Accolades are piling up for Carson City, and just in time for the unveiling of signs welcoming those on their way here.
SmartMoney.com recently listed Carson City as one of Nevada's "lesser-known gems" for retirees, citing it as having all the attractions of Boulder, Colo. - skiing and hiking without sacrificing big-city attractions - but at a lower cost.
This comes on the heels of Away.com ranking the city No. 3 on its list of 2012's "Best Family Vacations," and Where to Retire magazine's listing of it as one of "8 Tempting Low-Tax Towns."
And this without any major push for attention from the city or its boosters.
Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the three new signs and the three positive articles have come as a second wind for marketing efforts.
"It's been very energizing to have all those things kind of happen in such close proximity to each other," she said.
She said the family vacation designation was especially bolstering because the travel writer was unsolicited but still pegged the area for some of the things the CVB pushes about the area.
The signs also punctuated a comment from Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce:
"We're not a dying city. We are a city on the move.
"I've been trying to figure (the reason for all the good national press) out myself," Hannaman said shortly after the sign was unveiled. "I don't know why we are on everyone's radar, and it's mostly been good radar."
The signs were unveiled Tuesday morning, with one at Highway 50 East and one at the north and south ends of U.S. Highway 395. The $400,000 project, for which ground was broken last fall, was conceived in 2005 after a branding study was conducted by the city's former Office of Economic Development.
It was paid for with a 50/50 matching grant from the Nevada Department of Transportation's Landscape and Aesthetics Community Matching Funds Programs. The city paid for its half with gasoline taxes raised by the Regional Transportation Commission.
Hannaman stood on a hill Tuesday morning just east of Highway 395 on the south side of town, overlooking the new 14-foot-high "Welcome to Carson City" sign, and waved toward some of the stores.
She boasted of Costco drawing dollars and customers from California and the Olive Garden restaurant that opened in town last year. She also noted that Einstein Bros Bagels is planning to move here.
"Why would these national companies come here if we weren't a viable market?" she pointed out.