LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Commission on Tourism has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to the state’s rural areas to support tourism efforts, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, NCOT chairman, announced today. The longstanding Rural Grants Program ultimately generates room tax revenue for the state, as grant recipients must use the monies to maximize their marketing outreach, bringing more travelers to Nevada’s rural areas.

“Getting tourists into rural Nevada is a key function of the Nevada Commission on Tourism,” Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, NCOT chairman, said. “The Rural Grants Program goes a long way to accomplishing this.”

NCOT, which receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operating budget, uses a part of its funds to offer the Rural Grants Program, which helps nonprofit groups and government agencies in rural Nevada enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays. Funding for the Rural Grants Program does not come from the state’s general fund.

Grants are given to nonprofit entities, which in turn must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours. NCOT reimburses applicants after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented.

“We’re happy to help rural Nevada increase its tourism base through the Rural Grants Program,” Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio said. “These recent grant awards represent some of the most interesting and innovative tourism efforts in rural Nevada right now.”

Seventy-nine grants were awarded in this recent distribution of funds. This was the second distribution in fiscal year 2014; a total of $1.4 million was awarded in fiscal year 2014.

Among the funded projects:

A $20,000 grant was awarded to Cowboy Country Territory, a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in the northern end of the state, to create high-definition video and photography. Cowboy Country, which includes the city of Elko, holds Nevada’s ranching history as well as such natural resources as the Ruby Mountains. High-definition video and photography are vital to promoting this part of the state.

A $7,200 grant was given to Indian Territory, a nonprofit organization that promotes tribal tourism within Nevada, for tourism training. This training, which will include a familiarization tour of the state and materials to advertise the training, will help Nevada tribes and tribal members better share their cultures and showcase tribal lands.

An $8,000 grant was approved for the Laughlin Tourism Commission to promote its new Laughlin Concert Series through a six-month campaign that will include a social media component. The concert series will be set in the new 9,350-seat Laughlin Event Center, scheduled for completion in February 2014.

A $7,000 grant was awarded to the Lincoln Communities Action Team to advertise and market a three-day Nevada Sesquicentennial celebration in July in Panaca, which will coincide with the city’s Pioneer Day. A play covering Panaca’s history, an antique car show and a covered wagon reenactment are among the activities planned.

A $7,000 grant was given to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to help promote the North American Land Sailing Association’s World Championships at Smith Creek Dry Lake, about 28 miles southwest of Austin. Land sailing — typically involving three-wheeled vehicles powered by wind through the use of a sail — has enthusiasts around the nation and world; many are expected to visit the area for this international event.

A $7,500 grant was approved for the Minden Soaring Club to promote its 18 Meter National Soaring Contest in June. The Carson Valley is known to glider pilots around the nation and the world as a prime spot for glider plane soaring; the event seeks to reestablish Nevada as a world-class soaring destination. 

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Operating within a performance-based budget structure, NCOT is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit www.TravelNevada.biz.