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Tourism director touts recent successes

<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Lakeside RV Park was one of two local properties to receive a perfect 10/10/10 rating this month from the “Good Sam Club,” the world’s largest organization of recreational vehicle owners. The other property to receive the perfect rating was Nevada Treasure RV Resort on the far north-end of town.</p>

Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Lakeside RV Park was one of two local properties to receive a perfect 10/10/10 rating this month from the “Good Sam Club,” the world’s largest organization of recreational vehicle owners. The other property to receive the perfect rating was Nevada Treasure RV Resort on the far north-end of town.

Arlette Ledbetter, Pahrump’s tourism director, knows one thing for sure: It pays to advertise.

Ledbetter is referring to a recent event in Quartzite touted as the “largest gathering of RVs and RV enthusiasts on earth.”

The 31st annual Quartzsite, Ariz., sports, vacation and RV show last month drew tens of thousands to the small town near Blythe, Calif.

Prior to the event, the tourism director, along with other officials held a “Stuffing Party” where so-called goody bags filled with materials luring potential tourists to town were brought along with the Pahrump delegation.

As a result, Ledbetter told town board members this month that she has received numerous inquiries from RVers around the country wanting to know more about “Your Base Camp to Adventure.”

The same rang true for social media.

“For the month of January, we have seen our highest increase in Facebook likes over December by 14.2 percent,” Ledbetter said. “We have since doubled those and we had a 41 percent increase in our Flickr views, which are our photo views for the town of Pahrump. We also had a 20 percent increase in YouTube views and currently, we are above 4,700 views of our introductory Pahrump video and our adventure series, which is just phenomenal for us,” she said.

Ledbetter also noted a dramatic increase on the town’s website as it pertains to tourism.

“The website nearly doubled in views. For example, in December we had roughly 2,500 visitors to our visitpahrump.com and in January we had 4,906 visits. Their average stay was 3.8 minutes. The fact that they increased their stay time by almost a minute when compared to December is stunning. It’s phenomenal that we participated in a consumer show and saw these results from that show. It’s easy for me to say we gave out 3,000 collateral bags and that’s good. Those people actually logged on to visitpahrump.com and that means we really succeeded and I want to thank all of the volunteers that participated,” she said.

The good news didn’t stop there.

Ledbetter said two RV parks in town earned top honors from the renowned Good Sam Club, the world’s largest organization of recreational vehicles and owners.

Both the Lakeside RV Park along with Nevada Treasure RV Resort were awarded perfect 10 ratings courtesy of the club.

The Good Sam organization evaluates and awards RV parks in three categories each year including facilities, restrooms and appeal.

Out of the 14,000 privately owned parks in North America that are evaluated, only 68 have received the perfect 10 rating, putting Pahrump’s sites among the elite 1 percent of RV parks in the entire nation.

“We now have two RV parks that are in the top 1 percent and that’s amazing. Good Sam is super popular among RV’ers across the country. We also advertise in the Good Sam travel guide and directory which is also online and they are one of the top resources and highly valued for RV travelers so they really carry a lot of weight,” she said.

Two couples arriving in Pahrump from Virginia City seem to agree with Ledbetter.

Jan and Larry Farthing make the pilgrimage to town on a regular basis.

The self-proclaimed “Snowbirds” say the love all of the amenities the park has to offer for the weary traveler is the reason.

“We like Lakeside because it makes you feel like you’re not in the desert. We come here about once a year when we are traveling through. It’s beautiful and when we lived here years ago, this was part of the Rockin Doc Ranch. We lived in Pahrump for 22 years,” Jan said.

Jerry and Mary Stewart also hail from Virginia City in northern Nevada.

“We like this park because it is off the main road and it’s quiet and peaceful. We come here as a stopover when we are going further south to Arizona. We like the rates and the wonderful service,” Mary noted.

Lakeside RV Park Manager Bonnie Bates summed up her thoughts on why travelers continue to return to the site.

“It’s the whole team here at Lakeside. The people in the casino, the security and the maintenance crews work very well together and they are all about customer service,” she said.

Other Pahrump RV resorts also fared well in the Good Sam ratings:

• Pahrump Station RV Resort received a rating of 8.5/9/8.5.

• Preferred RV Resort was awarded a rating of 9/9/9.

• RV Ranch Resort was awarded a rating of 8/9.5/8.

• Saddle West Hotel Casino &RV Park received a rating of 9/9.5/7.

• Wine Ridge RV Resort &Cottages received a near-perfect rating of 9.5/10/10.