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Chamber looking at 10-year tourism plan

What will Boulder City’s tourism base look like 10 years from now?

That’s a question the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce is hoping to answer over the next seven months to guide them in developing a 10-year tourism strategy plan for Boulder City.

The chamber was awarded a consulting contract through a Destination Development 3D grant by the Nevada Commission on Tourism/Travel Nevada, for the services of Better Destinations and Nichols Tourism Group. This is to assist the tourism stakeholders of Boulder City in crafting a 10-year plan to guide local leaders on what is best for Boulder City tourism.

Last Wednesday, the chamber hosted a meeting with the intent of gathering a broad range of ideas from stakeholders as well as the public in general.

“It’s key that everyone’s voices are heard,” Chamber President/CEO Jill Rowland-Lagan told those in attendance.

The 3D (destination, development, demonstration) project jump starts Travel Nevada’s brand-new focus on destination development to expand the state’s tourism infrastructure and build rural economies by attracting more traveler spending. In all, six communities were chosen.

Prior to the meeting, Rowland-Lagan said, “The Destination Development programming will assist rural communities fill in the gaps that currently exist. It will more formally prepare their tourism efforts allowing for everyone to row in the same direction. It will also better leverage Travel Nevada’s rural marketing grant awards meant to attract and extend room night stays in Nevada. The result is a vastly better tourism experience and more responsible use of tax dollars for the entire state of Nevada.”

A steering committee has been created and will represent the stakeholders’ interests in future planning sessions. There will be a general public meeting at the end of the process to discuss the findings. Then, once the consultants have all the data and discussions that they are looking for, they will write the plan that will then guide the chamber through the next decade.

“For a long time, those in the industry have focused on the marketing and promotion side of the equation and we took our product as a given,” said Mitch Nichols, of Nichols Tourism Group, who was in attendance at the meeting. “The challenge for an organization like Jill’s was, who and how do we market that to? Recently, we’ve become much more strategic and part of that equation is, we need to have a more proactive role in the types of products and experiences that the destination is serving up.”

Nichols said in order for the 10-year plan to be successful, it has to be a team effort with a wide variety of perspectives and ideas, which is what the steering committee will bring to the project.

Nichols later said that like many smaller communities, Boulder City is a magnet for day visitors, whether it’s those going to the lake, attending a community event or just looking for a place to have lunch and walk around town while visiting various shops. That’s backed up by the Chamber’s theme of “A World Away for a Day.” But as the community moves forward, he said a different approach may be needed.

“The whole thought process is, as we add new experiences and products to the Boulder City environment, we’ve got to convince these folks that we’re not just a day visit, but you need to stay overnight, spending money on hotels and dinner, while turning this in to a two or three-day experience,” Nichols said.

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Ron Eland/Boulder City Review

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