A friend at the Nevada Film Office, a branch of the Commission on Economic Development, recently gave me a T-shirt stenciled with its slogan — “Locations Less Known.” The Film Office wants to spread the word about Nevada’s extraordinary geography and locales so that people in the film and television industry will think of us while scouting locations. Its Web site features photos, not only of the Las Vegas Strip and Lake Tahoe, which you might expect, but of many “locations less known,” including Bristol Wells, Delamar Lake and Pahranagat.
The special Area Focus in this month’s issue of Nevada Business Journal, focusing on Elko County, is one example of how we at the magazine are helping to spread the word about the regions of the state outside its two principal urban areas. And…believe me, there’s a lot out there. Take a look at the supplement’s cover photo of Lamoille Canyon. Does it look like the view out your office window? Probably not. When our staff traveled to Elko County to do preliminary research for the supplement, we found a wonderful group of friendly Nevadans living in close-knit communities where people know all their neighbors, everybody goes to the high school football games and you don’t worry about leaving your front door unlocked. It was refreshing. We big-city folks tend to forget such places still exist, but they’re right here in our state.
Another department of the state government interested in promoting Nevada’s rural areas is the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), headed by the Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt. The “Summer Vacation Issue” of the NCOT newsletter arrived at my office recently and here is a brief summary of some of the fun things happening in rural Nevada in the next couple months:
Preparations are underway for the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, from Oct. 1-6 on State Route 305 near Battle Mountain. This bicycle racing event will present an opportunity to set a world record for speed. Competitors will vie for the title of the world’s fastest self-propelled human in specially designed, aerodynamic vehicles. Last year’s winner set a world record of 72.75 mph. For more information: www.Wisil.recumbents.com.
In Virginia City, visitors can take a moonlight ride on the V&T Railroad, which once carried silver down the mountain from the historic mining town to Reno. The moonlight rides, offered on Saturdays through September, feature specially themed food and an intimate look at Nevada’s most famous mining town. www.virginiacity-nv.org.
A weeklong bicycle event across US Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America,” is known as OATBRAN – One Awesome Tour Bike Ride Across Nevada. The 11th annual OATBRAN event, from Sept. 16-22, will offer participants 420 miles of desert beauty from Lake Tahoe to Great Basin National Park. You might not be up to biking 420 miles, but it would be fun to see part of the race. www.bikethewest.com.
From Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, why not visit the annual Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival in Fallon? If you haven’t tasted a Fallon Hearts of Gold cantaloupe, you just haven’t tasted a cantaloupe. The festival also features fun, food and activities for the whole family. 775-423-2544
The “Barstool Nationals” will take place outside Wendover from Sept. 21-24 on the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats, home of the world land speed record. Rules state that the entries must be made from a real barstool and that “your butt must remain in the seat.” The current world barstool record is just over 45 mph, not bad when you consider that engines are limited to one 12-volt motor. www.nishmotorsports.com For those who like things a little less quirky and a lot more speedy, you can come a few days early and see the Bonneville World Finals, where the real world speed records are set, from Sept. 17-20 (www.scta-bni.org).
These events are just a few of the many fun and interesting activities that take place in “locations less known” across our wonderful and diverse state. Visit NCOT’s Web site (www.travelnevada.com) for lots more information, or use an Internet search engine to look for Web sites sponsored by rural towns or counties. The next time you are considering a vacation, a weekend getaway or even a company retreat, don’t rush off to a big city or to a California theme park… keep the money in Nevada. You’ll not only be helping the state’s economy, but you’ll be learning more about our state and having fun at the same time. And keep watching the pages of Nevada Business Journal for more features and Special Reports on “locations less known.”