From Mark S. Bassett President, Nevada Northern Railway Ely, Nevada:
Marketing grants from TravelNevada are as important to the Nevada Northern Railway as coal is for our steam locomotives. Our marketing grants are the fuel that brings tourists to our corner of Nevada. Coal is the fuel that fires up our steam locomotives. The Travel Nevada Marketing Grants are vital to our success! Tourists from around the world and around the country come here to see this National Historic Landmark in remote White Pine County.
In fiscal year 2016, the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark received five grants from TravelNevada totaling $43,000. This funding served as the catalyst to generate a marketing budget of over $110,000 for the railroad. This in turn increased our visitation by over 6% and brought over $4,500,000 tourist dollars to Nevada. In other words, for every $1 that Travel Nevada invested in the railroad, the return was $104! I wish I could get that type of return in the stock market.
The last year’s TravelNevada Grants helped us navigate a changing marketplace driven by social media and smart phones. Last year Google announced that it would be changing its rating on websites, if your website wasn’t mobile friendly it would drop to the bottom of the list. Our Google Mobilegeddon Grant funded by TravelNevada allowed us to revamp our website so it is now mobile friendly. And because of this is, if you Google “Polar Express” we are listed on the first page and better yet, a Nevada Northern Railway ad sponsored by Google pops up. Last year we had a 15% increase in our Polar Express ridership.
This success was because of the grants that we receive from Travel Nevada. This is a win-win for us and tourism in Nevada! Finally, as you can see from the awards listed below, the investment that TravelNevada has made in the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark is paying off. Your support has created another award winning destination in Nevada!
Award Winning Destination Nevada State Treasure – 2013 & 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence – 2016, 2015, 2014 Best Preservation Effort in the West • Attraction of the Year – 2012 Best Museum in Rural Nevada – 2016, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2008 Best Event in Rural Nevada – The Polar Express – 2016, 2015, 2014 & 2013 Best Museum – Special Recognition – 2010 • Favorite Nevada Attraction – 2008 Best Place to Take the Kids in Rural Nevada – 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007