The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) has awarded $895,770 in grants to entities promoting rural Nevada tourism, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison announced today. Projects range from a campaign aimed at highlighting the Great Basin National Heritage Area to the promotion of the new Nevada Backcountry Discovery Route, a south-to-north route on backcountry roads that will pass through rural towns.
“The Rural Grants Program is one of the most important partnerships between NCOT and Nevada’s rural tourism industry,” Hutchison, NCOT chairman, said. “Rural tourism is a $2.38 billion industry supporting more than 27,000 jobs, and we are pleased to support the industry with this grants program.”
The longstanding Rural Grants Program is directed by NCOT, the advisory agency for the Nevada Division of Tourism, also known as TravelNevada. TravelNevada is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (NDTCA).
“Visitors to rural Nevada experience amazing recreational opportunities, such as off-roading in the desert and exploring its many state parks,” Claudia Vecchio, NDTCA director, said. “Those are gems many visitors would never know about were it not for the tremendous marketing efforts by those in Nevada’s rural tourism industry.”
Among the funded projects:
- A $10,000 award was given to the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership in eastern Nevada to build the Adventures of Horst and Graben campaign. Horst and Graben is a geological term for basin-and-range topography. The campaign will be centered on two mascots, Horst the bighorn sheep and Graben the domestic sheep, and will include games, activities and itineraries, among other things.
- A $13,625 grant was awarded to Backcountry Discovery Routes, whose mission is to establish off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel, to promote the Nevada Backcountry Discovery Route. Funding will help pay for a feature-length documentary, website development and maintenance, advertising and more.
- A $10,000 award was given to the Wells Chamber of Commerce and Trail of the 49ers Interpretive Center to support a comprehensive advertising campaign that includes print ads, posters and billboards. Funds also will be used to create videos of Wells-area ranches and outdoor attractions, including Angel Lake and regional off-road trails.
- A $4,800 grant was awarded to Indian Territory, an organization promoting tribal tourism throughout Nevada, to refresh the website and related social media accounts for the Stewart Indian School in Carson City. StewartIndianSchool.com is a primary resource for visitors seeking information about Stewart Indian School, an Indian boarding school in operation from 1890 to 1980, and the self-guided cell-phone walking tour available on site.
- A $12,000 award was given to Las Vegas Territory, an organization supporting tourism in southern Nevada outside of Las Vegas, to plan and develop video to bolster the Las Vegas Territory website, lvterritory.com. This is a three-phase project designed to increase website click-through rates and boost search engine optimization, among other things.
- A $9,400 grant was awarded to the Lincoln Communities Action Team in Lincoln County — an area that has five state parks as well as other public recreation space — to promote the region as an outdoor adventure center. Funds will help pay for print, social media and online ads.
- A $10,000 award was given to the Virginia City Tourism Commission to assist with the costs of a national public relations and social media campaign that will include bringing media and social media influencers to Virginia City. Funds also would be used to subscribe to a media database and news monitoring service, critical tools for tracking media coverage.
For a complete list of grant recipients by tourism promotion territory, click here.
The grants program is designed to help fund marketing projects that will increase overnight visitation in rural Nevada. Grant recipients must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours unless a waiver is approved. TravelNevada reimburses the applicants after the projects are completed and labor and funding details have been provided. Grants are awarded twice per fiscal year; this recent distribution is the first for fiscal year 2017.
Funding for the Rural Grants Program does not come from the state’s general fund. TravelNevada receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operations budget. A portion of those funds is used to offer the Rural Grants Program, which helps nonprofit groups and government agencies increase overnight stays in rural Nevada.
The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is the governor-appointed 15-member commission that advises the Nevada Division of Tourism, also known as TravelNevada, on its organizational and marketing programs. TravelNevada is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. For more, visit TravelNevada.biz.