Many months ago, folks from the Nevada Tourism Commission approached Jeff Anderson and asked if we would be interested in speaking to Nevada's community tourism leaders about outdoor adventure tourism in rural Nevada.
Over the years, Jeff and I would leave Las Vegas and go in just about every imaginable direction on our bikes. We would ride mostly off-road on existing roads and trails to Mexico and then back along a different route. You see, we really don’t like covering the same ground twice and we have always said that we are allergic to the asphalt; therefore, we tend to stay off the tarmac as often as possible since it is so darn boring for us adventurous types. Jeff and I have also completed many grand adventures over the decades from Vegas into Idaho, central Utah, and many others, covering hundreds of thousands of off-road miles.
Over the years we've helped in the development of the Silver State Trail System, a roughly 500-mile OHV trail system near Caliente, south-central Nevada. I also sat on a Clark County task force for years working with others to develop a plan for the future development of an 11,000 acre OHV riding area in the Las Vegas Valley. Last year, through Congressional action, roughly 8,000 acres were transferred from BLM to Clark County as a deed reconveyance. Now there is a legal OHV riding area at Apex for generations to come. In the future, this area will be developed into a first-class OHV area complete with camping spots, restrooms, and more.
In 2016, we were in charge of developing the newest Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR), the Nevada BDR. A roughly 1,000 mile mostly off-road route across the State of Nevada from Oatman, Arizona to Jarbidge, Nevada. It is comprised of public access roads and trails requiring a street legal and licensed motorcycle. What a great idea to connect the dots of various public access roads across the State. With 318 mountain ranges, very diverse climates, ever changing terrain, and shocking temperatures, route development was a real challenge. This route was developed by us with help from the Backcountry Discovery Route non-profit organization to promote and preserve adventure motorcycle access. The BDR organization is a first class non-profit that does great work and represents the adventure motorcycle segment of the market in a highly professional and respected way. For more information visit www.ridebdr.com.
I guess it is our love of the sport and vast knowledge regarding Southwest adventure that we were asked to present at the 2017 Rural Roundup in Elko, Nevada. The gathering was attended by rural Chambers of Commerce, community representatives, key business owners, local politicians, and many from the Nevada Tourism Commission, as well as other State officials. At the event we were able to discuss how outdoor adventure tourism can aid in the future sustainability and growth of the communities by providing an alternative revenue stream beyond declining agriculture and sporadic mining busts and booms. With 43 million visitors in Las Vegas, the allure of the Old West and the vast open spaces in Nevada offers a typical tourist or a passionate motorcyclist the opportunity to explore the history and beauty of our large state away from the Las Vegas city lights.
Based upon historic data from the Backcountry Discovery Route organization, it is estimated that in the first year that the NVBDR is launched (2017) there will be a new revenue stream from adventure riders of approximately 1.2 million dollars. Not bad for a first-year effort! At Great Southwest Moto Adventures it's our goal to aid in the promotion of the route, including rural community visitation while on the trails so that our home state can benefit. Our passion for motorcycling and taking the back roads is fundamental to us. It's our goal that by pursuing our own passions we will continue to raise awareness of adventure tourism and the sport, in general.
Look out Nevada rural communities, the future is bright for those that support the growth of outdoor adventure tourism. All that is needed from our friends in rural communities are friendly people and decent hotels and roads, preferably unpaved.