The 2003 Great Outdoor Games will be a nice fit for Northern Nevada when TV network ESPN brings them to the Reno area in July.
The announcement was part of a triple dose of good news for the tourism industry on Tuesday, which needed a lift to its spirits.
At the governor's annual conference on tourism, keynote speaker William Norman, president of the Travel Industry of America, was upbeat about the prospects nationally for the coming year.
"The sun is rising on our travel industry," he told an assemblage of about 700 in Reno.
The third bit of good news arrived at the south end of Lake Tahoe, where the Subaru Primal Quest adventure race will be staged in early September.
Nevada's adventure theme couldn't be better served than by the Outdoor Games and the Primal Quest. And while both will bring visitors during their events -- sponsors are hoping for as many as 100,000 for the Outdoor Games, which will benefit Carson City as well -- the greater benefit will be in exposure.
Fifty hours of television exposure on ESPN and ABC will mean millions of people will be exposed to the rugged beauty of Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe.
Most of the viewers will be Midwestern and Eastern residents who are avid fishers, hunters and campers but have only a vague idea of the richness of Northern Nevada's offerings.
Mention Nevada to anyone who lives east of the Mississippi, and the image in their minds is Las Vegas -- bright lights, dancing showgirls and, if they have any vision at all of the surrounding countryside, endless miles of sagebrush-dotted desert. Not exactly a camper's paradise.
Images of fly-fishermen in the Truckee River and lumberjacks in the tall pines -- those are the kinds that will cement Northern Nevada's image in the minds of outdoors lovers and persuade them to visit someday.