While downtown Reno will be buzzing in its traditional Street Vibrations fashion, Sparks has some changes in its layout. John Ascuaga’s Nugget, which in past years hosted vendors in its West Parking Lot, moved things inside the casino and hotel. Nugget Public Relations Manager Lauren Garber said fewer vendors signed up for the event, and many of them chose to post up in downtown Reno, prompting the Nugget to cater to its guests in a different way.
“What we hear from most of the motorcycle enthusiasts who come to this event is that they want to ride their motorcycles, eat great food in our area, gamble and have fun. Vendors are a part of that but it is not the entire event,” Garber said.
The Nugget has a shuttle running today from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday in hopes of getting its hotel guests down where the action is. Garber said though the layout has changed it will not alter the amount of people flooding the region for four days.
“This is a huge event for our region, and especially our area, and at the Nugget we are going to see tons of bikes coming in this weekend,” Garber said. “Our hotel is sold out for Saturday and Friday is getting close. It is great for our area and we are really looking forward to having a bunch of tourists in town.”
Linda Ryals, a salesperson for Biker Clothing Company based in Daytona Beach, Fla., set up shop near the hotel front desk at the Nugget selling various Street Vibrations gear. Her company has multiple tents set up throughout Reno and she said she has already felt the effects of being indoors rather than battling the elements.
“Wind is bad for our tents at this event,” Ryals said, “And we went through that in Reno (Tuesday). Our biggest tent went down and they had to replace the whole thing. Being inside does have its advantages because after seeing that big tent go down I am glad I am inside this weekend.”
Ryals said she will begin to see foot and sales traffic escalate today and she feels being inside, in a prime location at the Nugget, will boost sales in Sparks.
“It usually picks up around Thursday, Friday is great and Saturday is your best day,” Ryals said. “Last year I thought the crowd was pretty good, but I was based outside. I am hoping this year is going to be better because I am right here in front of the desk.”
Garber said the lack of vendors allowed the Nugget to “beef up” the entertainment happening throughout the casino, including live bands in its restaurants and lounges. Local entertainers will join headliners like Jimmie Van Zant today and Friday on the various stages, and television star Erik Estrada will host a meet-and-greet event at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Celebrity Showroom.
The Street Vibrations Fall Rally is also in its second year of the “no colors” policy banning representation of any affiliation with biker groups. The rule stems back to a fatal shooting of a Hell’s Angels member and has since changed the Spring and Fall rallies for patron safety.
The public has slowly accepted the change, according to Garber, and because the Spring Rally has been contained to the West Parking Lot it brings a much different vibe to the September's event.
“We are starting to see more acceptance on this (no colors policy) from the community which is always great,” Garber said. “The Nugget is really big on family friendly events and Street Vibrations is no exception to that. We want people to come and have a good time, and the fact we have been doing no colors for multiple events means people are catching on and it gives the event a whole different feel when they come down here.”
A full schedule of events for Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Virginia City can be found at www.roadshowsreno.com. Bikes can no longer be registered online, but regular and VIP registration is still available at the event. Vendors at Chester’s Reno Harley-Davidson open at 8 a.m. through Sunday and outdoor vendors in Reno open at 10 a.m.