Carson City named best state capital to visit by USA Today |

Carson City named best state capital to visit by USA Today

John Barrette
South Carson City is viewed from the north and high above on Wednesday from the seat of a Cessna 172 aircraft.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

Carson City won a USA Today readership poll on the best state capital to visit, prompting local boosters Wednesday to gush about the victory.

“It’s a great tribute to our community,” said Mayor Robert Crowell.

An avid skier for years and a vocal city promoter, the mayor added: “I’m going to tout this from the mountain tops.”

Ronni Hannaman and Joel Dunn, executive directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, respectively, joined in the celebratory oratory. They thanked those active in the campaign to put the Nevada capital city over the top and said it helps spread the word the community is a gem that serves as a hub in a great region.

“I’m going to tout this from the mountain tops.”
Robert Crowell

“Now the entire United States will know why so many of us have chosen to live here,” said Hannaman. She said she and like-minded boosters look forward to welcoming new visitors. She admired the “tenacity” of people who, like her, voted daily on the Internet to help Carson City ace out the likes of Juneau in Alaska, Little Rock in Arkansas, Boise in Idaho and Sacramento next door in California.

Those cities were the other four, in order, among the top five chosen by readers of USA Today and those who participated daily. Hannaman said people could vote only once daily, as did a host of Carson City supporters. There were 20 nominees vying to win the nationwide paper’s best capital travel destination recognition prize.

“It was a social media campaign,” said Dunn. “It was a win not only for Carson City, but the whole state.” The visitors bureau chief said a concerted effort involving the Nevada Commission on Tourism and other visitors bureaus in the Silver State was involved because it helps to boost the image of Nevada, along with the capital, as a topflight travel destination.

“I have to say I did my part,” Dunn added, but he emphasized votes came not only from city residents but from people across the state and even those who live elsewhere but have traveled here. Dunn’s bureau has an active social media effort under way, and he said that helped develop and track poll participants. The newspaper announced the winners Wednesday.

“We asked USA Today 10Best readers to vote for their favorite (destination) among a list of 20 nominees,” USA Today reported, “and the winners might surprise you.”

The paper said Carson City won by a sizable margin and a synopsis of the No. 1 choice read like it was written by community boosters.

“Carson City, a small town of 50,000 (and growing), offers inexpensive lodging and food in a picturesque setting.” After citing local attractions, it added: “Lake Tahoe and Reno are nearby, making Carson City an excellent base from which to explore the Sierra Nevadas.”