VANCOUVER — Las Vegas gets booked again and again but there’s so much more to Nevada than the Strip, and more agents and their clients are looking to see a different side of ‘The Silver State’.
Nevada tourism reps were in Vancouver recently to host an industry event for agents, trade media and partners. The “something different” factor was presented by delegates from the various Nevada territories, who came to promote their areas and attractions beyond the gaming floors of Reno and Las Vegas.
The Nevada Tourism Commission has five designated geographical areas and one Indian cultural territory which encompasses the whole state.
Nevada’s product ranges from travel options for adventure-driven travellers to multi-generation families. With the area rich in historical attractions and outdoor recreational pursuits, Reno and Las Vegas or even San Francisco serve as jumping off points for booking a fly-and-drive vacation.
Here’s a look at the highlights:
PONY EXPRESS TERRITORY
The legendary Pony Express, which for 19 months ran mail from California to the East Coast in 10 days, was put out of service in October 1861 by the advent of the telegraph. But, part of the Nevada trail that these hell-bent riders travelled is now along Highway 50 where old Pony Express stations remain. “It is a perfect road trip to see rural Nevada at its best,” says Dee Helming, the representative for Pony Express Territory. The Highway 50 route runs from Carson City to the Great Basin National Park and offers history on gold mining, ranching, and current attractions such as a motorsport venue, hot springs, and festivals. “There are six communities (Fernley, Dayton, Fallon, Austin, Eureka, and Ely), 11 mountain ranges and a national park,” said Helming, adding travel agents can land clients in Reno where they can pick up a rental vehicle. The route can be travelled in approximately three days, but will depend upon what attractions in the six communities the clients plan to stop and stay. “The whole area is steeped in history,” she said. For more information contact Pony Express Territory, PonyExpressNevada.com or call (888) 359-9449.
Tom Lester, representing the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority and Nevada’s Cowboy Country, says the area is a multi-faceted, fly and drive destination. The area includes Gerlach, gateway to the Burning Man Festival that draws in 70,000 people over 10 days. This year’s festival takes place Aug. 26-Sept. 3 in the Black Rock Desert. Elko County is one of the largest gold producers and free mining tours are available, is home to the California Interpretive Centre, and the Northeastern Nevada Museum. Elko and surrounding areas offers hotels to book for clients and can be used as a base for exploring the area. Cowboy Country is also rich in ghost towns to explore such as Tuscarora, Metropolis, Midas, Sulphur and more. For information on booking tours, hotels, or fly-and-drive itineraries, contact Lester at email@example.com or visit www.cowboycountry.org or travelnevada.com.
PAHRUMP AND SILVER TRAILS TERRITORY
Silver Trails Territory is the largest of Nevada’s five geographical territories and encompasses 24 towns. “We can help agents with (fly-and-drive) itinerary planning,” said Karen Spalding, representing the Silver Trails Territory. The area is full of towns with history, provides trails for hiking and mountain biking, and other recreational pursuits. Clients can fly into Las Vegas, spend time at the casinos, and then head out for a tour through the territory.
LAS VEGAS TERRITORY
Michael Printy, representing The D Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Territory, said the gambling capital is an ideal jumping off point for a vacation. “You can come to Las Vegas, watch the shows and then go outside and see what it has to offer,” he said. The territory offers a range of different experience from exploring the Red Rock Canyon, 20 minutes outside the city, to surrounding golf courses. “There’s something for everyone,” he said, whether it is river rafting on the Colorado, zip lining through Boulder City, visiting the Valley of Fire State Park or nearby Laughlin. In Las Vegas, the D is building a new property on Fremont Street which will open in 2020. For more information on the D properties or Las Vegas Territory, contact Printy at Michael.Printy@theD.com.
Blair Hirtle, account manager who deals with travel agents, was on hand representing the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hirtle said Monte Carlo Resort & Casino is undergoing a massive renovation and upgrade to become the Park MGM, Caesar properties have been upgraded and Planet Hollywood “from top to bottom” has been renovated. “There are also lots of super hotels that are smaller,” he said, such as the SLS Hotel Las Vegas and the new 200-room Cromwell, which has a party pool rooftop.
The Reno-Tahoe area had three delegates attend the Vancouver information session: Sarah Winters (leisure sales director) for the North Lake Tahoe Convention and Visitors Bureau; Andy Chapman, president and CEO of North Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village and Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and Art Jimenez, executive director of Tourism Sales for Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Bureau. Jimenez said Reno offers an alternative to clients who are looking for a smaller venue than the bustling Las Vegas. New properties in Reno include the new Renaissance on the river (no gaming and opened in 2017) and Whitney Peak (no gaming) boutique property which has access to climbing walls. Chapman says his area lends itself to a fly-and-drive vacation either from Reno or further out. “You can fly into San Francisco, rent a vehicle and tour the Napa Valley and then drive to Reno,” he said, adding the Reno and surrounding area offers not just casinos but historical sites such as Virginia City and museums but biking, golfing and hiking and outdoor activities. Winters, from the local tourism bureau, said the north side of the lake offers a more laid back experience and is home to 12 ski resorts, many of which are open during the summer and host visitors who come to enjoy the lake, hike, mountain bike, or partake of the spas in the area. There’s a range of hotels from the five-star Ritz-Carlton to character properties such as Basecamp Hotels. For more information contact Winters at Sarah@GoTahoeNorth.com, Chapman at Andy@GoTahoe.com and Jimenez at ajimenez@RenoTahoeUSA.com.