Submitted photo
From left to right (back row) Meg Rhoades, Christian Passink, Ed Spear, Shane Bybee, Ernest Flangas. Front row, Don Newman and Lori Drew

By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray

The Ely Times

The Nevada Division of Tourism recognized outstanding members of the state’s rural tourism industry at the VolunTourism Awards Dinner on April 27 in Elko.

The awards ceremony was a highlight of the state’s annual Rural Roundup conference.

Several members of the White Pine County Tour and Rec Board along with several other community members involved in tourism efforts for White Pine County attended the Rural Roundup event last week in Elko.

This is a tourism conference focused on rural tourism where rural counties have a chance to get together and share what they do to promote attractions and activities around their counties.

This year the White Pine County Tour and Rec Board received this year’s Statewide Excellence on Tourism.

They represented the state by consistently attending numerous domestic travel and trade shows such as the American Bus Association, National Tour Association, Go West, LA Times and multiple Canadian Snow Bird shows just to name a few.

The White Pine County Tour and Rec Board is known for its unique special events and over the top holiday decorations. Recently when they were presented with the opportunity to host the National Speleological Society’s annual week long convention, they filled every room in town and converted the golf course into a campground and hosted over 1,050 visitors from every state in the United States and at least six other countries, making it one of the most successful conventions ever for the organization.

Along with their territory partners, the Tour and Rec Board recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of “The Loneliest Road in America” campaign, one of the most successful marketing campaigns in Nevada history.

They also represented the state on international market by participating in two European Sales Missions bringing rural Nevada to places such as London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm.

Staff worked closely with the Great Basin National Park helping to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the National Parks, promoting their amazing night sky program and the incredible Lehman Caves. Not only do they perform and outstanding job of promoting their destination, but strive to promote the entire state of Nevada.

Visitation to rural Nevada. all counties except Clark and Washoe was 5.23 million in 2016, up about 7.9 percent from 2015.