Interbike moving to Reno-Tahoe

The Interbike trade show will move to Reno beginning the 2018 year and through 2022, according to Pat Hus, Interbike’s VP. This follows a decades-long run for the show in Las Vegas. Interbike is the widely considered the most important bike industry trade show in North America.

This isn’t Interbike’s first Reno Rodeo. The show was domiciled there for 3 years during the mid-1980s. Reno has grown mightily since then; become modernized; and much of the Silicon Valley spillover has reached the lee side of the Sierra Nevadas, from Minden/Gardnerville, Nevada north to Carson City and up to Reno. Tax laws make Nevada an attractive state for warehousing and shipping and quite a few bike businesses have operations in Reno, sister-city Sparks, or within 50 miles of it.

In a conference call with media today Interbike officials stressed that the venue is not Reno, but Reno-Tahoe, noting that the festivities will begin the weekend prior to the show proper. The Northstar ski resort will host MTB and road events that include consumer access on Saturday and Sunday September 15 and 16. This will include chairlift access, MTB races, music, food, craft beer.

The stretching of the combo consumer-industry event into a weeklong event coincides with a change in name to, "Interbike Marketweek."

Sunday afternoon the venue moves to industry-only and will remain an industry event through Monday. The show then moves indoors, to the Reno Sparks Convention Center and will run Tuesday thru Thursday. This is a fairly major change which allows retailers a chance to not miss being in their shops over weekends.

Events will include a Tuesday night criterium under the lights in downtown Reno, and Clif Bar CrossVegas on Wednesday. Yes, it will remain CrossVegas notwithstanding the fact that the event will now be held in Reno. Will there be blowback from those in Reno over keeping the Vegas name? (As a Tahoe-Reno resident for 10 years and an alumnus of U of Nevada – in Reno – I expect there will be some grumbling.)

The imperatives during this 7-month venue search were affordability, weather, flexibility, and the quality of the outdoor cycling. Mr. Hus listed the cost savings to manufacturers in holding the show in Reno, noting the ability of manufacturers to “hand carry to your booth; to build your booth.” He referred to holding the show in a non-union convention center rather than having to deal with the dreaded GES union in Las Vegas, which charged exorbitant drayage and booth construction fees and required even the simplest booths to be assembled at high cost by their union workers.

Still, with change comes both opportunity and risk. Las Vegas is a known quantity. It is easily and inexpensively reached in one air segment from just about any city in the U.S., as well as from other countries. Offsetting these conveniences, Vegas has become an expensive and difficult place to eat unless you travel miles from The Strip; and the outdoor demo location of Bootleg Canyon was a windblown oven.

On a personal note, I was a manufacturer in “another life” and that life began while Interbike was held in Reno. Between Reno, Anaheim and Las Vegas – the three host cities for that show during my tenure – Reno was by far my favorite. I often felt – and said – the show should decamp for Reno. Happily at least for me, now it will.