Marshall touts area’s tourism |

Marshall touts area’s tourism

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall discussed state tourism and the upcoming 2020 federal census at last week’s Churchill Economic Development Authority’s monthly breakfast.

The former two-term state treasurer was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. Marshall last spoke in Fallon at April’s state Rural Roundup, a conference for Nevada’s rural tourism industry. She said from 2017 to 2018, the number of visitors to Nevada except for Clark and Washoe counties has increased almost 9 percent.

“That’s 6.1 million people bringing in $2 billion,” she said.

Marshall said the revenue coming into the state from rural tourism is bringing dollars back to the communities, local schools, government and jobs.

“Tourism is a one-stop kind of show,” she added.

During the past state Legislature, Marshall said lawmakers approved the creation of the Division of Outdoor Recreation, which comes under the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. She said the focus is on the state’s recreation, which is a $60 billion industry that other states have developed and nurtured to tap into natural resources. She said Northern Nevada can benefit from the new division with outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, fishing, skiing, backpacking and rafting.

For example, Churchill and Lyon counties benefit from Lahontan Reservoir, while thousands of visitors travel annually to Sand Mountain east of Fallon.

“This industry attracts people to the beauty and assets in Nevada,” she said.

Marshall mentioned Nevada is emerging as a state noted for “the darkest skies in the world.” The state is becoming a favorite visitors’ destination for astronomy and star gazing.

“Well find a way to become one of the ‘Dark Sky States,’” she said. “Leveraging our natural beauty is one of the things we can do.”

Marshall, who is also a member of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said each community is unique when seeing assistance and funding for new ventures. She said it’s important to maintain the character of each community in the state.

“We recognize the uniqueness of our communities and how economic development works for each community,” she said.

For example, she said what works in either Reno or Fernley may not work in Fallon. Different factors include such area as housing, infrastructure such as sewer, health or industrial parks.

Marshall is also serving as the chairwoman of the state’s 2020 census. She said every person counted brings $20,000 to Nevada.

“If we don’t take our slice, other states will,” she said. “That means we won’t get the federal dollars.”

The lieutenant governor said Churchill County is one of the top five counties for agriculture, and migrant workers each bring in $20,000.

This will be the first year residents will fill out the census form online. Marshall said the U.S. Census Bureau will mail postcards to the households, and each postcard includes a code number for online submissions. Field workers will visit homes if the online census is not filed.

“This is not politics,” she said. “We pay money to the federal government, and it needs to come back to Nevada.”

If people don’t have a home computer, Churchill County Librarian Carol Lloyd said the library has computers for residents to complete their census forms. Marshall said schools could be another location to fill out forms.

Marshall said taking the census is a challenging endeavor. She said counting the homeless or people living in motels or campers will be a daunting task but one that needs to be done.