The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) has awarded $504,230 in grants to rural Nevada tourism organizations for marketing efforts, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison announced Wednesday. Among the awardees are five first-time applicants, as well as cultural and recreational events that drive overnight stays in Nevada communities.
“The NCOT grant program supports rural Nevada in its efforts to increase overnight visitation, a vital economic component in so many of our state’s communities,” Hutchison, NCOT chairman, said in a press release. “Programs that drive overnight visitation bring room tax revenue to these rural communities as well as to the state, and NCOT strongly supports rural Nevada in those efforts.”
NCOT awarded funding to 89 marketing projects designed to increase overnight stays, boost brand awareness and expand marketing programs for communities in rural Nevada. Grants are awarded twice a year, and this recent distribution is the second in fiscal 2017. A total of $1.4 million was awarded in fiscal 2017.
“Nevada’s rural tourism community continues to demonstrate ingenuity and sound strategy in its efforts to attract overnight visitors, and we’re pleased to see an increase in the applicant pool during this latest round of grants,” Claudia Vecchio, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (NDTCA) director, said. NDTCA oversees the Nevada Division of Tourism — popularly known as TravelNevada — whose advisory body is NCOT.
Among the funded projects:
· The National Historic California Emigrant Trails Interpretive Center Foundation was awarded $3,500 to help promote Trails Days. The event, set for June 3-4, 2017, will take place at the California Trail Interpretive Center in Elko. Trails Days raises awareness of the vast American migration to the west in the mid-19th century; event promotion will include display ads, videos and brochures.
· The Ely Shoshone Tribe, a first-time applicant to the grant program, received $2,500 to promote the Ely Shoshone Tribe Pow Wow, a cultural event that is open to the public and set to run in July. Funds will be spent on creative design for the event’s promotional campaign, as well as posters, print advertising and social media.
· The Pahrump Valley Museum and Historical Society, another first-time applicant to the grant program, was awarded $2,500 to create a seven- to 10-minute video about the museum that will be shown on Public Broadcasting Service channels in Clark and Washoe counties as well as in southern California and in the Sacramento area.
· The White Pine Historic Railroad Foundation received $20,000 to promote the Nevada Northern Railway to a target market of railroad enthusiasts. The historical railway in Ely offers several experiential programs, including the opportunity to work on the railway for a week, that are of interest to this market. Grant funds will be used to promote those programs in such publications as Classic Trains magazine.
· The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority was awarded $6,000 for public relations efforts around the AMGEN professional cycling race; the agency will host the first two days of the 2017 women’s race. This high-profile event raises awareness of the Lake Tahoe area as a world-class destination for recreation and elite cycling. To amplify that message, grant funds will be directed toward digital advertising, social media and public relations.
· The Tahoe Rim Trail Association was awarded $7,500 to construct the group’s new website. The Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile rail around Lake Tahoe, is one of the premiere outdoor destinations in the region and a key contributor to Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy — a $14.9 billion business, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. A modern, updated website will help ensure the trail’s continued success.
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 unless a waiver is approved. NCOT distributes the grants in the form of reimbursements to the recipients after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.
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.
For a complete listing of grant recipients by territory, click here.