NCOT awards rural tourism grants
The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) approved $660,600 in grants for rural tourism organizations to promote their destinations, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison announced Monday. The grants will be distributed by the Nevada Division of Tourism (TravelNevada) through its longstanding Rural Marketing Grants program.
Tourism in rural Nevada is a $2.3 billion industry supporting 27,870 jobs. On Monday, 104 grants were awarded to nonprofit groups for tourism marketing projects that will result in overnight stays, ultimately increasing room tax revenue for the state. The Nevada Division of Tourism distributes grants twice a year, and this recent distribution will be the second in fiscal year 2018. A total of $1.65 million will be awarded in fiscal year 2018.
Among the funded projects in Northern Nevada:
- The Nevada Division of Tourism awarded $15,000 to the Carson City Visitors Bureau to promote Nevada’s Single-track Mountain Bike Adventure. Funds will pay for video production, photography and website design to promote bike trails in communities along U.S. 50 and U.S. 93. While those communities — which include Carson City, Austin, Ely and Caliente — already have established trails, the Single-track Mountain Bike Adventure will encourage visitors to travel from town to town to experience cycling in those destinations.
- The Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority received $4,000 to market the Top Gun Dragstrip south of Fallon off U.S. 95. This car racing facility is one of Fallon’s most important attractions, with a race schedule running from spring to fall. Fallon plans to use the grant funds to market the Top Gun Dragstrip online; in broadcast, print and outdoor outlets; as well as through social media.
- The Nevada Division of Tourism granted $17,500 to the Lander County Convention & Tourism Authority to study the feasibility of building a year-round facility to house the World Human Powered Speed Challenge. This unusual annual race, in which recumbent bicycles enclosed in aerodynamic shells attempt to set speed records, happens only in Battle Mountain, on a stretch of Nevada state Route 305 that perfectly matches the conditions necessary for this activity. The feasibility study would explore the idea of creating a training center for the speed challenge, as well as identify similar events that could create a year-round usage for the facility.
- A $7,000 grant was awarded to Nevada’s Indian Territory, an organization that promotes tribal tourism within the state, to market the Nevada Tribal Tourism Training in 2018. Indian Territory conducts this annual training to assist tribes in their efforts to develop their tourism industries.
- The Nevada Division of Tourism awarded $15,000 to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (LTVA) to develop a marketing plan to attract meetings and conventions to the Stateline-South Tahoe area. Lodgings properties in that area have requested the LTVA’s support in garnering the convention business. The plan may include such activities as digital display advertising, e-blasts and e-newsletters and website page redesign.
Funding for the Rural Marketing Grants program does not come from the state’s general fund. The Nevada Division of Tourism 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 Marketing Grants Program. Grant recipients must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours unless a waiver is approved. The Nevada Division of Tourism distributes the grants in the form of reimbursements to the recipients after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.
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