PRESS RELEASE

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) has released the results of its economic and fiscal impact studies around last year’s final National Championship Air Races (NCAR) in Reno. Conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Center for Regional Studies, the Economic Impact Study shows that there were 80,434 nonlocal attendees to the event which brought a total estimated economic impact of $158,641,993 to our region. The study also concluded that there were a total of 113,236 unique NCAR attendees, with the majority coming from zip codes outside of Washoe County.

Unlimited Class P-63 #63 ‘Pretty Polly’ rolls past the home pylon.

“We are very proud of the positive impact we have brought to the region for the past six decades,” said Tony Logoteta, COO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Strengthening the community where we host the air races is an important part of our mission and we are thankful that the amazing support from our fans this past year spilled over into such a wonderful economic benefit for the Reno community.”

An estimated 140,000 Reno fans attended, up almost 40% over the previous years.

The Center for Regional Studies, which conducts research and analysis for the area, has directed several previous studies detailing the impact of the National Championship Air Races, most recently in 2019. The economic impact value is derived from the number of people with non-Washoe County zip codes whose primary reason for visiting the area was to attend the air races. In the study, the economic impact value considers the direct, indirect and induced impact, as well as self-reported expenditures related to entertainment, lodging, travel, shopping, gambling, food and dining, and more. It was anticipated the 2023 final flag in Reno would bring record numbers, and the forecast held true when the total estimated economic impact was revealed at $158,641,993, with $90,887,125 calculated as direct impact. Additionally, it was determined that 1,153 full-time jobs were supported through visitor spending.

Three generations enjoying a beautiful high desert day at the races.

“The robust economic impact of the National Championship Air Races, largely due to the amount of non-local spending it attracted to the region, consistently led all special events held in Reno-Sparks,” said Brian Bonnenfant, project manager for the Center for Regional Studies.  “The Reno Air Races were a key cog for the Reno-Sparks tourism economy, provided decades of invaluable exposure to the region, and was one of our last links to introducing highly important aviation and aeronautics to future generations.”

Static aircraft on display at the 2014 Reno Air Races. (photo by D Ramey Logan via Wikipedia)

The Fiscal Impact Study, conducted by Ekay Economic Consultants, is focused on tax revenue brought to our area due to the air races. Those results show several city and state authorities, including the State of Nevada, Cities of Reno and Sparks, Washoe County and Washoe County School District, and others realizing an estimated total of $6,046,569 in revenue from sales, business, and room taxes collected throughout the five-day event.

P-51D #11 ‘Miss America’ receiving some TLC in the pit.

“While the final flag of the National Championship Air Races in Reno was waved, we are honored to have had an incredible impact on the community,” said Fred Telling, CEO of RARA. “Reno was RARA’s first home and as the town grew, so did we. Together we made Reno the pinnacle of air racing and that would not have been possible without our community, volunteers, local businesses and non-profits. We are thankful for all who have supported us in the area and hope you have felt our support as well.”

John Lohmar raced the SNJ-5 #88 ‘Radial Velocity’ placing 4th place in the T-6 Gold race.

On May 23rd, 2024 RARA announced that Roswell, NM will be the new home of the National Championship Air Races starting in 2025. Meanwhile, RARA is focused on producing the 2024 Reno Air Show that promises to be an aviation spectacle like no other, celebrating 60 years of exciting aviation events in Northern Nevada. The event will include a first ever evening show and headlining performances by two renowned military jet teams, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, plus the USAF F-16 Viper Demonstration Team and more. Tickets for the event, taking place Friday, Oct. 4 – Sunday, Oct. 6, are available now at www.renoairshow.org. For more information and ways to support the Reno Air Racing Association, visit www.airrace.org.

About the Reno Air Racing Association

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with donations being tax deductible. RARA’s mission is to produce a first-class air racing and air show event that celebrates and perpetuates the world’s fastest motorsport. Fueled by decades of success, RARA is committed to delivering a safe, entertaining and exhilarating experience for fans while also honoring our military, inspiring our youth and strengthening our community, economy and culture. For more information, visit AirRace.org.