Visitors center opens in Gardnerville |

Visitors center opens in Gardnerville

Deny Dotson, director of tourism and community service for the Virginia City Tourism Commission, talks with A.J. Frels, executive director of the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, on Thursday evening during the open house event.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

Gardnerville’s first visitors center held an open house on Thursday night at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

Opened by the Carson Valley Visitors Authority in May, the center will serve as the authority’s new home, according to Executive Director A.J. Frels.

The authority moved its offices from the Chamber of Commerce down to the south end of the hall in the museum.

It was incorporated with the Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1980s. The authority has its own board of directors, but until 2011 was managed by the chamber’s executive director.

“The decision was devised to allow both entities to focus exclusively on each of their missions,” Frels said.

The authority director was hired in May 2012, and a marketing associate, Lila Gomes, was hired in November 2012.

Not long after Frels’ arrival, the authority introduced a new brand, “Rugged, Relaxed, Reachable.”

The authority’s mission is to promote the East Fork Township, which includes Carson Valley, its three towns, and Topaz Lake.

“We work with all local tourism partners to promote activities like cycling, family fun, gaming, soaring, golf, hiking, local culture, dining and more,” Frels said.

The authority is conducting a marketing campaign in Sacramento that includes promotions in Sactown and Sacramento magazines, radio spots and distributing 50,000 rack cards throughout Northern California.