State tourism officials announced Wednesday the launch of Nevada Passage, a statewide adventure race and made-for-television event, May 19-24.
Nevada Passage will feature teams of athletes participating in a series of adventure experiences that will race through Nevada's mountain passes, desert trails, lakes and rivers - all documented in an hourlong TV show.
"Nevada Passage is an exciting new event that will help to establish the Silver State as an adventure destination in addition to our world-class gaming resorts and entertainment," said Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt.
TEAM Unlimited will produce the program for syndication in more than 80 national television markets that include New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Sacramento, Seattle and Portland, Ore. Highlights from Nevada Passage will be included in two half-hour Xterra Planet TV programs for national viewing on networks and cable affiliates.
Viewers will see the athletes kayak, mountain bike, run, hike, rock climb, 4-wheel drive and jet ski their way across hundreds of miles of rugged terrain and water.
The race comes on the heels of the Nevada 10 on 10 Challenge in 2002, sponsored by the Nevada Appeal.
In that event, Appeal staff members Rick Gunn, Karl Horeis, Jeremy Evans and K.M. Cannon, of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, spent 10 days completing 10 outdoor adventures outlined by the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
"The 10-10 Challenge greatly helped raise the visibility of Nevada's adventure activities and attractions," said Chris Chrystal, spokeswoman of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
The Appeal's 10-10 Challenge "probably had an indirect effect on bringing the Nevada Passage here," Chrystal added.
The event is scheduled to begin in Las Vegas and end in Reno, but the focus will be on rural communities as athletes tackle adventures in and around Alamo, Ely, Elko and Fallon.
Nevada Passage is a high-profile event that will further position Nevada as a choice region of the country for adventure activities, said Bruce Bommarito, Nevada Commission on Tourism executive director.
"Televising the race will enable adventure seekers to clearly visualize themselves kayaking on the Truckee River in Reno or mountain biking in the Ruby Mountains of Elko," he added.
The tourism commission is sponsoring the event along with Paul Mitchell, Xterra Energy Drink and Nissan. TEAM Unlimited and R&R Partners, an integrated marketing communications firm, created the six-day race to showcase Nevada's dramatic landscape and adventures.