CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nearly $1 million in grants to boost tourism to rural Nevada was awarded by the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) this month, announced Nevada Department of  Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio.

Among the funded projects: the Comstock ATV Jamboree, a first-time special event in Dayton; Operation Sierra Storm, a Tahoe-area event geared to meteorologists, who influence visitor travel; and the REMAX World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite.

“Enhancing the economic vitality of Nevada’s tourism industry is the basis for all our efforts at NCOT,” Vecchio said. “The Rural Grants Program certainly fulfills that objective, and we are pleased to be able to support selected  special events and innovative marketing programs.”

Grants are awarded twice a year; this recent disbursal was the first for fiscal year 2014. NCOT, which receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operating budget, uses a part of its funds to offer the Rural Grants Program, which helps nonprofit groups and government agencies in rural Nevada enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays.

NCOT awarded 145 grants in June for a total of $971,188. Following is a sample of grant awards:

$8,000 to the Dayton Valley Events Center/Lyon Country to promote a first-time special event, the Comstock ATV Jamboree. The event — which will be unique in northern Nevada — will be held at the Dayton Valley Events Center and will include vendors, demonstrations and classes. Grant money will be used to promote the event in print, online and broadcast media.

$8,000 to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to help bring back Operation Sierra Storm, a meteorology conference and seminar. The annual gathering, which began in 1993 but which has been on hiatus since 2008, builds relationships with meteorologists, who have considerable influence on visitor travel. Grant funding will offset some of the event costs.

$5,000 to the city of Mesquite’s Athletics & Leisure Services department to offset costs to produce and show TV spots aired during the Golf Channel’s national broadcast of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. The Long Drive Championship has been held in Mesquite for the past 17 years; this is the first time it will be televised on the Golf Channel and on NBC Sports.

$15,000 to the city of Carlin to expand television and radio advertising to promote three of the city’s summer events: the annual Carlin Show n’ Shine car show, the Smokin’ Hot Chili Cook-off and the Carlin Ranch Hand Rodeo. The advertising campaigns will run in Reno, Salt Lake City and Idaho.

$7,000 to the Walker River Paiute Tribe to offset costs of a marketing campaign that will include promotional literature, new photography and signage. Grant funding also will be used to pay for mailing costs associated with distributing the promotional literature.

$40,000 to Nevada Silver Trails — a nonprofit group that promotes travel to southern Nevada, excluding the Las Vegas area — for 10 different radio advertising campaigns promoting special events in the Nevada Silver Trails region. The radio advertising campaigns will run in Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Palm Springs, Calif; Phoenix; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Salt Lake City; St. George, Utah; San Francisco and other markets. 

Grants are given to nonprofit entities, which in turn must provide a 50-50 match in funds or volunteer hours. NCOT reimburses applicants after the projects are completed and labor and funding details are documented. With the launch of the new statewide brand, grant-funded marketing elements also will include the new “Nevada: A World Within. A State Apart.” logo. For more information, visit www.travelnevada.com/industry/grants.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Operating within a performance-based budget structure, NCOT is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit www.TravelNevada.biz.