Press Room

Nevada’s rural tourism industry will gather in Fallon for 19th Annual Rural Roundup Conference

Mar 25, 2009

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s rural tourism industry leaders will gather in Fallon April 1-3 for the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s (NCOT) 19th Annual Rural Roundup conference that explores ways to sustain local economies by attracting more visitors, Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki said today.

The conference, at the Fallon Convention Center, begins April 1 with a 19th century-style Fast Draw Championship competition and tour at the Churchill County Museum, followed April 2 by daylong tourism education programs, awards for outstanding volunteer work promoting rural Nevada and a scholarship for a deserving Nevada student.

“Tourism helps to sustain rural economies, and NCOT is the only agency that promotes all of Nevada’s attractions worldwide,” Krolicki, NCOT chair, said. “NCOT’s Rural Grants Program provides essential funding that enables Nevada’s communities to market their tourism economy in ways they couldn’t otherwise afford.”

Besides delivering rural grants, NCOT promotes rural Nevada through advertising, Web sites, domestic and international tradeshows and tours that expose travel journalists to the excitement and beauty of Nevada’s historic mining towns, scenic wonders, wildlife and adventures.

Reno broadcast veteran Sam Shad will address the conference about attracting visitors during the current economic struggle and getting them to spend money in Nevada’s rural communities.

Speakers include Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., author of “The Starbucks Experience: Five Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary,” with tips for providing impressive experiences that keep customers coming back; Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, and Jill Rowland-Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, about how to sustain special events that attract tourists, and other speakers who will conduct sessions on improving writing skills, working with elected officials, launching effective e-mail campaigns, using arts to promote tourism, building an online presence with social media, deciding which trade shows to attend, and knowing how to identify a community’s intrinsic qualities and put them to work attracting visitors.

Native American tourism potential will be the luncheon topic April 2 with Sherry Rupert, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, and a performance by the tribal Eagle Wings Dancers.

At Thursday evening’s annual VolunTourism Awards Dinner, NCOT will honor outstanding contributions to promoting tourism in rural Nevada. Awards for noteworthy service will go to an individual from each of the six tourism “territories,” and three other volunteers will receive the Statewide Excellence in Tourism and Statewide Excellence in Grants awards and a Special Recognition tribute.

The winner of the $1,000 June Stannard Rural Tourism Memorial Scholarship to help a Nevada high school senior pursue a degree in hospitality, travel or a tourism-related field at an accredited college or university will be announced at dinner. The late June Stannard was a Winnemucca Convention and Visitors Authority official whose dedication and zeal for travel and tourism epitomized the rural Nevada spirit. 

Rural Roundup concludes April 3 with a tour of the Fallon Naval Air Station, the Navy’s premier tactical aviation training facility and home of the Naval Fighter Weapons School known as Top Gun, which trained pilots for Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. The air station tour replaced earlier plans for a volunteer cleanup at the Shoe Tree attraction on U.S. Highway 50 east of Fallon that was canceled because of logistics issues.

For more information, visit, and to register online, go to