Tourism Will Make a Comeback in Nevada Post-COVID

One of the largest industries in the Silver State is tourism, accounting for about 25% of all jobs in Nevada. Many that live outside of the state might think of Las Vegas and its downtown strip as the main attraction of tourism, but it just so happens that the Truckee Meadows relies on tourism just as much as our southern neighbors.

The year 2017 welcomed more than five million tourists to Reno-Sparks, the first time so many had visited since the Great Recession in 2008. A tourism industry renaissance took place for a few years before the COVID-19 global pandemic arrived. With health experts and economists warning that the COVID-19 crisis is nowhere close to being over, but northern Nevada is primed to bounce back in the tourism sector.

Darren Griffin is the new CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority earlier in August this year, a time when the airport would normally be gearing up for the week of Burning Man and all of the tourist dollars that come with it. Griffin instead walked into an airport that was operating at 40% of its usual income. Spending many years in the air travel industry, he can’t think of anything previous that has been as crippling as the current pandemic.

“Think about 9/11—and 9/11 was a cataclysmic event for air service because air service was the weapon, if you will, and it… shook the industry to its core,” he said. “But the reality of it is, a week after its occurrence, airlines were back flying again—and Americans immediately resumed flying. There was some trepidation around safety, and, of course, we saw a lot of changes to our commercial air service system here in the United States after that. But that was a one-week hit… But to basically have to shut down for a month, which is what happened in April, and then slowly come back and live off 30% or 40% of the passengers that you used to have, and we’re in month eight now… There is just nothing that compares to this in terms of economic impact.”

Darren Griffin

The last eight months, the airport has focused on safety and business continuity. As one might imagine, pairing safety with travel promotion has been a challenging task.

“It is really challenging, and, you know, right now, it is about coupling the travel message with the safety message because airports and airlines have gone to extraordinary lengths to sanitize and clean the entirety of the process,” Griffin said. “So, it’s cleaner and safer now than it ever has been in terms of public health protections. If you take the masks and the social distancing, and a lot of the airlines are still keeping middle seats open, and Harvard did a study that showed the airflow inside an airplane is actually conducive to protecting you from the virus.”

Darren Griffin

While no airlines have stopped flying to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, many of them make less frequent trips between common destinations. Where planes were before flying five times a day from Reno, they are now making a once-a-day appearance. The airport has also made the difficult choice not to fill some positions as they have become vacant, but fortunately no one has been laid off or furloughed.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves approximately 4 million passengers a year on nine commercial airlines. The airport offers an average of 130 daily flights to 21 non-stop destinations across the U.S. and Mexico, and easy one-stop connections across the globe. Less than an hour to more than a dozen world-class ski resorts, golf courses, trails and, of course, Lake Tahoe, Reno-Tahoe is also a hub for events such as Burning Man, Hot August Nights, The Great Reno Balloon Race, American Century Championship, Wanderlust, and Artown. Call it what you will, but Reno is nothing if not authentic. Although this Northern Nevadan hub is home to a growing entrepreneurial scene that is quickly changing the face of the community, Reno continues to retain the bold and scrappy pioneer character that sets it apart from so many communities. If you’re looking for an adventure to remember for a lifetime, Reno is a great place to start.

When COVID-19 forced companies all over the world to send their employees home to work virtually, remote work had a big moment. Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete and leads to strong outcomes. This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life. Another of the considerable benefits of working from home is having access to a broader range of job opportunities that aren’t limited by geographic location.

With the ease of access of the airport, plenty of recreational opportunities for work-life balance, and a desirable tax climate, working from home in Reno is more advantageous than ever. And with your home as your new office, it might be time to upgrade to something that can better fit your new lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a luxury homesite in Reno or near Lake Tahoe, Parc Forêt is the perfect find. Nestled within the picturesque gated golf community of Montrêux, and minutes from Lake Tahoe, our elegant golf course homesites are conveniently located in the tax-friendly state of Nevada. We believe you’ll find our offerings are among the finest luxury real estate in Reno-Tahoe.

Written by Jackie Latragna

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