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Reno Air Races Pumped $150 Million into Local Economy

Study reveals significant economic impact of Reno Air Races on local economy.

A P-51 racer taxies out to do battle over the skies of Reno. Photo Courtesy RARA Facebook page.

Imagine receiving a daily windfall of $410,000 for an entire year. That’s the scale of the estimated economic benefit the local Reno economy enjoyed during only four days of the 2023 National Championship Air Races.

The tally, conducted by the University of Nevada at Reno’s Center for Regional Study, estimated that the NCAR race pumped $158,641,993 into the local economy. With over 80,000 nonlocal attendees at the event, the majority coming from ZIP codes outside of Washoe County, the numbers show the positive impact of the races on the overall Reno economy, which has reaped the benefit for the past 60 years.

“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,” said Tony Logoteta, chief operating officer of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA).

The Center for Regional Studies, which conducts the research and analysis for the Reno area, determined that most folks leading up to and visiting the area during race days were primarily making the journey to attend the races as a destination event. When you start counting the direct and indirect spending and expenditures linked to lodging, travel, entertainment, shopping, gambling, food, dining, and the like, it’s easy to see how those numbers were attained.


“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 nonprofits. We are thankful for all who have supported us in the area and hope you have felt our support as well.”

As reported earlier by Plane & Pilot, RARA announced on May 23 that Roswell, New Mexico, will be the new home of the National Championship Air Races starting in 2025. And for those impatient who want an aviation excuse to visit Reno this year, you won’t be disappointed.

RARA promises that the Reno Air Show, taking place Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6, will be an event like no other, including a first-ever evening show and performances by the incomparable U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. The USAF F-16 Viper Demonstration Team also will put the F-16 through its paces.

Tickets for the Reno Air Show are available now.


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