On Thursday, Emerald Expositions announced it is canceling the 2019 Interbike trade show scheduled to be held next September in Reno and putting the current state of RenoCross in jeopardy.
“It became pretty clear (after surveying the industry this fall) that the market has changed quite a bit. We need to look at how we can serve the market in a pretty different way. It will have to be pretty cost-efficient, with inexpensive travel.” Emerald Executive Vice President Darrell Denny told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
The annual cycling trade show was first held in 1982 and moved north from Las Vegas to Reno for the 2018 event. Attendance in Las Vegas was declining prior to the move, and the first Reno edition was a more modest version of what was once a massive gathering of the cycling industry.
Denny gave several reasons that influenced the decision, including declining attendance, consolidation in retail and supply, the rise in popularity of other events such as Sea Otter and Tariffs on Chinese products.
Denny suggested the event could return in 2020 in an even more slimmed-down format. Emerald and Interbike have four years left on a five-year contract with the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, so there are additional financial ramifications of the cancellation if the event does not return.
Future of RenoCross?
From a cyclocross perspective, the effect on RenoCross is to be determined at this point.
The Reno Cyclocross organization that hosted the 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals bought the race from Brook Watts in early 2018 and held its first edition at Rancho San Rafael Park in September of this year.
The UCI C1 race has benefitted from its relationship with the Interbike trade show, so its future is uncertain as well.
Cyclocross Magzine connected with RenoCross’ promoter Coby Rowe, who said he did not have advance warning of the news and found out late on Thursday. Rowe admitted that the change would impact RenoCross, but did not mean his event would follow Interbike’s lead.
“You know, right now, I’m going to say that the intent is to have an event in Reno next year,” Rowe told Cyclocross Magazine.
Stay tuned for our full interview with Rowe.