The way visitors, and residents, navigate around the communities of Minden, Gardnerville, Genoa and Topaz Lake just got a little easier thanks to the efforts of a collaborative project to provide directional signage to some of the area’s trails, parks, golf courses and landmarks. Twenty-one wayfinding signs showcase the available services including picnic areas or whether the area provides access for museums or historic sites, hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports, or other recreation opportunities.
“One of the primary messages we use when speaking to potential visitors is to encourage them to ‘drive to it, not through it,’ and having this vital component complete helps in further paying off that statement,” said Jan Vandermade, executive director for the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, Visit Carson Valley. “What makes our community so rich are the gems that are off the beaten path. Numerous groups came together and worked closely on this effort to ensure that the experience and offerings were being promoted responsibly. This is a huge win for our community, as well as anyone who visits.”
Originally initiated in 2015, the five-year project was completed in May 2021. The signs were not just placed but were researched, reviewed, planned and tested to bring a well-guided experience to visitors and locals to locations off the main roadways. In total, 21 signs were placed primarily on Highway 395, Highway 88, the valley side of Kingsbury Grade, Genoa Lane and Jacks Valley Road.
The project initially started with support from Travel Nevada’s infrastructure grant program and included multiple steps to identify needs and additional funding sources. The Carson Valley Visitors Authority spearheaded the effort that was only made possible through strong community teamwork.
The collaborative effort and wayfinding project was supported in both planning and often with financial support by valued stakeholders including experts from Douglas County, representatives from Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville, community service and recreation departments, the Carson Valley Trails Association and several other groups and individuals from throughout the valley. The contributions of Design Workshop were engaged from the start of the project and focused on creating directional signage with simplicity and purpose. Over the past 16 months, a contract with Yesco’s fabrication and sign installation experts brought the vision and priorities fully to life.
“While this isn’t the only way we educate and tell our visitors and locals about our incredible area, it’s the payoff to all our other marketing efforts,” said Vandermade. “This is where travelers come to visit our towns and know that we are committed to promoting the resilience and sustainability that our area depends on.”
For more information about Visit Carson Valley, visit online.