South Lake Tahoe to host Hot August Nights |

South Lake Tahoe to host Hot August Nights

Tim Parsons
Tribune file photoClassic cars lined the streets around Minden Park for the Hot August Nights Poker Run in August 2009.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Car enthusiasts waiting to participate in Hot August Nights received a green light Friday from South Shore.

The Reno event which annually draws 800,000 people is expanding to include three days in Stateline and South Lake Tahoe, July 30-Aug. 1. All five South Shore casinos will hold events, along with Heavenly Mountain Resort.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this superb and fantastic new Hot August Nights South Lake Tahoe Experience,” said director and C.E.O. of Hot August Nights. “This new event expands Hot August Nights days of operation and provides an extremely different and unique event for visitors and registered car owners.”

There had been a two-year waiting list for event participants, according to Tom Argo, a founder of local car club Hot Tahoe Cruising.

“We welcome this as another opportunity to get exposure for our shows,” said Argo, who’s club annually has five or six events, one of which will be at Heavenly Village and coincide with Hot August Nights South Lake Tahoe. “It will be good for everybody in Tahoe.”

The executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority agreed.

“It’s great,” Carol Chaplin said. “It’s been a great event for Reno. For those on the waiting list, this gives them an opportunity. From the LTVA’s perspective, the direction we’ve gotten from our various constituents is ‘We want more events,’ and this gives us that, so we are very excited.”

In addition to car auctions, swaps and exhibits, the classic cars each night will parade up and down Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Two or three stages in the casino corridor will have live entertainment.

“South Lake Tahoe is a fantastic destination and it offers a wonderful experience for a great family vacation plus the added fun and excitement of Hot August Nights,” Walter said in a press release. “Let’s crank it up and get this party started and make sure to reserve hotel rooms now.”

Chaplin anticipates good business for South Shore hotels even after the event moves back to “Biggest Little City in the World.”

“While a lot of people like to stay in the thick of it in Reno, there are some people who would like to stay outside and then travel in,” she said. “Car people like to drive. It’s part of their culture, so asking them to stay in Tahoe and enjoy some of these activities and then travel down to Reno, it just enhances the whole experience. It becomes a regional event.”

Argo pointed out the Tahoe car club began 25 years ago, one year before Hot August Nights started. He said there are advantages to having car shows in Tahoe.

“One thing we could guarantee is it wouldn’t be hot,” he said. “And it can get very windy in Reno. People lose quality products from wind and the heat.”

The $50 car registration is open to all 1972 and older American and European cars and trucks. Each registrant will receive a commemorative shirt and hat, a free poker walk hand, dash plaque and an assortment of other items. Car check-in will begin on Thursday, July 29. A registration entry form is on the home page of the Hot August Nights Web site,

Registration deadline is May 15.

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