Carson Valley Visitors Authority promoting valley Legends |

Carson Valley Visitors Authority promoting valley Legends

by Kurt Hildebrand
The staff at the JT Basque Bar & Dining Room will be featured in the Legends of the Valley public relations campaign
Jeff Dow/ |

GARDNERVILLE — A new public relations campaign featuring Carson Valley is working to attract a younger audience while telling a compelling story.

The Carson Valley Visitors Authority received three grants amounting to $25,000 to develop the Legends of the Valley public relations campaign.

The grants were approved Wednesday by the Nevada Commission on Tourism, the advisory group for TravelNevada.

The campaign features advertising and billboards featuring Carson Valley residents including photographer J.T. Humphrey and J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room owners J.B. and Marie Lekumberry, and staff.

Also featured is Carson Valley mountain biker Kate Blake. Carson Valley Visitors Authority Executive Director Jan Vandermade said Genoa Bar bartender Dana Gaworski and 19-year-old SoaringNV pilot Cole Pinther are also among the first five on the list.

“We worked with an advertising agency to revise our brand study campaign to do something that would connect with consumers on a couple of different levels,” said Vandermade. “The Legends of the Valley does an artful job of depicting people who are representative of what we all value about the valley.”

Vandermade said the campaign takes a younger spin on the typical campaign.

“There are a lot of places that just name all the things we offer, like skiing and golfing,” he said. “That’s just a laundry list. We wanted to create more of a connection with people about what is so unique and special about the valley.”

Vandermade credited S&J Marketing’s Incline Village team of Creative Director Michael Leonardini and Account Executive Cathy Lewis for their work developing the campaign.

The total budget for the Legends of the Valley campaign is $121,500, according to the state.

The state awarded $10,000 for the authority to hire a public relations firm to implement the Legends of the Valley public relations campaign. It received another $10,000 for its out-of-market, multi-media campaign, and $5,000 for a professional photographer.

“The grants are directly connected with us taking that campaign to the next level,” Vandermade said.

Unrelated to the Legends campaign, the Town of Genoa received a $5,000 grant to produce the Historic Genoa Brochure. The total budget is $13,500 to produce 30,000 brochures to be distributed to museums, government offices, kiosks and hotels, according to the grant submission.

“Genoa is well-established as one of the top tourist destinations in the area,” grant judges said. “This brochure extends their reach and enriches the visitors experience and desire to return.”

Grants are given to nonprofit entities for tourism marketing projects that will result in overnight stays, ultimately increasing room tax revenue for the state, officials said. Grant recipients must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours unless a waiver is approved. The Commission on Tourism reimburses recipients after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.

“Rural Nevada continues to use creativity to bring in visitors,” Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison said. “And that creativity serves an important industry. Tourism in rural Nevada is a $2.3 billion industry that supports 27,870 jobs. We are proud to assist the tourism professionals in rural Nevada through this grant program.”

Rural Grants Program funding comes from a portion of the 3⁄8 of 1 percent of state room tax revenue that funds TravelNevada.