By VERNON ROBISON
The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) earlier this month approved $ 760,000 in marketing grants to rural communities to market themselves as tourist destinations. The 91 different grants will support a variety of marketing projects across the state, from website improvements to participation in consumer travel shows and advertising campaigns.
Four of these grants, totaling nearly $ 24,000, are intended for marketing efforts for communities in northeast Clark County.
The Mesquite Chamber of Commerce received a $ 6,000 tourism grant as part of this latest round of funding. This matching grant will be used to produce and publish tourist guide maps of the city of Mesquite over the coming year. The maps will contain information on tourist accommodation in the city as well as information on activities available to visitors to the area.
House Speaker / CEO Carol Kolson said that despite the availability of information online, printed maps are still in high demand by visitors and tourists.
âPeople still think, these days, that no one uses cards anymore, but that’s a long way from the truth,â Kolson said. “The Chamber receives hundreds of requests for information about the community and one thing it always wants is a map.”
Kolson said the Chamber received an additional $ 9,000 grant from NCOT earlier in the year to help cover the costs of publishing the annual Destination Guide magazine for the Chamber. This annual magazine will be released in February.
âThese two posts together are by far the best advertisement for Mesquite,â Kolson said. âThese are top notch marketing products. And, even during the pandemic, we’ve seen them fly off the shelves. “
Kolson expressed his gratitude for the NCOT grants and their rural focus. âWe really depend on these grants for these marketing tools to promote our rural areas,â she said. âAnd the staff (NCOT) have done a phenomenal job in focusing this funding to promote rural areas. We appreciate this.
Two more Mesquite Region Grants were awarded by NCOT in this month’s grant round.
A grant of $ 4,800 was awarded to the Town of Mesquite to help fund an advertising campaign promoting the town as the “ultimate destination for outdoor recreation.”
The Friends of Gold Butte organization also received a $ 2,800 advertising and materials grant to promote Mesquite as the gateway to Gold Butte National Monument.
Finally, the Moapa Valley Revitalization Project (MVRP) received a grant of $ 9,000 in this funding round. This is the publication of a tri-fold brochure aimed at promoting the Moapa Valley as a tourist destination in the region.
MVRP member MaryKaye Washburn said this piece would highlight the many tourist attractions in and around the community, including OHV recreation opportunities, the Valley of Fire, the Lost City Museum, Lake Mead and Moreover.
Washburn said this will be the second year of this publication which is distributed through free brochure stands at visitor centers and trips stop all along the Interstate 15 corridor.
Washburn also had good things to say about the ongoing partnership with NCOT staff to fund these grants.
âWe were able to work with them to secure these grants, even though we know funding is scarce in the state,â Washburn said. âThey made a point of reaching our rural areas. And we have benefited a lot from the grants that we have received. “
âI think these projects, which have reached outside of our valley, have really helped bring people into our community to find out what we have here,â added Washburn.
âRural Nevada communities manage some of our state’s most treasured natural and cultural sites,â said Brenda Scolari, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. “We are proud to partner with these communities to share these places with out-of-state visitors and Nevadans.”