Now in its 18th year, and the 4th largest motorcycle event in the nation, Street Vibrations Sept. 21-25, 2011 had its start in the early ‘90s when Reno’s Club Cal Neva owner Bill Thornton read a story in the Wall Street Journal about Harley-Davidson developing a market for motorcycles with a wide range of clients.
A few years back, Thornton reminisced about being involved at the beginning of what would become a major special event in Reno.
“The article I read was talking about professionals buying motorcycles for recreational purposes,” Thornton remembered. “It was something I thought had great potential.” “Actually,” says Randy Burke, president of Roadshows, Inc., producer of Street Vibrations, “Bill said, ‘You need to jump on this because it’s going to be hotter than hot rods. He said, “the demographics are broader and it’s not a fad’.”
Roadshows representatives went to Milwaukee, WI, to monitor a Harley-Davidson festival and discovered company officials were planning to produce a regional rally in Reno that would draw thousands of bikes.
“A Harley-Davidson regional manager from Texas asked about sponsorships for the rally,” Thornton remembered, “I thought it was a great opportunity so I helped round up the casinos and helped with the permits.”
Burke’s company, Roadshows was selected to produce the event.
“The first year everybody had so much fun, we thought, why not do this every year?” Burke says. The hotel-casinos loved the event.
“In addition to the demographic being filled with hard working people, motorcycle riders are risk takers – and so are people who gamble,” Burke explains. “It was a perfect match.”
Street Vibrations has turned into one of the most lucrative events for area hotel-casinos.
Participants definitely like to gamble and their discretionary income easily handles major city level room rates.
Participants tell Roadshows they enjoy the variety of events Street Vibrations provides. Bikers love winding roads with spectacular scenery and northern Nevada delivers. One of the most spectacular meetings of mountains and water on earth, Lake Tahoe, is a favorite stop on poker runs and fun runs.
Research has shown only a small portion of the thousands of attendees are registered participants of Street Vibrations. Those individualists who say they don’t register explain they don’t like to follow schedules and would rather spend time with their friends, shop and enjoy the region.
Roadshows has duplicated the success of Street Vibrations, “Music, Metal and Motorcycles,” and now produces Street Vibrations Spring Rally; The Milwaukee Rally, in Milwaukee, WI, American Heat, Palm Springs Motorcycle Weekend in Palm Springs, CA and Good Vibrations in Salem & Keizer, OR.
For more information on Roadshows Inc. or any Roadshows event, call 775-329-7469, or visit www.roadshowsreno.com.