Virginia City recruits tourism ambassadors from area hotels |

Virginia City recruits tourism ambassadors from area hotels

NNBW Staff

The Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority last week brought a busload of ambassadors from hotels in nearby cities for a five-hour tour of the mountain madam’s charms.

It invited people serving on the front lines of the tourist industry concierge, bell desk and front desk staff at large area hotels.

The reasoning: Tourists ask those people for recommendations on what to do, says Patrick Gilmore, who heads up convention sales and services for the authority.

A new survey conducted for the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority finds there’s plenty of opportunity for Virginia City to tap into the Reno tourism market.

Only 6 percent of visitors to Reno make the trip up the hill to Virginia City, according to the survey of more than 2,400 visitors during 2007 conducted by InfoSearch International of Reno.

Virginia City’s tourism agency also hopes to further promote the Silver Line Express packages, introduced two years ago. It has sold $100,000 worth to tourists, using two brochures and little advertising, says Gilmore. Next week, online sales begin at

The “A” ticket in the Silver Line Express program costs $11 and includes a ride on the V&T Railroad and the Virginia City Trolley Tour.

A “B” ticket priced at $22 adds Ponderosa Mine, Fourth Ward School and four museums.

The “C” ticket costs $40 and adds Gold Stamp Mill and Comstock Gold Mill. It takes two days to tour those 10 attractions, says Gilmore, and visitors now can stay overnight at the 68-room Ramada hotel.

To ensure that hotel staffers follow through, Gilmore says the tourism agency may create a rewards program as an incentive to send guests to Virginia City.