A new campaign is encouraging residents to see Carson City in a new way — then share it with the rest of the community.
“Ride Carson City is more than just a campaign,” said Kyle Horvath, social media manager for the Carson City Visitors Bureau. “It embodies the Carson City lifestyle. It celebrates a community that is active at all ages.”
The visitors bureau launched the Ride Carson City campaign to highlight different ways to enjoy the outdoors. The nine categories of riding are by: train, dirt bike, motorcycle, powered hang glider, horseback, skateboard, bicycle, boat/paddle board and golf cart.
Participants are asked to post on Instagram a picture while engaging in one of the activities with the hashtag #RideCarsonCity. Posts may be shared on Visit Carson City’s social media platforms.
“We want to promote the great weather we have year round and our proximity to vast open spaces,” Horvath said. “The Ride Carson City campaign showcases the best ways one can explore the city’s mountain, valley, and riparian spaces this summer.”
The campaign is the latest in a three-year rebranding effort, said Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau.
“The bureau began a rebranding campaign in early 2013 showcasing the diversity Carson City and our region has to offer visitors,” Dunn said. “The campaign celebrates our historical significance, quality of life, arts and culture, outdoor recreation and our connectivity to world-class destinations in Virginia City and Lake Tahoe.”
Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said the city is reinforcing the state’s efforts.
“I’ve been really pleased and excited to see the direction of the marketing of Carson City,” she said. “It very much aligns with what we’re doing on a statewide level.”
She pointed to the banners the bureau erected downtown featuring local people and activities.
“The images are vibrant,” she said. “They not only show the outdoor assets and what’s happening, there’s a sense of adventure and fun. It’s people actively engaged. I appreciate what Joel and his team are doing. It’s smart marketing.”
Statistics show it’s working.
“The three key indicators in measuring a successful tourism campaign are lodging revenue, average daily rate and revenue per available room,” he said.
Over the last three years, Dunn reported, Carson City’s lodging revenue increased to 16 million this year, up 27.64 percent from 2013. The average daily rate increased 17.31 percent and revenue per available room has gone up 17.85 percent in that same time.
Improving Carson City’s image helps the business climate as well.
Rob Hooper, executive director of Northern Nevada Development Agency, said more industry leaders are looking at the capital city as a result of its rebranding.
“It makes a real difference when we’re being considered by companies for expansion or relocation,” he said. “That outdoor lifestyle is a really big piece of that. You can attract younger workers and they’ll want to stay here.”
He pointed to a recent item in Outside Magazine naming Carson City as a “magnet for tech geeks” because of the outdoor life it offers.
“That put Carson City in front of a lot of tech companies,” Hooper said. “That’s a really good thing.”
Next month’s Carson City Off-Road — the third event in the Epic Rides Off-Road Series — is expected to draw 600 competitors to a mountain bike race and celebration. Dunn estimates the race will bring in $15 million over the five-year contract period.
Todd Sadow, president of Epic Rides, said Carson City was a natural fit.
“We’re looking for communities that parallel the direction we want to be going,” he said. “It’s apparent that Carson City is experiencing a renaissance. We look forward to being a part of it and finding success together.”
Horvath said the Ride Carson campaign is a good way for residents to get involved.
“It’s the perfect excuse to get out and ride your bike or skateboard, or try something new, like the train museum,” Horvath said. “At the same time, it shows the world a community that is active at all ages.”