Reno, Nevada located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Before the late 1950s, it was the gambling capital of the United States and has traditionally drawn tourists and gamblers from the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. But the rapid growth of Las Vegas has significantly reduced its business and the older and smaller casinos have either been torn down or converted into condos. However, several large hotel casinos have shown substantial growth and have moved gaming further away from the Virginia Street core. These larger hotel casinos are the Atlantis, the Peppermill and the Grand Sierra Resort. The Peppermill was chosen as the most outstanding Reno gaming/hotel property by Casino Player and Nevada magazines.
In an effort to bring more tourism to the area, Reno holds several events throughout the year. These include Hot August Nights (a classic car convention), Street Vibrations (a motorcycle fan gathering and rally), The Great Reno Balloon Race, a Cinco de Mayo celebration, bowling tournaments (held in the National Bowling Stadium), and the Reno Air Races.
Hot August Nights began in 1986 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Its aim was to fill a void in tourism in Reno during the month of August and to raise money for local charities. Ten thousand spectators came to listen to the Righteous Brothers, Wolfman Jack, and Jan & Dean and to immerse themselves in a night of nostalgia. Back in the day, it was more about the nostalgia than the car show.
Today, the weeklong event draws over 800,000 people to the Reno/ Sparks area and is a celebration of classic cars, vintage rock ‘n roll, and the American era of the 50s and 60s when cruising, sock hops, and high school proms were all the rage! There are additional events in the South Lake Tahoe area as well. Two years ago, Barrett-Jackson added an Annual Hot August Nights Auction which takes place Thursday through Saturday.
The number of registered classic cars is limited to 6,000 but thousands more show up in Reno during this time to join the fun. All the casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment cater to the crowds with numerous free concerts and lots of other 50s and 60s themed entertainment. Do note that Friday and Saturday tend to be the busier days of Hot August Nights.
Official web page: http://www.hotaugustnights.net/
Address: 1425 E Greg St, Sparks, Nevada
Phone: (775) 356-1956
Photo credits: Monica Ohkubo & Jennifer Tsurumoto