Zombies crawled the streets of Reno last month. The event succeeded this year, bringing in several hundreds of zombies across the downtown streets and bars. As the city continues to support such events as the infamous crawls, many restaurants, bars and shops have seen an economic boost. Downtown bars remain the busiest by far during the crazy Saturday night pub-crawl and their numbers skyrocketed.
“The Zombie Crawl is probably one of the busiest nights for all the bars along with the Santa Crawl,” said Jesse Reeves, bar manager at Lincoln Lounge Bar. ”It is definitely packed all night long.”
The event which is put on without a personal profit, is organized by several team members that began with the idea for a small and friendly pub crawl. Years later the Zombie Crawl turned into a national event raking in thousands of dollars for charity. According to the Reno Gazette Journal blog Reno Rebirth, the organization is a 501©3 charity were all the money goes towards the benefits of others giving about $29,000 to the school district after the 2011 Santa Crawl.
The event calls for partaking bars to supply official commemorative crawl cups which allow the participating zombies to buy drink specials set up for the evening.
“We pay to be featured on the list of bars for the event,” said Derek Markie, manager at Imperial Bar downtown. “Because it gets so busy we order additional liquor specifically for that night. We did a $3 beer and shot special for Jack Daniels and Coors Light. I believe we ordered two extra cases just to cover Zombie Crawl specials.”
Not only does the event raise money for charity but significantly helps local bars increase in sales. After purchasing the spot on the list of bars on the map, each bar is able to purchase the crawl cups to sell to customers and dressed up zombies.
“Pretty guaranteed that you will sell all of the cups,” Jesse said. “We also make money off of the cups because we get back more than we bought them for. Gives us reason to apart of the event!”
Zombie Crawl organizers expected the 2013 event to be the biggest one yet, and sounds like it could’ve been from participating zombies.
“It was packed everywhere,” said Terence Geig, a University of Nevada, Reno student. “The lines outside the bars were ridiculous, it took around an hour to get in anywhere, but it was fun!”
With shows like “The Walking Dead” on popular television, the Zombie Crawl theme for events has started to spread across the country in places like Richmond, Denver and New Jersey. In a couple years time there could possibly be a Zombie Crawl in every city across the United States. As long as bars see profit from these events and zombies continue to crawl these events will continue to grow, spreading the support for local school districts.