Friday, February 26, 2010

Vote in Nevada Magazine’s Best of Nevada 2010 readers’ poll

Nevada Magazine’s annual Best of Nevada readers’ poll is now available online at The 13th annual poll allows readers to weigh in on categories ranging from Best Casino, Hotel, and Restaurant to Best Place to Take Kids.

Results will be published in the July/August 2010 issue and on in late June. “We encourage everyone to go to our Web site and vote for their favorites, including in our small towns and rural areas,” says Publisher Janet Geary.

To vote, visit the homepage and click on the Best of Nevada 2010 logo, or just click here to get started. The categories are divided into three parts: Northern, Southern, and Rural Nevada. You do not need to fill out all the categories to submit your survey. However, two lucky voters out of those who complete their ballots will win complimentary two-night stays at Eldorado in Reno or The Venetian/The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Voting ends on Thursday, April 15.

The 2008 and 2009 Best of Nevada winners can be viewed at

In Nevada Magazine’s March/April 2010 issue

Nevada Magazine’s March/April 2010 issue hits newsstands in late February. In it are features on the 75th anniversary of Nevada’s state parks and the Pony Express sesquicentennial—150 years ago riders saddled up to deliver mail via the historic trail, crossing Nevada between Sacramento and Missouri.

Also highlighted are the newly reopened V&T Railroad route (connecting Virginia City and Carson City) and other places to ride the short line, Basque eateries, six ways to splurge in Las Vegas, Barry Manilow’s new show at Paris Las Vegas, Genoa’s first Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, and the magazine’s Tour Around Nevada continues in Lovelock.

To vote in Nevada Magazine’s Tour Around Nevada, click here.

Writers’ Contest

Click here for more details.

Valley of Fire State Park cover photo by James Phelps

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hoover Dam Helicopter Tour

Over the weekend, Associate Editor Charlie Johnston and I were treated to a 15-minute Hoover Dam Helicopter Tour, courtesy of Look! Tours and Stars and Stripes Air Tours.

We arrived at the Stars and Stripes heliport (1251 Airport Road) before 1 p.m. After a short delay, due to some feisty winds, we were soon up in the air and in the capable hands of pilot Curtis Cornelius (see photo below).

This was my first helicopter flight, so I was excited. I had never seen Hoover Dam before, so it was easy for me to be amazed at the dam, the new Hoover Dam Bypass (currently under construction), and the Colorado River, which from a bird's-eye view is strikingly green due to the lime in the surrounding rocks.

What surprised me, however, was the unique formations that define the land around Black Canyon and Hoover Dam. The earth juts up in tinges of brown, red, and green, and the mountains appear at a glance to be carved out of rock. It's all the more impressive after flying over a vast, flat expanse of dirt and sagebrush in approaching the dam from the airport.

It was also quite the view to see Boulder City Golf Course such a nice shade of dark green, even in February. For such a short flight, the variance in scenery tricks you into thinking you were in the air a lot longer. Watch a video about the experience here.

Look for a story on Las Vegas tour companies in an upcoming issue of Nevada Magazine. If you're skeptical of the hovering variety, don't worry, we'll offer some suggestions that will keep you on the ground.

Photos & story by Editor Matthew B. Brown

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Powdery Day at Diamond Peak

My uncle's a Republican. Republicans listen to Rush Limbaugh. So, on the way to Diamond Peak on a recent Friday, as a passenger I had the privilege of listening to Limbaugh rant about how Obama is failing us and how global warming is a farce.

For the record, I don't consider myself Democrat or Republican, but I do like to think of myself as logical. Global warming is pure science, a non-debatable truth that can be proved with data, despite what Limbaugh or anyone else says.

My point, though, as far as this blog is concerned, is not at all related to global warming. Rather, on my way to Diamond Peak, it occurred to me that we (not just skiers and snowboarders, but anyone who depends on a faucet for a drink of water or a hot shower) have to appreciate the decent snow years just a little bit more nowadays, and 2010 has been just that — so far.

On this day, February 12, there was plenty of powder to go around from myriad storms that have passed through the Lake Tahoe area recently. Combine it with the fantastic views of Lake Tahoe (see photo above), and Diamond Peak in Incline Village contends with any of the major resorts in the area. Yeah, you're going to get more terrain at some of those other resorts, but you're also going to pay nearly double for a lift ticket.

If you haven't been yet, give Diamond Peak a try. You just might find that it has everything you're looking for at a reasonable price (plus the main lodge — see photo below — just underwent a significant renovation). And don't wait, because you never know what Mother Nature has in store for next ski season. Then again, if you believe Limbaugh, maybe you can afford to be patient.

Check out more Diamond Peak photos at our Flickr account.

Photos by Matthew B. Brown