CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) awarded more than $500,000 in marketing grants to promote tourism in rural Nevada at today’s commission meeting, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced. In this grant cycle, NCOT funded a project to develop a mobile application for Virginia City as well as efforts to promote the new California Trail Interpretive Center near Elko and the Day Out With Thomas special event at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, among other requests.
“Getting tourists to visit the great attractions in rural Nevada is the underlying purpose of the Rural Marketing Grant Program,” Lt. Gov. Krolicki, NCOT chairman, said. “These grants help rural Nevada communities accomplish vital projects that otherwise might not have been possible.”
NCOT, which receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operating budget, uses a part of those funds to offer the Marketing Grants Program, designed to help nonprofit groups and government agencies in rural Nevada enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays. Typically, grants are awarded in the spring and fall. This recent grant distribution marks the second cycle of grants for fiscal year 2013. Seventy-three grants, amounting to a total $510,152, were awarded in this second cycle.
“We’re pleased with this group of grant awards,” Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio said. “We’re proud to help rural Nevada communities in their efforts to enhance and improve the tourist experience.”
Following is a sample of the grant awards:
$12,000 to the Virginia City Tourism Commission to develop a mobile application that will enable visitors to access information on their iPhones, Androids , tablets and mobile websites. It will include real-time information on lodging, events, attractions, shopping and dining.
$20,000 to the National Historic California Emigrant Trails Interpretive Center Foundation to continue contracts on three existing billboards and to establish two new billboards promoting the California Trail Interpretive Center. Opened in June and located off Interstate 80 near Elko, the California Trail Interpretive Center tells the story of pioneers traveling overland during the Gold Rush years of 1841 to 1869.
$9,500 to Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway Inc. to promote a Day Out With Thomas, a special event featuring children’s character Thomas the Tank Engine. The event enjoyed a successful debut last year an attendance of 10,241 people from around the country, including Hawaii.
$8,000 to the Fallon Convention & Tourism Authority to pay for production costs for an episode of “The Birdmen” television series, focusing on stories of hunting and wildlife biology in Fallon, home to the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.
$7,200 to Indian Territory — an organization that promotes Nevada Indian cultural and special events throughout the state — to provide training to Nevada tribes and tribal members on national tribal tourism initiatives and projects.
$10,000 to Nevada Silver Trails — a group that promotes travel to southern Nevada, excluding the Las Vegas area — to work with a public relations firm on a comprehensive social media strategy and to provide social media training to its members.
Grant applicants must be nonprofit entities and are required to provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours. NCOT reimburses applicants after projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented. For more information, visit Nevada Tourism.