By Pahrump Valley Times
INCLINE VILLAGE — Nevada Silver Trails board member Marvin Minnick and Pahrump tourism director Arlene Ledbetter received awards recently at the 22nd annual Rural Roundup conference hosted by the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Minnick was awarded the Statewide Excellence in Tourism award. He is a 32-year resident of Nevada and has been involved with tourism since joining the Pahrump Tourism Board in 2006.
Minnick was instrumental in merging two volunteer tourism entities, the Pioneer Territory and Nevada Silver Trails, into one, creating a stronger and more streamlined group.
Minnick was appointed by the Nye County Commissioners to serve on the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission, served as vice-chairman of the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory board, and has served as chairman of the Pioneer Territory Board for the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Minnick applies his creative expertise as senior print production manager for R&R Partners to his rural volunteerism.
“What was special was Marvin Minnick won a state plaque for his involvement in tourism. This is a special award given by the top people in the Nevada Commission on Tourism, ” said Karen Spalding, a board member of the Nevada Silver Trails Committee and Pahrump Tourism Advisory Board.
“He gives so many weekends helping out the people in his Territory, Silver Trails Territory, which he is the chairman. He also helps in the state level and they really respect his knowlege and ideas.”
Ledbetter was given the VolunTourism award for the Nevada Silver Trails Territory, one of six NCOT regions in the state. She is the director of tourism for the town of Pahrump and has applied her creativity and strategic planning to promoting the Nevada Silver Trails, the commission decided. She is actively engaged in representing Pahrump and the territory at trade shows and during familiarization tours to the area.
Spalding said since Ledbetter came on board a few years ago she implemented a lot of the board’s talking point and ideas. She said Ledbetter is also Pahrump’s point person.
“With her help and guidance, we will be completing Pahrump’s first website geared towards Pahrump being the ‘Base Camp For Adventure’. Now tourists, interested in Pahrump can find itineraries for one day and two day trips starting from Pahrump,” Spalding said.
She said a Pahrump video is being completed and will be placed on the website. Ledbetter makes calls in Las Vegas to RV sales companies to encourage their new buyers to come to Pahrump, Spalding said.
Ledbetter visited with other chambers of commerce and convention centers to get advice, Spalding said. Her trips included visits to the annual Quartzite, Ariz. Snowbirds convention and a trip to the Zoomers travel show in Canada.
Ledbetter wrote grants that saved the town $26,000, she said.
“NCOT is very grateful to our dedicated tourism professionals for their volunteer work helping to support and enhance Nevada’s No. 1 industry,” Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, the NCOT chairman, said. “Tourism is vital to the economy in rural Nevada, and NCOT relies on our volunteer network to keep visitor dollars flowing into local events, parks, museums and a wealth of other attractions.”
One winner was selected from each of Nevada’s six tourism “territories” – geographical areas of similar culture and geography – and two other awards recognized achievements on a statewide basis. A new award was added this year to recognize a tourism partner that has helped promote Nevada internationally. Finally, the June Stannard Scholarship was awarded to a Nevada high school senior from Yerington who will be pursuing a degree in tourism or hospitality.
“Nevada’s tourism industry thrives because of the volunteers throughout the state who are passionate about sharing their state with visitors,” Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio said. “Their expertise and commitment are invaluable to the promotion of our state, and we each benefit greatly from their dedication.”
The other winners included Kitty Nash, secretary of Cowboy Country; Sue Knight, proprieter of the Wild Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast in Genoa for the Reno-Tahoe Territory; Wayne Camereon, executive director of the White Pine Chamber of Commerce for the Pony Express Territory; Ben Aleck, collections manager for the Pyramid Lake Visitors Center for Indian Territory and Charlene Ham, special events coordinator for the Hendereson Convention Center and Visitors Bureau for the Las Vegas Territory.
The Wells Chamber of Commerce won a State Excellence in Grants award for leveraging grants after the 2008 earthquake. The Nevada International Award went to American Airlines for promoting Nevada in familiarization tours.