Press Room

Tourism industry will strengthen marketing skills in Fallon at NCOT’s annual Rural Roundup

Feb 19, 2009

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Tourism representatives from across Nevada will gather in Fallon April 1-3 for the 19th Annual Rural Roundup to learn the latest marketing skills for attracting visitors, whose spending stimulates local economies, Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki announced today.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) produces the event to provide rural communities with information that helps strengthen marketing and communicating skills needed to generate tourism revenue.

“Rural Roundup is designed to kindle, inspire, motivate and encourage new ideas, contacts and skills,” Krolicki, NCOT chair, said. “It’s the only tourism gathering geared specially for all of Nevada beyond the two major urban cores of Las Vegas and Reno. Delegates get a valuable opportunity to network and share information with colleagues they might see only once a year.”

Conference-goers April 2 will hear Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., author of “The Starbucks Experience: Five Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary,” speak about the need to go beyond guest services to deliver an impressive experience that customers want to repeat.

Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, and Jill Rowland-Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, will present tips for sustaining special events that draw visitors, one of many concurrent programs presented twice so delegates can attend at least four.

Other concurrent sessions include sharpening writing skills, working with elected officials, launching effective e-mail campaigns, using arts as a tourism tool, using social media to boost an online presence, selecting and evaluating trade shows in which to participate and the value of being true to a brand and maximizing intrinsic qualities.

Veteran Reno broadcaster Sam Shad will speak about tourism’s most relevant current topic: how to attract visitors in a down economy and get them to spend money.

Sherry Rupert, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, will speak at lunch about the potential for Native American tourism, and the tribal Eagle Wings Dancers will perform.

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

Rural Roundup will begin April 1 with registration and a Fast Draw Championship at the Churchill County Museum, where members of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association will demonstrate their art using 1800s-model guns and holsters and then supervise a fast draw competition for Rural Roundup participants. A museum tour will follow.

NCOT will present nine awards for outstanding contributions to promoting tourism at the annual awards dinner April 2. Recipients will include one individual from each of the six tourism “territories,” a Statewide Award, and awards for Excellence in Grants and Special Recognition.

Conference activities will conclude April 3 with a volunteer cleanup project at the Shoe Tree attraction near Fallon to remove trash and debris from the site. The lone cottonwood tree that stands beside U.S. Highway 50 is laden with thousands of discarded shoes passersby have flung into the branches, sustaining what has become a tourist attraction. Roundup participants can volunteer for the cleanup project when they receive a notice before the conference, or call Kari Frilot, NCOT’s rural grants coordinator, at 775-687-4322.

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