Winery owner Sanders honored for tourism at the Rural Roundup

The 25th Rural Roundup took place last week and a local winery owner took home a pair of awards.

Jack Sanders of Sanders Family Winery was awarded two awards, at the ceremony that took place April 15-17 at Carson Valley Inn in Minden, for his dedication to helping bring in tourism to Pahrump.

The first award was for Statewide Excellence in Tourism, for Sanders’ role in opening the two wineries in town, which has helped draw tourist to town.

Sander’s second award was a Special Recognition Award for his participation in all 25 years in the Rural Roundup.

Going into the event not expecting anything, Sanders was caught by surprise when he was awarded with the honors.

“Thrilled,” Sanders said of his receiving the awards. “It is probably one of the nicest things that’s happened to me for recognition. It’s unusual because they’ve never given two awards at the same time.”

Sanders’ two awards were part of 10 total given out at the event.

With all of the hard work Sanders has put in creating the winery industry in Nevada, and the tourism field, as he is part of the tourism board for Pahrump, he said awards like these make it all worthwhile.

“There’s no question that wineries are a huge tourist attraction, but I am also a member of the tourism board for the town of Pahrump,” he said. “I’ve been working with them for about three years and we work with all the stakeholders, which is Golden Gaming, Saddle West, Spring Mountain Motor Ranch… you name it, anything that has to do with tourism, we’re involved.

“In the past two-and-a-half years we’ve really accelerated bringing in a lot of tourists into Pahrump.

With members of the tourism board collaborating ideas, Sanders said that being a team has paid dividends drawing people to the area.

“I think more than anything else that all of the stakeholders are working closely together,” Sanders said. “We are all single-minded, and we want to bring in as many tourists to town, as well as economic development to town.”

Arlette Ledbetter, Pahrump tourism, was pleased that Sanders was honored as she’s seen the hard work he’s put in over the years.

“Oh, I’m thrilled,” she said. “Jack has never stopped. He’s been here for 20-plus years and he’s truly an ambassador for the state of Nevada as well as to Pahrump. He’s continually marketing, he’s always available for familiarization tours and any requests we have… he’s just a real benefit to the community.”

Always looking toward to future, Sanders is ready to draw in a new breed of customer as they are rounding into the age where wineries are right up their alley.

“We recognize that wineries are a big attraction for the United States’ largest marketing group ready to emerge on us, and that’s called Millennials,” he said. “So we’re very aware about the Millennials and they’re bigger than the Baby Boomers and they love to visit wineries.

“So if they’re going to come out and visit Las Vegas, they’re going to come out and visit the winery. We are now aiming a lot of advertising toward that demographic.”