After helping to put Carson City on the mountain biking map, the Carson City Visitors Bureau (CCVB) is now working to bring half the state along for the ride.
The CCVB is launching the Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventure campaign, a $30,000 effort to create a statewide bike itinerary along Highway 50, from Carson City to Ely, and then south on U.S. Route 93 to Pioche and Caliente.
“Utah and Colorado have defined weeklong adventures and Nevada needs to be in that conversation as well,” said Kyle Horvath, CCVB’s social media manager.
The Nevada Commission on Tourism last week awarded the CCVB $10,000 for the campaign and the bureau is kicking in the rest.
The goal is to bring bike riding enthusiasts not only to the trails but to the towns.
“We want to showcase those assets,” said Joel Dunn, CCVB’s executive director. “Great trails, great food, great beer, great hot springs, and every one of those communities can meet those needs.”
The idea for the statewide course was hatched in Caliente.
The town recently received $1.4 million in grants to build trails and invited Dunn, Horvath and Kurt Gensheimer, a mountain biking journalist, to visit and talk about how Carson City developed its trails and attracted events such as Epic Rides.
“We started realizing we could make a five-day adventure on 50,” said Horvath. “Carson to Austin to Eureka to Ely and Pioche and including Caliente.”
Since then, they’ve been to Eureka to talk to Richard McKay, a lifelong resident and businessman there, and to Ely earlier this month to film Fears, Tears & Beers.
“It’s the oldest enduro race in the country. It’s a small but passionate group,” said Dunn. “We’re telling the story of how mountain biking started in this town. The guy running the event, his grandfather built the single track.”
Each town will produce its own promotional materials and CCVB will tie it all together and launch a statewide campaign in 2018 once Caliente’s trails are completed.
The campaign will include marketing materials, social media and mobile apps with trip itinerary, inventory of trails, and information on lodging, restaurants, and other things to do all along the route.
In the meantime, the visitors bureau will help each venue build up its trails and other needed infrastructure, like readily-available Internet access, to make the course a success.
“The first phase is building up an inventory of assets,” said Dunn. “Caliente already broke ground, and Austin and Eureka need some maintenance.”