Auctioneer of collector cars wheels to Reno, says it won’t backfire on Las Vegas event

Classic cars are displayed in the parking lot of the Mandalay Bay after a classic car parade on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. The annual parade serves as a kick-off to the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auto auction at the Mandalay Bay.

2011 Barrett-Jackson Road Rally

The Barrett-Jackson Road Rally on Sept. 21, 2011. Launch slideshow »

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A Bugatti Veyron sports car leads a classic car parade on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. The annual parade served as a kick-off to the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auto auction at the Mandalay Bay.

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Representatives of Barrett-Jackson, a large collector car auctioning operation based in Scottsdale, Ariz., say the company’s expansion to Northern Nevada’s Hot August Nights classic car event won’t hurt attendance at its Las Vegas show.

The company has scheduled its sixth car auction event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center from Sept. 26-28, seven weeks after its inaugural run at Hot August Nights, one of Reno’s signature summer special events.

Earlier this year, Barrett-Jackson requested and was approved for marketing assistance from the Nevada Tourism Commission. In March, the commission voted to approve $9,500 to market the event through the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

Barrett-Jackson will be at Hot August Nights from Aug. 8-10 and will take over what had been an auction component operated by a small local company. Barrett-Jackson’s presence has attracted more sponsors for the Reno event.

Last year, an estimated 60,000 people attended the Las Vegas Barrett-Jackson show, at which 525 vehicles were sold for a total of $23 million over three days. The first year Barrett-Jackson appeared in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimated a nongaming economic impact of $92 million as a result of the show. MGM Resorts International has told the event’s organizers that table-game play triples at Mandalay Bay in the week that Barrett-Jackson is there.

Jaime Witczak, senior marketing manager for Barrett-Jackson, said the company expects to attract a different type of audience to the Reno event, which is focused on hot rods and muscle cars while the Las Vegas show features more exotic vehicles. The Scottsdale show has a mix of all cars.

In addition, Witczak said the Reno event would draw audiences from Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

She said she expects the Reno show to expand the Barrett-Jackson brand to a new audience the same way the Las Vegas show expanded the appeal of the Scottsdale show, which recently completed its 42nd event there. The January Scottsdale show lasted eight days and had 1,300 cars auctioned.

Barrett-Jackson has a similar show in Palm Beach, Fla., in late March or early April.

In addition to car auctions, the Las Vegas show will have about 100 vendors in a trade-show setting, and Ford and General Motors offer ride-and-drive experiences at the show.

Details on vehicles to be shown will be released this month, Witczak said.

“It’s a true lifestyle event,” she said. “We have established our brand so well in Las Vegas that the Reno event isn’t going to diminish it. If anything, it’s going to help it.”

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