Nevada wants you to visit the unique rural towns and cities throughout the state. They’re hoping that a growing tourism industry will generate millions of dollars in economic activity as many of these communities continue to lose population and local businesses.
To help make rural Nevada more attractive to tourists, the state’s Commission on Tourism will spend $414,854 to promote travel to the unique places in our state. One of those grants is to support an air lift of tourists to Elko and another is to create webisodes about Ely’s historical railway.
The Rural Grants Program funds are disbursed twice a year. These grants are the second in fiscal year 2015; a total of $1.4 million was disbursed during the fiscal year.
Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, described the grants as a “call to action to bring tourists to rural Nevada.” She said the state will give these cities and tourist attractions “to do just that.”
The commission awarded $8,000 to the Dam Short Film Society in Boulder City to promote the Dam Short Film Festival. In their grant application, festival organizers estimated that the event’s total promotional effort will reach more than one million people.
Vecchio told KNPR’s State of Nevada when deciding on whether to approve a grant the commission looks at what “the return on investment will be and how that will drive tourism and overnight stays in these parts of the state.”
The commission awarded $10,000 to the Elko Regional Airport to advertise Sky West air service to Elko from Salt Lake City to help the airport reach its goal of an additional 5,000 visitors.
The commission also awarded $10,000 to the White Pine Historic Railroad Foundation in Ely to create 20 “webisodes” about the Nevada Northern Railway that will be posted to the railway’s YouTube channel in an effort to draw up to 36,000 visitors a year to the Ely area in Eastern Nevada.
In addition, the commission gave $8,000 to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to promote the Amgen professional women’s cycling race in May 2015. Grant applicants estimate the value of the media coverage of the event to be in excess of $200,000.
“Those who take the time and those who (are) adventurous and venture out beyond the bright lights will find a rich, extraordinary experience,” Vecchio said. “It takes a little effort … but it is well worth it.”
Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs
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