
Organizers hope the new Tuesday-through-Thursday format will allow retailers and exhibitors to travel home in time for the weekend. Expo hours on Tuesday and Wednesday will be 10 am-6 pm, with Thursday being 10 am-4 pm.
The final Interbike trade show is set for Boulder City for the demo and at the Mandalay Convention Center on the Strip in September.
In a statement, Interbike Vice President Pat Hus said, “Las Vegas has been a great home and we appreciate their partnership over the years.
“However, Reno-Tahoe gives us an unmatched blend of world-class venue for a consumer festival and the OutDoor Demo, state of the art convention center, fantastic hotel choices, robust nightlife and a more intimate environment of welcome and celebration.”
Here was Interbike’s rationale for the move:
Hospitality: The move to Reno-Tahoe will enable Interbike to have a much greater financial impact on the area as a whole, and attendees will experience an increased amount of undivided attention from hotels, restaurants, music venues and the community at large.
Changes & Improvements: Historically known as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno-Tahoe has transformed over the years from its focus on gaming to becoming a growing tech hub, attracting companies such as Tesla, Amazon, Google, Apple and more. Additionally, with its proximity to Lake Tahoe, the city has positioned itself as a leading recreation destination city with brands like the cycling industries’ own Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), Bicycle Technologies International (BTI) and Hawley-Lambert taking residence with distribution centers.
Affordability: Reno-Tahoe has a broad spectrum of hotel choices with a wide range of brands at very affordable rates. Food and beverage costs are lower than what our attendees have been accustomed to.
Ideal Weather: Average temperature in Reno during the month of September is generally in the low 80’s during the day, and dropping into the 60’s making for pleasant evenings and making demo experiences much more ideal and comfortable. An outdoor test track will be constructed next to the convention center and will be augmented by outdoor dining opportunities with an emphasis on healthy food options.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com