While opinions of the events vary, downtown Reno bar crawls have grown into significant events for the city in the last several years. This year, organizers of some of the largest and most popular crawls say they acknowledge their responsibility to help Reno continue to thrive. As a result, they are taking these events in new directions by adding family friendly fun runs and focusing on bringing more tourists to the region.
According to Reno Zombie Crawl organizer Ed Adkins, he never expected his crawls to go from modest gatherings into full-fledged tourism generators, but since they have, he wants to make the most of it.
“We’re proud of what the bar crawls have become, but there’s still room to evolve.” This year he plans on adding events targeted to a larger audience, focusing on more than just nightlife. Adkins also organizes the Superhero, Vampire and Leprechaun crawls.
“We realized this year that we’ve started to bring lots of people to town, so now we want to give them more to do and more reasons to stay.” By more to do, Adkins says this year he’s adding themed fun runs to his crawls, and making them family friendly to attract all ages. On July 13th, the date of the 7th annual Superhero Crawl (a Reno original), his group is staging the first ever “Arch Rivals: Heroes vs Villains” fun run through downtown Reno. “We already know Reno loves to dress up and have fun, now we’re adding a new element that doesn’t involve drinking.”
In addition to appealing to new demographics, Adkins says he hopes these fun runs encourage tourists to stay longer in town. “These events began with our Reno locals, and that’s who we focus on when we plan them, but we’ve also been drawing people from other cities across the US and by giving those people another event and taking them on a course along our river, we hope to show them more of Reno and give them a reason to stay longer.”
Adkins says that he’s planning another fun run the morning of the Reno Zombie Crawl called the “NoBrainer 5K,” and that the organizers of the Reno Santa Crawl recently began a successful “Santa Dash” as well. Future plans also include a public relations campaign to discourage underage drinking that has already received support from local bars and other organizations. “I’d almost be afraid of all this maturity,” he adds, “but since we’re still doing it all dressed up as Batman or the undead it doesn’t worry me too much.” Runners can register for the Arch Rivals run at Junkee Clothing Exchange, Carter Bros Ace Hardware or Sports West Athletic Club. Information on these events can be found at www.crawlreno.com.
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