Rural Nevada awarded $414,854 in state grants for tourism marketing
CARSON CITY, Nev. — A project to support air lift to Elko and another to create webisodes about Ely’s historical railway are among the 70 proposals approved for funding from the state’s Rural Grants Program, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced today. The Nevada Commission on Tourism has authorized $414,854 in grants for programs and activities designed to deliver more tourists to rural Nevada.
“I am delighted to announce these investments into our rural tourism communities,” Krolicki, NCOT chairman, said. “Competition for these grants is intense because the opportunities to leverage this funding into new revenue opportunities and new tourism-related assets are substantial. Working with rural Nevada to increase visitation to some of Nevada’s hidden treasures is one of the commission’s main objectives and a real passion of mine.”
The Rural Grants Program funds are disbursed twice a year. This recent distribution is the second in fiscal year 2015; a total of $1.4 million was awarded in fiscal year 2015.
Among the funded projects:
- A $10,000 grant was awarded to the Elko Regional Airport to advertise SkyWest air service to Elko from Salt Lake City in the Utah market. SkyWest is one of two airlines flying into Elko, home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering as well as several mining operations. Through this project, grant applicants hope to increase area visitation by 5,000 people.
- A $10,000 award was given 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. The project, Railroad Fun Facts and Trivia, is designed to draw up to 36,000 visitors to the Ely area.
- An $8,000 grant was approved for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to promote the Amgen professional women’s cycling race in May 2015. About 84 athletes are expected to compete in two races that will raise awareness of the destination through coverage on AEG Sports, the race producer. Grant applicants estimate the value of the media coverage of this event to be in excess of $200,000.
- An $8,000 award was granted to the Dam Short Film Society in Boulder City to promote the Dam Short Film Festival, which takes place in February 2015. Promotional materials, including video for social media and B-roll footage for broadcast news, would be funded in part from the grant. Festival organizers estimate that the event’s total promotional effort will reach more than 1 million people.
- A $6,500 grant was approved to Indian Territory, a nonprofit organization promoting tribal tourism, to hire a photographer to complete a comprehensive photo library of the state’s American Indian tourism destinations. The photos will be used by Indian Territory as well as individual tribes to create marketing materials for their destinations.
- A 3,800 award was granted to Nevada Silver Trails, a nonprofit group promoting tourism to the state’s central and southern rural areas, to create a brochure about attractions off the U.S. 95 corridor between Reno and Las Vegas. The brochure would augment three destination signs already in the Tonopah area; the goal is to encourage longer stays in central Nevada by visitors driving between Reno and Las Vegas.
“We are pleased that destinations throughout the state are embarking on programs that will build the state’s tourism infrastructure and drive domestic and international visitation today and into the future,” Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio said. “Most importantly, these programs extend the state brand through enhanced use of technology and marketing programming.”
Grants are given to nonprofit entities for tourism marketing projects that will result in overnight stays, ultimately increasing room tax revenue for the state. Grant recipients must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours. NCOT distributes the grants in the form of reimbursement to the recipients after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.
NCOT advises the Nevada Division of Tourism, which receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operating budget. A portion of those funds are expended on the Rural Grants Program, which helps nonprofit groups and government agencies in rural Nevada enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays. Funding for the Rural Grants Program does not come from the state’s general fund.
The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is a 15-member commission that advises the Nevada Division of Tourism, which is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. For more, visit www.travelnevada.biz.