Nevada Magazine at 75: Still a tool to promote tourism |

Nevada Magazine at 75: Still a tool to promote tourism

John Seelmeyer

In January 1936, the highway department in Nevada began publishing “Nevada Highways and Parks,” a magazine that filled much of the same role as the Web sites that today caution drivers about road closures and construction projects.

Three-quarters of a century later, the publication now known as “Nevada Magazine” leaves mundane matters such as road closures to other media while it focuses on the glories that await visitors to the Silver State.

Publisher Janet Geary says the magazine, an entirely self-supporting division of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, has a straightforward mission: To encourage travel within the state.

About 40 percent of the 15,000 subscribers who find Nevada Magazine in their mailboxes each month are residents of the state, and Geary says the publication seeks to increase their awareness of travel destinations, many of them in rural parts of Nevada.

Of the remaining 60 percent of the magazine’s subscribers, about half live in California. The rest live around the nation and around the world. Several thousand readers each month also purchase the magazine at supermarkets and news dealers.

Readers are drawn by features on offbeat slices of Nevada history, photos of the state’s natural and man-made splendors and articles ranging from outdoor adventures to features about out-of-the-way restaurants.

“I’m so proud of it,” says Geary. “People love the magazine and many have loved it for 30 or 40 years.”

The final 36 pages of each month’s edition a section devoted to a calendar of events around the state is published as a stand-alone section each month that is distributed for free to travelers at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Some 75,000 copies of the publication dubbed “Events & Shows” leaves the airport with travelers, and it has an exclusive distribution agreement to provide the free events publication within the airport.

That’s an important consideration as Nevada Magazine combines the revenues from advertising sales and subscriptions to cover its $1.2 million annual budget. (The publication also generates some revenue through sales of a popular calendar illustrated with historical photographs.)

Like other publications, the magazine has been forced to tighten its belt as advertising streams weakened during the recession.

Nevada Magazine’s staff of eight these days compares with 13 before the start of the economic downturn, and the staff is busy with its Web site,, and its social media presence as well as the traditional magazine.

“We have a huge following on our Web site,” says Geary. Social media, meanwhile, generated 10,000 more submissions than the previous year to Nevada Magazine’s annual photo contest.

No matter whether they’re developing articles for the printed magazine or a Web site, Geary says writers under the direction of Nevada Magazine Editor Matthew Brown seek to consistently surprise readers with something new about the state.

And even after 75 years of articles, photos and columns, the Nevada Magazine publisher says the publication isn’t in any danger of running out of subject matter.

“There are so many things the old and the new,” she says. “We could plan stories for eons and never run out of ideas.”