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Town of Pahrump focuses on luring tourists from Vegas

A pair of organizations promoting Pahrump tourism are rejoicing over the Nevada Tourism Commission’s generosity this month.

The Town of Pahrump received five grants totaling $24,000, while the Pahrump Chamber of Commerce secured $8,000 from the commission.

Town Tourism Director Arlette Ledbetter said the funds will allow the department to purchase media buys, upgrade websites and familiarization tours as well as other promotional materials to attract tourism, mostly targeting the Las Vegas market.

In Las Vegas, the town has purchased a series of billboards promoting Pahrump as a travel destination less than an hour away.

“It has gotten exposure in Las Vegas and it’s gotten people talking, and now they know Pahrump is here and what there is to do in Pahrump,” she said.

Ledbetter said at least two local businesses on the far south end of Pahrump are being touted as locales where visitors from over the hill can get a unique experience that Sin City does not yet offer.

“First we branded and then we came out with an adventure series that has Jet Pack America and the sports cars at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort. Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is also included,” she said. “A lot of people in Las Vegas and other places don’t even know that we also have wineries here. If they don’t know, they won’t come out and visit.”

The tourism director also said the town’s marketing and communications firm is playing a big role in the renewed marketing and branding effort.

Las Vegas-based marketing firm BRAINtrust, which was hired by the town earlier this year, has overseen countless national, regional, and local brand marketing and public relations campaigns, mainly in the hospitality, entertainment, and consumer attractions industry.

“We have a fresh new perspective with BRAINtrust Marketing and Communications,” she said. “We’ve produced a tri-brochure that is rich and vibrant in color. For the first time, the brochure focuses on the Pahrump community solely,” she said.

The new tri-fold brochure highlights local destinations in the Pahrump Valley, including both wineries, area golf courses and RV parks.

Additionally, Ledbetter said she’s preparing to attend what she described as the largest gathering of RVs and RV enthusiasts on earth, the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV show, in Quartzite, Ariz., from Jan 17 thru 25, 2015.

She said a veritable pilgrimage of free-spirited individuals and families from all parts of the country descend upon the town, which is why tourism officials in Pahrump will also make the trip to distribute what’s known as “stuffing bags” to attendees.

The bags contain literature boasting the natural wonders and attractions of Pahrump.

“The first three days of the show are a madhouse,” she said. “Approximately 125,000 people show up, so it’s a real big deal. We go through anywhere between 1,500 and 2,500 bags of literature.”

Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Salli Kerr said this week that the chamber’s grant will be used to prepare for next year’s Pahrump Balloon Festival.

The 2nd annual event is expected to take flight at Petrack Park on March 20-22.

Though the event’s marketing efforts last year were lukewarm at best, the festival was deemed a success by local officials and attendees. Overall, the festival attracted more than 20 balloonists and 52 vendors.

Estimates ranged from 2,500 to more than 4,000 visitors for the three-day event.

“Part of what we’ll do is create fliers to go into the Las Vegas Review-Journal market,” Kerr said. “There will be 15,000 fliers inserted in the paper and we will be keeping track by way of RSVP requests.”

As a result, Kerr expects the grant money will help to draw even more visitors come next year.

Unlike the first event, Kerr said there will be a few extras added to the festival come March.

“This year, we’ve added the rental of the Bob Ruud Community Center all weekend and we’ll be doing a pilot meet and greet on Friday where they will meet with sponsors and getting to meet the public,” she said. “Next year we’ve also added a farewell luncheon for the pilots on that Sunday.”

For additional information on the Pahrump Balloon Festival, call the chamber office at 727-5800.

The grants came from the Neveda Tourism Commission, who awarded more than $400,000 in grants for rural communities throughout the Silver State. The commission received $624,120 in grant requests.

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