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BURNING MAN 101

If you’re heading to the playa for Burning Man and need to know what to bring and where to get it we have you covered. Here is a list of tips and shops in the Reno-Sparks area where you will find the essentials to make your visit to Black Rock City smooth and memorable.

burningman

Weather

For those of you who don’t know desert weather, the days are hot and the nights are cold.

Daytime temperatures routinely exceed 100º F. Sunscreen, lip balm and skin lotion are your three best friends on the playa. Drinking up to one gallon of water per person per day is the rule of thumb. Remember to eat proper salty foods to prevent electrolyte imbalance.

Some signs that you may not be drinking enough water:4968126469_0bf7d522d4_z

  • You don’t carry a water bottle with you at all times.
  • You swill instead of drinking deeply.
  • You wait to drink until you’re thirsty – too late!
  • Your urine is anything but clear and abundant.
  • You become cranky.

Overnight lows in the 40’s can seem exceptionally cold after extensive daytime sun, so you’ll want to bring warm clothing and a good sleeping bag.

High recommendation: bring goggles. Dust storms can prowl the playa in packs or sweep in a broadened front across the plain at any moment.

Clothing

Outfits are crucial on the playa. Burners are encouraged to express themselves and wear what may not normally be accepted around town and at the office – so get creative.  By visiting these clothing stores and costume shops, you will find everything you’ll need from EL-wire kits to exotic fabrics to create the perfect ensemble:

The Melting Pot World Emporium3887929476_a54f84af65

PolyEsther’s Costume Boutique

Junkee Clothing Exchange

Chocolate Walrus

Prism Magic Clothing & Imports

Bikes

A bicycle (with a bike light) is vital for enjoying the vast and burgeoning metropolis. Remember, Black Rock City turns into a decent size “town” with over 50,000 people. Here are a few shops where you can pick up your playa transportation:

Black Rock Bicyclesbm

Bicycle Bananas

Reno Bike Project

Great Basin Bicycles

Food

It is crucial to bring plenty of food and water with you on your Burning Man journey so stop by these great retailers to stock up before you head out:

Save Mart Supermarket – 525 Keystone Ave.

Trader Joe’s – 5035 South McCarran Blvd.

Whole Foods Market – 6139 South Virginia St.

Simply Water- 1070 Gentry Way

Gear

The only thing sold on the playa is ice and coffee, so don’t forget any camping necessities such as tents, flashlights, batteries, shade, and water containers. Check out:

Cabelas

Scheels

Twin City Surplus

Sierra Trading Post

For more tips, check out the Survival Guide.

Check out our pictures from last year on Flickr.

GHOST TOWNS & RV TOURS AROUND RENO TAHOE

3546490090_d08face92c_zAny RV trip to the Reno Tahoe area is exciting, but you can take the adrenalin up another notch by touring the many ghost towns within a few hours’ drive. Thanks to gold and silver for which this mountainous region is famous, hundreds of boomtowns came and went. Here’s the rundown on the ways RVers can enjoy Reno Tahoe ghost towns on their next camping trip.

Ghost Towns to Visit Near Reno Tahoe2369624154_36a759410e_z

Within half a day’s drive of the Reno Tahoe area is a nice collection of ghost towns, restored mining towns and state parks that contain the remains of cities that flourished thanks to gold and silver fever. One tip: a few of these towns can be reached on developed roads, but if you plan to go off the beaten path to photograph and explore ruins, it’s a good idea to use your towed vehicle rather than your RV.

Before moving on to ghost town descriptions, it’s also good to know an exciting selection of RV campgrounds awaits the Reno Tahoe ghost town tourist. Check the listing on our website for helpful information on area RV parks.

Gold Canyon Ghost Towns

Less than thirty miles from Reno, RV travelers will find a wealth of ghost towns to explore in Gold Canyon. Given its name for the rich veins that crisscrossed it, this canyon is home to both developed and abandoned ghost towns. Here are some of the places you’ll want to visit:

2369629086_ab5a9b3325_zVirginia City, the queen of the Comstock Lode silver mining towns, flourished in the

19th century and now draws millions of visitors each year to its federally designated historic district. More tourist oriented than the other towns mentioned, you’ll find plenty to see and experience in the form of restored saloons, shops and wooden sidewalks. There are also plenty of places around Virginia City where gold panning can be done.

Silver City, south of Virginia City off NV-341 promises plenty of mining town ruins to discover. Plan to get out and explore the buildings and artifacts left to remind visitors of Nevada’s rich mining history.

Gold Hill, tucked between Virginia City and Silver City on NV-342, boasts an elegant hotel, restaurant and saloon in the midst of the mining camp ruins. An added attraction is Bowers Mansion County Park, where visitors can tour the 1864 mansion built by Eilley Orrum to celebrate the wealth of her miner husband, Sandy Bowers.

For a more extensive list of Ghost Towns and RV parks throughout the region, please look through the Ghost Trail Driving Guide below  and  visit www.elmonterv.com.

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals, which conveniently has a Reno RV rental location. For you college football tailgaters, be sure to check out the new RV Tailgating page for a list of games and tailgating information.

El Monte RV: http://www.elmonterv.com

Reno RV Rental Locations: http://www.elmonterv.com/rv-rentals-reno/rl-26.aspx

RV Tailgating: http://www.elmonterv.com/RV-tailgating-football/ca-207.aspx

ALL ABOARD THE 6TH ANNUAL VIRGINIA CITY/CARSON CITY RAILFEST

rail1rail2rail3Experience the history of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad at the 6th annual Virginia City/Carson City Railfest on Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14. Step into the shoes of our yesteryears and celebrate by riding the historic rails on a Stream Train from Carson City to Virginia City and back. Train rides are available all weekend and are a great experience for the whole family.

On Saturday, pose for a picture with legendary western characters at the Virginia City Living Legends Photo Op in the Delta Saloon parking lot. After you have your memorable picture taken, stop by the F street Train Depot to experience how the American Civil War helped shape the country we live in today at the Battle Born Civil War Reenactors Educational Booth. For adults 21 and over, escape the Comstock and relax on a romantic full moon evening train on the Moon Over the Comstock V & T Ride. This tranquil journey includes a light box dinner and a glass of wine in a souvenir Railfest wine glass.

Head over to the Nevada State Railroad Museum on Sunday to see and learn all about the trains that traveled along the V & T Railroad, as well as other locomotives and cars made famous in movies and on television.

For overnight accommodations in Virginia City and more information on this and other events happening in Virginia City, log on to www.VisitVirginiaCityNV.com or call the Virginia City Visitor Center at (775) 847-4FUN (4386) or (800) 718-SLVR (7587).

11 REASONS TO GO TO THE 2011 RENO-TAHOE OPEN

golfer

  1. golfRenowned PGA TOUR icons including Rocco Mediate, Jose Mario Olazabal, John Daly, Mike Weir, Steve Elkington, David Duval and dozens more.
  2. Balls fly farther in our mountain air – there should be some monster drives.
  3. “Experience Reno Tahoe Events” (on practice hole #1) is the place to be. With VIP giveaways, food, the Walktail contest and other activities from the area’s top special events you’ll never want to leave.
  4. Courtesy shuttle to “Experience Reno Tahoe USA Events” offered from 18th green.
  5. It’s the only PGA TOUR summer event on the West Coast.
  6. Fiesta Loco with Reno Tahoe USA. Going crazy normally isn’t proper etiquette on the golf course, but it is protocol if you’re in this specialty food and beverage tent.
  7. $3 million prize purse.
  8. Exclusive special offers on Reno Tahoe USA’s website including FREE Wine Walk tickets and a chance to win 2 VIP Pavilion tickets.
  9. Join the inaugural Walktail cocktail walk where local bars compete for the honor of being chosen as the signature cocktail at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
  10. Buy your ticket through the Nevada Humane Society and 75% goes towards helping man’s best friend.
  11. It is in Reno Tahoe USA… need we say more?

The Reno-Tahoe Open is August 1-7 at Montrêux Golf & Country Club.

To view pictures from last year click here.

For tickets visit www.RenoTahoeOpen.com or call 775-322-3900.

THE FORCE WILL BE STRONG AT THE 2011 RENO BALLOON RACES

darth_vader5Prepare yourself for something far from expected at this year’s Great Reno Balloon Race. While walking on Rancho San Rafael’s scenic fairgrounds between the nylon walls of traditional, vibrantly colored hot air balloons, take a moment to stand back and gaze at the sprouting horizon as you might spot a balloon that stands out amongst its cheery peers.

Fans will come face to face with their favorite Sith Lord. The highly anticipated 86-foot tall Darth Vader balloon will be traveling all the way from Belgium for the 30th Anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race. Pilots Benoit and Michel Lambert have traveled all over the world with the balloon, making appearances in countries such as France, Thailand and Canada.

As this is Darth Vader’s first journey to the Biggest Little City, we encourage you to welcome the Dark Side of the Force by sporting your best Star Wars gear to the Balloon Races.

Other unique shapes to be seen at this year’s race include: The Bonanza Casino sponsored soccer ball, The Wilbur May Foundation’s Hopper T. Frog, and Betty Jean, a new butterfly balloon. For more information on this year’s participating balloons and sponsorship options, visit www.renoballoon.com or call (775) 826-1181.

May the force be with you.

For more information go the Event Calendar at VisitRenoTahoe.com.

FIVE FUN WAYS TO DISCOVER RENO

For some, Reno, Nevada is known for the same vibrant nightlife and gambling outlets as Las Vegas – but on a smaller and more intimate scale. Obvious tourist attractions include shopping, restaurants, singers, comedians and magic shows. But beyond the slot machines and flashing lights, there is a plethora of family-fun activities available.

Go just a short distance out of town though and you will find a treasure trove of non-gambling alternatives that are great for all ages. Here are five family-friendly activities you may want to consider for your next vacation to Reno, Nevada.

Lake Activitieslake tahoe

Anglers prize the Reno area for some of the best fly-fishing territory around. You can visit one of the many tackle shops in the area for maps of private and public lakes and river access areas. If you are interested in having a true fisherman’s experience, consider taking a class or attending one of the fly tying clinics and tie your own. There is nothing like catching that two-pound trout on a bumblebee you created with your own two hands.

Only 40 miles from Reno is famous Lake Tahoe, which offers spectacular views, clear mountain air and ample fishing holes for privacy or group activities. Guides are available, or you can pack a picnic basket, quilt and fishing gear and head off on your own for an adventurous day on the water. If you have always wanted “to land that BIG one,” consider visiting Pyramid Lake. This lake proudly boasts they have the largest Cutthroat Trout.

Whether you choose Pyramid Lake, Truckee River, Lake Tahoe or one of the other streams, lakes and rivers near Reno, prepare yourself for a day filled with awesome scenery and relaxing outdoor fun.

Hiking and Trailsclimbing

Many people think you have to go to Lake Tahoe to enjoy hiking trails that offer hikers challenging terrain. Not true! There are numerous trails in Reno parks and just on the outskirts of the city.  Hikers and trail watchers can find easy, moderate and challenging trails to test their skills and that will suit a variety of levels of physical fitness. You will find short trails that start at about 600 feet and have a gentle slope and more challenging trails that test your endurance.

About eight miles out of town in the gorgeous Sierra Mountains that surround Reno, Nevada, you will find the Tahoe Rim Trail in Galena Regional Park. This trail offers a loop that is just over 9 miles of moderate to mostly steep climbing. Hikers can expect to see desert terrain covered with sage, pine, juniper bushes and the occasional waterfall. Bring lots of film or extra chips for the camera. The views are breathtaking. And remember to pack plenty of water and a few energy bars or a lunch.

Golfgolf

If golf is your game–Reno, Nevada is your destination. There are over 50 golf courses within 90 miles of Reno proper. The PGA stops in Reno for the Reno-Tahoe Open, so you know the greens are great. No matter what your level of expertise, you will be able to find a course to fit your skill. Private lessons are available at most of the courses through resident pros and through guest pass arrangements. Since the high altitude gives golfers a natural advantage, you can expect to hit the ball further with every stroke. Get ready to play the lowest score of your life. If you’re a family with younger kids that aren’t ready for the big green yet, check out the many mini-golf options in the area.

Explore the Pastmuseum

For a relaxing day with some educational benefits, consider visiting one of the numerous museums in Reno. You can find museums dedicated to a variety of topics. An automobile museum, a museum dedicated to Disney and many others call Reno home. The Wilbur D. May museum is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. The artifacts and collectibles gleaned from years of traveling the world offer an exciting, eclectic blend. The indoor waterfall you’ll find there is always a big hit with kids and adults alike. Remember to check days and hours the museum is opened before planning your day. Some museums have limited hours.

Read, Paint, Write

Many artists enjoy the inspiration they absorb from the desert climate and surrounding rivers and mountains. Writers claim to feel the spirit of the nomadic American Indians. Artist carrying pallet and canvas attempt to capture the delicate yellow flower of the desert cactus in the early morning. Students from the college can be seen relaxing near the river as they search for answers to questions posed by Aristotle.

Visiting Reno is an opportunity to enjoy nature with your family, while having fun and learning, too. Enjoy.

This post was written by freelance writer Martha Keagan who is a full time mother, writer and part time real estate agent. Keagan has assisted hundreds of college students find housing and apartments in Reno for years. Reno is a great city, if you are looking to visit or even relocate to Reno, find a short term apartment to stay in before you decide to purchase a house.

WHERE ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR 4TH OF JULY?

Sparks Fireworks tower crowdThis year Reno Tahoe USA is hosting some of the top Independence Day events and pyrotechnic displays in the nation. It’s a tough call deciding which of these parties to crash but we’ve tried to make it easy for you to see what each event has to offer.

LAKE TAHOE

July 1-4, the fifth annual Red, White and Tahoe Blue celebration in Incline Village offers the perfect getaway for families. They’ve got a patriotic chalk drawing contest, beer tastings, firecracker trail trek, and even a doggie dress up contest for your pup. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a jam-packed weekend with the fam, look no further – after you finish reading this post, of course.

cushingcrossing_tom-oneillpc

We can’t forget about the 70 feet of snowfall last winter quite yet. Both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA are reopening for the weekend offering discounted tickets and wrapping up the season with huge 4th of July parties. Squaw will also host the famed 21st annual Lake Cushing Crossing on July 3. No one does pond-skimming quite like Squaw Valley. Perhaps it is because men and women in Reno Tahoe are a little more daring, a little more agile and a little better on sticks. Or maybe, it’s because the Cushing Crossing is held on a real pond, rather than a tarp-lined ditch or kiddie pool. We don’t really need a reason; we do it the way we want.

Other local Lake Tahoe events include Tahoe City celebrating 65 years of fireworks at Commons Beach, July 4, and Kings Beach hosting their annual firework display and deck party at the North Tahoe Event Center on July 3.

SPARKS

Experience the biggest 4th of July party in the region, Star Spangled Sparks, at the Sparks Marina. Join thousands to celebrate our freedom at this FREE all day event. Rise bright and early for free hot air balloon rides at 6am and a three dollar all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The excitement continues during the day with a fun-run around the Sparks Marina, bounce houses and a ride area for the kids. Later that evening, witness a military flyover moments before the longest and most spectacular pyrotechnic display in the region, you won’t want to miss this 11th annual celebration.

VIRGINIA CITY

Virginia City made the list for the “Top 10 Fourth of July Fireworks 2011.” For us this comes as no surprise as every year thousands journey to the famous, historical city. The event begins with a parade downtown around noon and ends with the Comstock Cowboys performing at dusk along with an extensive fireworks show. The last time Virginia City had this many explosives was back when the city was first discovered as a gold mining jackpot.

PYRAMID LAKE

Do you want to be the party planner? The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe welcomes all those who want to throw their own 4th of July party. Summer season fireworks are now on sale for use on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in designated areas. Create your own fireworks show over North America’s most beautiful desert lake!

Country Crossroads Festival Comes to John Ascuaga’s Nugget this Memorial Day

121-leann-rimesJohn Ascuaga’s Nugget is gearing up for a three-day country music festival! Country Cossroads features performances by LeAnn Rimes, Ricky Skaggs and Neal McCoy, along with country karaoke contests, songwriting seminars and free live entertainment! This Memorial Day weekend will be a celebration of one of the nation’s greatest contributions: Country Music!

LeAnn Rimes performs in the Rose Ballroom at 9:00pm on Sunday, May 29th; tickets from $65.

Neal McCoy performs in the Celebrity Showroom at 9:00pm on Saturday, May 28th; tickets are $35.

Ricky Skaggs performs in the Celebrity Showroom at 9:00pm on Friday, May 27th; tickets are $45.

The Nugget is offering room, dinner and show packages, as well as a great deal on tickets for all three of the festival’s headlining concerts. Get more information at www.janugget.com or call (800) 356-3300. It’s gonna be a hoot!

A Fearless German Intern Takes on Reno Tahoe

DSC_0004Benedikt Martinac of Germany is studying International Tourism in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. He will graduate in June 2011. His smarts, sense of humor and extensive travel experience will present him with limitless career opportunities, and success, in the tourism industry. This summer (2010) Benedikt decided to do hands-on learning, specifically in the American tourism industry. Being the smart man that he is, he chose to spend his summer in the great state of Nevada. Below is Ben’s adventure in the Silver State from his own perspective. We hope you enjoy reading his take on the Biggest Little City as much as we enjoyed having him.

8.31.10

I’ve been in Reno for 5 weeks now and can’t get enough of the city and its charm. But it’s not only the city. There is so much to see and experience in the area. Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, all kinds of water sports, extreme sports and on the calmer side plenty of golf opportunities, parks, lakes. You name it.

During my internship at various tourism related businesses, mediated by the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), I learned a lot about the Reno-Tahoe area and the fun things to experience nearby.

Last weekend I finally had the chance to show what I’ve picked up so far because three friends were visiting from the Bay area. I was really looking forward to showing them around and check out what the night life is like in “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

I met my friends at my place and took them downtown to check in the hotel. While driving towards Virginia Street, Reno’s casino strip, the tower of the Eldorado Hotel Casino, illuminated in bright pink, and we knew instantly we’re going to have a great time. We parked the car in the garage and via skywalk we were right in the lobby. We checked in, dropped of the bags in the room and rushed back downstairs to the casino for a little gambling session. But no gambling without food – we probably wouldn’t be able to handle all the free drinks and our odds of winning would lower even more. So what better to start off with than the “Best Burger in Town”? As different magazines, such as Nevada Magazine, voted it the best burger in Reno and Northern Nevada, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the notorious Awful Awful. At first the name is kind of a turnoff and makes you think if it’s the right choice for dinner but it’s supposed to be “Awful Big and Awful Good” so we headed to the Little Nugget Diner, located at the Nugget Casino on Virginia Street.

Awful AwfulEntering the Nugget, I was back to the thought if this was the right idea for dinner. Old dark carpets, dark lightning and sketchy gamblers occupying the slots give the place a peculiar atmosphere. The little Nugget diner, at the back of the casino, doesn’t make a much better impression. But its style is kind of appealing. Sleazy, greasy, with only two counters and no tables, the 50’s style diner seemed like it’s going to give us the right amount of energy we would need for a long night.

So we ordered our 4 Awful-Awfuls and waited until a few minutes later the gal at the counter shouted out “order 70, order 70!” That was us – we turned around and what was that? Four huge burgers with a lot of fresh toppings, and if that wasn’t enough, a basket with a pound of home seasoned French fries on the side made “mission Awful-Awful” seem impossible. We looked at each other and we knew nobody wanted to fail.

The first bite was just amazing. A homemade onion bun, fresh lettuce, pickles, perfectly melted cheese and of course a 100% beef patty, so juicy and full of taste that my taste buds were going crazy. I expected it to be good but not this good. I guess the taste doesn’t come solely from the burger itself. The whole atmosphere and the little shabby interior add a whole lot of seasoning to the Awful Awful and make it what it is. Together with the fries it is the perfect combination. Every bite was a delight and surprisingly the burger and the basket of fries disappeared faster than expected

After our adventure at the Nugget, we decided to finally gamble for a while. Barely able to move and 5 pounds heavier than before, we schlepped ourselves back to the Eldorado Casino. The ear shattering ringing of the slot machines and the unmistakable smell of cold smoke, booze and old ladies perfume, same as in every casino I’ve ever been to, make you feel like you’re at the right spot to win some cash or probably lose it but who knows, right?

Three of us sat down at a black jack table, while the other played some slots. To my surprise it started off really good for all of us. We were winning and winning. One chicken dinner after the other – we were on fire! At the end I’ve tripled my stake as did the others and an even bigger surprise just came around the corner. The slot machines seemed to like our friend too because he came back with $350 he just won.

This has been a pretty great evening so far. We had won quite some money and had a whole day in front of us. Now a nice, cool local brew to celebrate our success would be the perfect round up for the night and since we were in the “Best” mood, why not give the “Best Microbrew, and “Best Beer Selection,” winner a chance? Also inside the Eldorado, the “Brew Brothers” offers a selection of 8 microbrews, all with a very unique taste to it. After trying out a few I determined my favorite – the gold dollar pale ale – a really nice American-style pale ale with a very distinct hop flavor and spoors of citrus in the aftertaste. And the best thing – these delicious beers are pretty reasonable. A 15 oz. beer costs 3.50 and 22 oz cost 4.50. Enjoying our beers and the live music, we started planning the next day. It wouldn’t be any less exciting.

Lake TahoeThe next morning, a bit hung-over, our next stop was Lake Tahoe. I definitely wanted to show it to the guys as it is such a big contrast to Reno and shows the diversity of the area perfectly. As one takes Hwy 50 from Carson City up to the Lake the change of environment is stunning. Feeling the rising pressure in our ears, we noticed the change of terrain from desert-like to alpine mountains with ever green pine tree forests. After a few miles we’ve reached the high point and from now on it was all downhill which meant the Lake wasn’t far anymore. And there it was in the distance. Dazzled by the reflection of the sun on the lake, we couldn’t wait to jump in the water.

The lake was full of boats, yachts, windsurfers, water-skiers and other water lovers. But what really caught our attention were paddle boarders. Standing up on a surf board and paddling their way around. We really wanted to give it a shot but we had other plans.

In the afternoon we had planned a whitewater rafting trip on Truckee River. When we arrived at the meeting point we were briefed on how to behave on the river and were given all the safety guidelines necessary for an enjoyable day.

So all suited up in life jackets and helmets we launched the rafts and the trip could start. We were following the guide through some of the most beautiful and remote areas. Trees alongside the river banks give you the feeling there’s nothing else around. The whooshing of the water and the sounds of nature had a really calming effect and it was the perfect getaway. The combination between the class 2-3 rapids and very calm parts make it a challenging but also very recreating adventure. Being out in the wild, totally cut off from the everyday stress is something outstanding and irreplaceable.

After two hours I started to feel the paddling in my arms. Although we were going downstream it was very exhausting. Suddenly, out of nowhere, buildings started showing up at the side of the river. First a few, then more and more, and from one moment to the other coming from total exclusion of civilization, we paddled through downtown Reno. A few more rapids and drop pools in the White Water Park and we made it to the shore at Wingfield Park.

Pretty exhausted but still up for some more attractions, I decided to take the guys to Virginia City, a living ghost town. The old gold mining town seems like it is stuck in the 1800s. Driving into town on C Street is like entering another time. The Sherriff greets you with a friendly “Howdy”, Cowboys nod their heads and tap their hats when passing by and the ladies in their big, decadent dresses welcome you with waving hands.

VCVirginia City used to be one of the richest cities in the United States. In the 1800s a lot of men tried to find their luck in the mining industry and many did. Gold and silver attracted many people and just a few years after its establishment in 1859, Virginia City grew to more than 10,000 people. Also, Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, called Virginia City home and started writing under his alias in February 1863.

Browsing the many little unique shops, we came across the famous suicide table in the delta saloon. Supposedly, back in the 1800s the former owner of the saloon, Black Jake shot himself after losing all his life saving at this very table one evening. Rumors say that his ghost was haunting the Delta ever since. Subsequent to him two other owners took their own lives at the same table years later.

We wandered around town and what better place to go for a drink than the infamous “Bucket of Blood” – a saloon so notorious and brutal that the name mirrors the happenings inside. Apparently, so many fights happened nightly at the infamous saloon, that after cleaning the floors, the bucket where the mop was wrung out was filled with blood. Hence, The Bucket of Blood”.

No blood on the floors anymore but the feeling of entering a saloon in the Wild West and being prepared for a bar fight breaking out any minute is still present. If you too are lucky enough to score a table at the windows, enjoy the breathtaking view overlooking the valley and lean back while watching the sundown.

-Benedikt Martinac, Germany

Nevada’s Tourism Ad Campaign is a Record-Breaker

NevadaA year-long advertising campaign that strategically focused on the most lucrative travel markets delivered record-breaking results, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) chair, announced.

“Our ad campaign reached a carefully targeted group of consumers with the means and desire to travel and convinced them to visit us,” Krolicki said.  “In the face of a national economic downturn, NCOT’s winter and summer ads attracted visitors who spent money in Nevada that generated $110 million in tax revenue directly attributed to the ad campaign, a greater return on our investment than ever before.”

Every $1 that NCOT invested in the ads generated $31 in tax revenue.

“We ran a thrifty campaign aimed at our most responsive and proven markets and got our message to the right people,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. “We also integrated the media to include television, Google In-stream video, Internet advertising and national travel magazines, a combination that helped increase our return on investment. It was a prescription for success and we’re gratified to get such good-news results for Nevada tourism.”

The percentage of consumers who saw or heard the ads in markets where they ran jumped from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 42.9 percent in fiscal 2010, which ended June 30. 

Winter ads featured skiing at Lake Tahoe for TV, and the engaging “Capture Your Heart” ad, which showed two hands forming a heart that framed a Lake Tahoe scene, for Internet and print.  Summer ads focused on outdoor recreation for TV, Internet and print. The ads ran in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.

Key to the campaign’s remarkable achievement was using new technology and strategies to pinpoint only specific markets where consumers were most likely to respond to travel ads, rather than advertising across entire regions, Lewis said, noting that NCOT invested $3.5 million for the entire year’s campaign, 30.6 percent less than in 2009 because of budget reductions.

If you have any questions regarding this campaign, please contact Jolyn Laney, deputy director of marketing and advertising, Nevada Commission on Tourism.

-Content courtesy of  Nevada Commission on Tourism