Travel Nevada awards $500,000 to rural communities to boost tourism

CARSON CITY, Nevada — The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) on Tuesday approved $500,000 in grants to rural communities to market themselves as tourism destinations. Travel Nevada will distribute 75 grants to support various marketing projects, including promotion of a new special event, the Eureka Gold Rush Games.

“As more and more people become vaccinated and begin to think about traveling again, it’s important for our rural communities to get the word out about what they offer,” Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, NCOT chairwoman, said. “We are excited to be able to support rural Nevada communities in their efforts with these marketing grants.”

Grants were awarded to nonprofit groups for tourism marketing projects that will result in overnight stays, ultimately increasing room tax revenue for the state. Travel Nevada is resuming its Rural Marketing Grants program after a pause in 2020 due to lack of funding resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the funded projects:

  • The Western Spirit Foundation was awarded $10,000 to promote a new special event, the Eureka Gold Rush Games, set for June 26-27. The family event will feature 1800s-style mining competitions such as hand mucking, spike driving and jackleg drilling.
  • Friends of Black Rock High Rock received a $12,000 grant to promote a short film about the Black Rock National Conservation Area on social media. The film, already produced, educates potential visitors about the beauty of and recreational opportunities in the Black Rock Desert, as well as the need to use this resource wisely.
  • The Beatty Chamber of Commerce was granted $7,315 for radio advertising. Beatty will be presented as a great place for a weekend getaway on three radio stations with listeners within a day’s drive of the small community.
  • The city of Mesquite received an $8,000 grant to promote itself on such highly visited travel websites as Trip Advisor and Yelp, as well as on billboards.
  • The Comstock Foundation for History & Culture was awarded $12,000 to produce promotional videos and air them on TV and radio in northern Nevada and northeastern California.

Funding for the Rural Marketing Grants program does not come from the state’s general fund. Travel Nevada receives three-eighths of 1% of room tax revenue as its operations budget. A portion of those funds is used to offer the Rural Marketing Grants Program. Grant recipients must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours unless a waiver is approved. The grants are distributed in the form of reimbursements to the recipients after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.

The Nevada Division of Tourism is a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. More commonly known as Travel Nevada, the Nevada Division of Tourism is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Operating within a performance-based budget structure, Travel Nevada is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit