Hot August Nights 2014

Hot August Nights 2014

I have a confession to make. I’ve never been to Hot August Nights before. I know…I’m ashamed. Here I’ve been a car guy my entire life, I live just 4 hours from Reno, and I’ve never gone. My excuse was always that I don’t like big crowds, and I’ve seen the pictures of the throngs of people and cars. However, now I have a website to think about, can’t be selfish anymore. But I tried to be smart about it. Hot August Nights is a weeklong celebration, running from Sunday, July 27 through Sunday, August 3. So, to avoid the crowds, we went on Tuesday and came home on Friday. Technically, it actually started on Friday and Saturday, July 25 & 26 in South Shore Lake Tahoe before kicking off in Reno/Sparks on Sunday the 27th. For my purposes, which, as always, involves taking eye-popping pictures of gorgeous muscle cars, it was actually much better, because the thinner crowds made it easier to get my car pictures. What you see here on this page are the event pix. But, I took tons of great photos of cars that will start appearing on my site, under their make, model and year. So, stay tuned.

What many don’t realize is that Hot August Nights isn’t one event. It’s a cooperative effort between numerous cities, hotels and casinos, and other venues to create multiple car shows and events all over the Reno area. There are events in nearby Sparks, including a burn-out contest and drag races at the Nugget Hotel & Casino, a swap meet at the Washoe County Fairgrounds, a 3-day Barrett-Jackson classic car auction at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center, big outdoor ‘show & cruise’ events in the enormous parking lots of the Grand Sierra, Bonanza, Atlantis and the Peppermill. But the epicenter as always was on Virginia Street, in Downtown Reno, and Victorian Square in Downtown Sparks. This official map gives the layout of all the important locations and events, with the exception of the Barrett-Jackson auction, which took place at the Convention Center on S. Virginia St. As spread out as this looks on the map, you can reach any of them in about a 10-minute drive. Reno isn’t all that big (it’s “The Biggest LIttle City in the World”, right?). So, if you plan to go to a future Hot August Nights, give yourself enough time to get around and see everything.

The heart and soul of Hot August Nights is Downtown Reno. You know, the place with the cool “Reno – the Biggest Little City in the World” sign. Even midweek, Virginia Street was lined with cool cars, with lots of admiring fans checking them out from top to bottom. Downtown is closed each year to normal traffic, so it’s just cool classics, customs, muscle cars, and specialty vehicles of every type. There wasn’t any sign of a cruise going on, instead the cars were parked along both sides of the street. The City of Reno has done great things to improve the Downtown area, including dolling up the river that runs through town. It’s all very nice and the perfect venue for this momentous event each year. Again, what you see here are the event pictures I took. However, I got tons of detailed shots of specific American Muscle Cars, and you’ll start seeing them in other parts of this site, under their Make, Model and Year.

Not too far from the Peppermill, the Grand Sierra Hotel & Casino also hosted an event, that was huge in size. There were hundreds of cars arranged in neat rows, and there was also lots of cruising going on between the rows. It was sort of overcast the day I was there, so the pictures look a little drab, but it made it much more comfortable than walking around in the hot sun. The cars were fantastic, the people were nice, and the mood was wonderful. What a show.

My wife and I stayed at the Peppermill this year, and were very pleased with the accommodations. For around $180/night during one of the busiest weeks of the year for them, we got what is perhaps the nicest hotel room we’ve ever stayed in. We’re not rich, but we like nice rooms, and we’ve had some doozies. But the rooms in the Tuscan Tower at the Peppermill are second to none. Well appointed and comfortable, and lavishly decorated in Mediterranean motifs, it had just about everything, including a huge double Jacuzzi tub. We had a view of the gorgeous pool area, and the hotel itself was exquisite. And of course we ate very well. Oceano is a seafood and sushi restaurant in the hotel where we ate the first night. The food was incredible. The next night we ate at the Bimini Steak house, which was also amazing. The casino was nice, and after all the smoke cleared, my wife and I walked away with about $68 more than we started with. Not bad, all things considered. They had more Penny Slots than anywhere I’ve ever been. It looked like hundreds of them, occupying a huge portion of the casino floor, with people happily filling them with pennies. If you win, what do you get, like 75 cents? But the real action was outside. They had a large parking area dedicated to a show and cruise. Gorgeous classics, customs, lowriders and more were lined up in rows while others cruised their cars up and down the lanes. It was judged and awards were given. A nice, low-key event, it wasn’t mauled with people the days I was there.

They started Hot August Nights back in 1986, I live a few hours away, and it took me until now to get up here. I won’t let that happen again. Hot August Nights has just become a regular part of my yearly routine. I plan to come again, often, and this time for longer. There was lots of stuff I wanted to see and do that I just couldn’t get around to. This should be a like a pilgrimage for carguys. You need to do this at least one time in your life. Come to Reno, come to Hot August Nights. But don’t cut yourself short. Plan on staying a week or so. It will take that much time to get around and see it all.