CARSON CITY, Nev. — “Your Nevada Experience Starts Here.”
That will soon be the tagline on the logo of the Carson City Culture & Tourism Authority thanks to its new executive director, David Peterson.
“I've always seen Carson City as a micro or mini hub,” said Peterson. “You can stay here and get to the lake or Genoa or Minden or Virginia City or Reno.”
Peterson thinks whether the destination is the Nevada State Museum or the V&T Railroad, or the Bucket of Blood in Virginia City or a ski resort at Lake Tahoe, visitors to Northern Nevada should be staying in the state capital.
The rebranding campaign is his first order of business since joining the CCCTA in January from the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, where he was interim director.
Peterson also wants to raise awareness about a few of Carson City's assets.
“It's not just hiking and biking. We have the Nevada State Museum, the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and soon the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum,” he said.
Peterson wants to highlight cultural and heritage travel, which has universal appeal, and help build travel packages around it.
He has ideas for other travel packages that combine hotel, restaurants, events or shopping.
“I'd love to see a ski package,” he said.
First, though, is the V&T Railroad, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
Peterson is beginning to work with Carson City hotels, restaurants and other businesses as well as the V&T to develop a $150 package to commemorate the 150th anniversary.
In the process, he hopes to better market the railroad and the railroad museum.
“There is a disconnect between the assets here,” Peterson said. “Right now, visitors going to the railroad museum think they've been to the V&T and if they've gone to the V&T they think they've seen the museum.”
Inside the CCCTA office, Peterson is looking at formalizing the support the city gives to events. Right now, the CCCTA works differently with each event, but Peterson is thinking of creating a tiered structure.
At the base, for example, might be social media support alone, up through several more levels that include printing, graphic design and, finally, financial support.
Longer term, the CCCTA is redesigning its website and creating a second site, visitcarsoncity.biz, for its partners such as hotels and events organizers.
The authority issued a request for proposal to do the work and bids are due March 13.
On the consumer site, visitcarsoncity.com, Peterson wants to let visitors create trip itineraries in advance and then access them via a cell phone or other mobile device once they arrive.
He also wants to better track visitors' activities and interests, via the web site, as well as collect more data on events to see what's working and what isn't.
The second web site will allow a hotel, for example, to upload information about the property and, especially, update it. The site would be tied to the web site visitors see and automatically updated. So, instead of the CCCTA pulling data from the properties, which is time-consuming, the businesses can push the data to the CCCTA.
“We need the information for the consumer to be as up to date as possible,” said Peterson. “It's hard to be a one-stop shop but we're going to try.”