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Chris Jones

Nevada Tourism Group Launching TV Ads

1 March 2005

The adventure apparently continues, at least when it comes to promoting travel in rural Nevada.

Inspired by the success of last year's "Wide Open" campaign touting the state's outdoor recreational opportunities, the Nevada Commission on Tourism said Monday it has revived its adventure-laden promotional efforts in time for the upcoming spring and summer travel season.

The state's latest 30-second television spot shows a man carrying a kayak while walking down the Strip. A woman's voice then asks if he needs a guide, prompting a sequence that depicts people bicycling, hiking, skiing and enjoying other outdoor sports available in the state. It ends with the phrase, "There's more to Nevada than you think."

The ad first aired nationwide last week on eight cable networks, including Animal Planet, Fox News Channel and The Travel Channel.

Last year, the commission's initial foray into television marketing included a dozen cable networks, but Executive Director Bruce Bommarito said telephone surveys streamlined the latest advertising purchase by allowing the commission to track which network's viewers were most responsive to the ad.

"This is an evolved list," Bommarito said. The networks will carry the ad through June 30 at a cost of approximately $600,000.

A related print component will place ads in travel magazines popular in the United States, Canada, Japan and China.

Until 2004, the commission had never promoted Nevada's rural travel destinations using national television ads. But the "Wide Open" campaign, which was developed by Reno-based DRGM Advertising and Public Relations, in its first year generated nearly 22,000 responses through the commission's Web site and toll-free telephone lines, and Bommarito said a return to television was an easy decision.

Both the TV and print ads encourage prospective visitors to request a printed copy of the state's "Adventure Guide," or access similar information online at

An additional television boost could soon follow in late May when the commission and TEAM Unlimited of Honolulu will stage a made-for-television competition called "The Nevada Passage."

The syndicated program would showcase the state by pitting athletes in competitions such as rock climbing races at Red Rock Canyon and whitewater kayaking through downtown Reno's Truckee River.

Organizers hope the project will eventually be seen by up to 2 million viewers in markets such as Los Angeles, New York and Denver, among others.