Carson City has the Wild West and the international glamour of Lake Tahoe, says artist Steven Saylor, which is what he thinks attracts tourists.
The destination on everyone's lips shouldn't be Reno/Tahoe, Saylor argues.
"It should be Carson City/Tahoe," he said Monday.
He'll have a chance to discuss his idea at a Thursday workshop on a massive tourism-branding effort started by the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau. A tourism expert will present his findings from an assessment conducted last fall.
"We're sitting next to one of the most beautiful lakes in the world," said restaurant owner Don Thayer. "And many of those visitors go up to Virginia City. I want them to travel to Carson City and Virginia City."
He believes Virginia City does a good job selling its brand - he'd like to see Carson City also succeed.
Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the tourism identity of a city must be decided by the people - not the tourism experts.
"It's up to the community to discover what the brand is and then us to sell it," she said.
But if Duncan had her choice, she'd focus on a train theme centered around the future 18-mile tourist railroad, the Virginia & Truckee.
Businesses must agree with the brand and help to deliver it, Duncan said.
The workshop is part of an ongoing branding program sponsored by the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Carson City Redevelopment and the Nevada Commission on Tourism. More than 100 people attended a program in October 2006 that addressed visitors' first impressions, local attitudes, signs, beautification and infrastructure on how Carson City compares to its competitors.
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