Friday, November 22, 2013

Archers Take Aim at Wasting Arrows Indoor Range


There's something about archery that evokes an almost primal sense in people. It is astonishing that an art, which is tens of thousands of years old, has evolved so much technologically, yet has essentially remained the same. From the days when bows and arrows were fashioned and fletched from wood, sinew, and feathers to a modern system capable of extreme accuracy and precision, archery has been—and will continue to be—a respected sport for many years.

Wasting Arrows—the only indoor archery range in the Reno/Sparks area—allows archers of all skill levels to experience the draw of archery for themselves. After hearing various friends and colleagues buzz about the facility, I'm elated that I finally get to visit Wasting Arrows to experience what all the hype is about.

Having shot a bow only a few times in my life, I'm eager to learn more about the sport. After Deana and Lystra Pitts—the very knowledgeable owners of Wasting Arrows—give me the rundown on safety information and archery basics, I'm ready to shoot. Though certainly not a dead-eye, I fling a few arrows down my lane, which luckily, stick into the target.

The facility caters to a large number of people, offering 22 archery lanes; private and group lessons; equipment rental and purchase; and league and tournament shooting. Wasting Arrows also accommodates birthday parties, special events, and holiday-themed events. "For Halloween, we had people in costume shooting at zombie targets," Lystra says. "And for Christmas, we're going to do a Christmas ornament shoot." He adds that they're planning a special Thanksgiving "turkey shoot," with a frozen turkey as the grand prize, a chicken as second, and a Cornish game hen as the third place prize.

Deana and Lystra are USA Archery, National Field Archery Association, and National Archery in the Schools Program certified instructors, and their skillful teaching methods show on the facilities' "Robin Hood wall." The wall acts as a display for visitors who shot two arrows with such precision that one arrow is shot directly into the shaft of another arrow.

Although I leave without achieving any "Robin Hood" shots, I walk away very happy with my visit, and much more knowledgeable about archery.

Wasting Arrows is open to the public daily from noon to 5 p.m. on Mondays, noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Hourly rates start at $12, with equipment rentals at $5.

Wasting Arrows
8975 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, NV 89521, 775-240-8749

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Motel Life Novel Hits the Big Screen

Nevada—and not just Las Vegas—has made its mark on the motion picture industry.

"The Motel Life" stars, from left to right, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, and Stephen Dorff.

On Friday, November 8, "The Motel Life" movie—an adaptation of Reno native and author Willy Vlautin's 2006 novel of the same name—debuted in select cities around the country with a simultaneous iTunes and National Video On Demand release. I had the pleasure of attending a screening of the film on Saturday, November 2 at the University of Nevada, Reno. In the book/movie, two brothers—Jerry Lee and Frank—flee Reno after Jerry Lee kills a teenage boy in an accident turned hit-and-run.

Vlautin, also the frontman for the Richmond Fontaine band, was present as an intimate crowd of about 100 were treated to the free first-come, first-serve showing. Although it was difficult for me to get over the fact that the film's creators passed off Virginia City as Elko (where the men escape to), for the most part I enjoyed the 85-minute movie. "I apologize…and they apologize…for making Virginia City Elko," Vlautin joked in a post-screening Q&A session. "I guess they went to Elko and said, 'It looks exactly like Reno…kinda.' So they had to find somewhere close that they could afford."

My opinion of the movie pretty much mirrors many of the reviews I read. While the movie itself is good, not great, what makes it memorable are the surreal illustrations by Mike Smith. Like Smith, Jerry Lee's character (Stephen Dorff) is a great drawer, and Frank (Emile Hirsch) tells equally great and far-flung tales, often pitting Jerry Lee as the hero. The animation, coupled with the wintry cinematography, are exceptional. "My favorite part of the movie are the animation scenes," Vlautin said.

If you're a resident of Reno (like myself) or Virginia City, or hold these cities dear, it's worth seeing the movie simply for that reason alone. I also recommend reading the Q&A with Vlautin, by Caleb Cage, from the November/December 2008 issue of Nevada Magazine, here.

Keep reading this blog to learn about other memorable films that have a strong Nevada tie. The following story (although condensed and re-edited here) was published in the November/December 2012 issue of Nevada Magazine:



Early in 2011, Carson City and neighboring Douglas County were abuzz with Dakota Fanning sightings. The famous actress was in the Carson City area for the filming of “The Motel Life,” based on a book of the same name by author-musician Willy Vlautin.

“I just saw her and Emile [Hirsch] filming in Carson City at the Back on Track Inn,” wrote Frank Norton in a comment on the website on March 4, 2011. “I yelled ‘I love you’ to her, and she stopped, looked at me, and started walking again.”

Norton represents that crazed movie lover in all of us; we become obsessed with the characters, quotes, and places from our favorite films. “The Motel Life,” also reportedly shot in Gardnerville, Genoa, Minden, Reno, and Virginia City, is just one of many in a long line of recognizable movies that take advantage of Nevada’s unique cities, towns, and landscapes.

With the help of the Nevada Film Office, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012, we chose a diverse group of films to spotlight in this story. Some of them you can even revisit—literally—today, simply by planning a trip to or within Nevada.

Plot descriptions are from International Movie Database—

December 1986 issue
1961 — Dayton & Reno
Plot: A sexy divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle in early-’60s Nevada.
Stars: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, & Montgomery Clift
Misfits Flat has quite a ring to it. Unfortunately for tourists, it’s on private property. Fortunately, Lester Robertson—owner of the land and the company Complete Millwork Service—is open to playing tour guide. Robertson says motorized vehicles are off limits, but he’s invited hikers, landsailers, and model airplane flyers and rocketeers to his acreage just south of Stagecoach off U.S. Highway 50. “Then there’s the occasional school film shoot,” he adds. “Schools from the Bay Area shoot shorts. It’s really the only dry lakebed that’s privately held. They’re looking for that desert scenery; that cloud of dust. I have all those vistas.”
As for “The Misfits,” Robertson says he knows precisely where the movie was shot and where the action took place. “The only people who have been interested are Europeans,” he says. “The French and Germans have an affinity for westerns.” Call Robertson at 775-246-0485 to inquire about the property.
Dayton’s Odeon Hall & Saloon, now home to the aptly named Misfits Theater Group (, is where the movie’s lively bar scenes were filmed. Interestingly, director John Huston was the winner of Virginia City’s inaugural Camel Races in 1960. The event is still held annually in Virginia City.

Valley of Fire State Park
1966 — Valley of Fire State Park
Plot: An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue
his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, & Robert Ryan
Today, a plaque marks the spot where “The Professionals” set once stood, accessible via the White Domes Trail in Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. “The main movie set, a Mexican hacienda, was located where the parking lot is now. Railroad ties can still be seen sticking out of the rocks,” reads the plaque. Parts of the movie were also filmed in Las Vegas and at Lake Mead, both nearby.
Hal Roach began the tradition of filming westerns among the red sandstone vistas in the 1920s before the area was officially recognized as a state park in 1935. Other well-known films to feature Valley of Fire State Park include “Electric Horseman” and “Star Trek Generations.”

1974 — Lake Tahoe
Plot: The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, & Robert Duvall
In true mob fashion, the Lake Tahoe location used in the second “Godfather” is shrouded in secrecy. “It’s long been rumored that a scene was filmed at the Thunderbird Lodge, but the property manager there has no recollection,” says Robin Holabird, former deputy director of the Nevada Film Office before she retired in 2008. “The production designer, Dean Tavoularis, told me he could only remember shooting near Homewood. That was the old Kaiser Estate, which is now the Fleur du Lac condos. Only the boathouse remains standing.” The original “Godfather” used the Riviera in Las Vegas for filming.
Some films that feature Lake Tahoe as a backdrop are more obvious. The 2006 film “Smokin’ Aces” used the iconic Cave Rock, which drivers pass through on U.S. Highway 50. ‘“The Deep End’ used Sand Harbor for Tilda Swinton’s character to dump a body; ironic because Sand Harbor is probably the most shallow end of Lake Tahoe,” Holabird adds.

"The Shootist" house, Carson City
Photo by Charlie Johnston
1976 — Carson City
Plot: A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, & Ron Howard
The 1914 Krebs-Peterson house at 500 Mountain Street in Carson City (near the Governor’s Mansion) has a sidewalk plaque commemorating western icon John Wayne’s final film. “Wayne was great to Carson City locals while he was staying at the Ormsby House Hotel during the filming,” reads “He signed autographs for young people readily.”
Former Nevada Magazine art director Tony deRonnebeck grew up with a similar story. Tony’s grandfather, Otto, worked as a truck driver for Salvage Construction Company in Carson City. “He was delivering sand to cover the asphalt streets for the set. On one of the trips John Wayne jumped up in the cab of his truck, shared a Camel straight, and talked about the old days,” Tony told me.
The movie was also filmed in nearby Washoe Lake State Park. Ironic that he played a dying gunfighter, Wayne’s acting career faded quietly. He never made it back to the big screen despite dying of stomach cancer a whole three years after filming for “The Shootist” began.

Director Brooks at Hoover Dam
1985 — Hoover Dam & Las Vegas
Plot: A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits, and cruise America in a Winnebago.
Stars: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, & Sylvia Farrel
This story ranges from the work-a-day world of Los Angeles to the razzle-dazzle of Las Vegas to the high energy of New York City; from the stunning beauty of Hoover Dam to the quaint life of roadside trailer camps.
In Las Vegas, the picture company worked and lodged at the Desert Inn Hotel, filming in the casino, lobby, and coffee shop. In the casino, usually seen in films as a distant backdrop, special arrangements were made to enable filming at the gaming tables amid customers and employees.
In striking contrast to Vegas’ neon shimmer was the majesty of the Hoover Dam. For the filmmakers, as well as for the main characters David and Linda, the journey proved to be an exercise in rediscovering America.—From

1995 — Las Vegas
Plot: Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, & Joe Pesci
The Las Vegas locations used in this classic mob film are too vast to list, but some notable ones are Bally’s and former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman’s actual Fourth Street office. The driving scene in the beginning of the movie was filmed on Fremont Street in downtown, which is no longer open to automobile traffic.
The Tangiers casino mentioned in the movie is fictional; the story is actually based upon the history of the Stardust casino and the life of mobster Franky “Lefty” Rosenthal.
Las Vegas residents and tourists can get a great overview of the city’s mob history on the Vegas Mob Tour (, 866-218-4935), Wednesday through Saturday in the winter months and daily in the spring and summer months. The two-and-a-half hour bus tour covers fedoras and pinstriped suits from Bugsy Siegel in the ’40s to Rosenthal in the ’70s. Former mobster Frank Cullotta served as a technical adviser on the “Casino” set and has provided his insights to the tour.

ID4 monument in Rachel
1996 — Rachel & West Wendover
Plot: The aliens are coming, and their goal is to invade and destroy. Fighting superior technology, man’s best weapon is the will to survive.
Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, & Jeff Goldblum
Perhaps Nevada’s most obscure monument to the motion-picture industry lies in the small town of Rachel on the Extraterrestrial Highway—or State Route 375. “The ‘ID4’ monument in front of the Little A’Le’Inn was placed here by the producers of the movie ‘Independence Day,’” reads “It contains a time capsule, to be opened in the year 2050.” lists the “trailer park scene” as having been filmed in Rachel. Holabird, also a film reviewer for KUNR, says Pullman and Goldblum traveled to Rachel the year the movie was released in theaters—1996—to dedicate the official opening of the Extraterrestrial Highway. “The Area 51 shots were done at the Wendover Air Base, which meant the cast and crew, even Will Smith, stayed in West Wendover,” she says. The movie also used Utah’s famously spacious and white Bonneville Salt Flats, just east of West Wendover, for filming.

Exploded plane from "3,000 Miles..."
2001 — Las Vegas & Nelson
Plot: A gang of ex-cons robs a casino during Elvis convention week.
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, & Courteney Cox
Nelson is best known as one of Southern Nevada’s most intriguing “living ghost towns,” but it’s also home to a piece—a big piece—of movie memorabilia. The remnants of a plane blown up by Costner’s character sit adjacent to the Techatticup Mine, available for tours most days via Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours (, 702-291-0026).
The set was not new to Russell. Another film he stars in, 1997’s “Breakdown,” also used the Nelson area as a backdrop.

Plot: A romantic comedy about two trashy couples traveling to Reno to see a monster truck show.
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, & Patrick Swayze
The Biggest Little City has provided the backdrop for countless films, as is the case with this under-the-radar movie. Perhaps it wouldn’t have flown quite so far under had Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston not dropped out prior to filming. Casino scenes were filmed in the former Fitzgeralds, also seen in the 2010 film “Love Ranch,” starring Joe Pesci, which is based on the real-life story of Joe Conforte opening the first legal brothel in the state.
“Kingpin” used downtown Reno’s National Bowling Stadium extensively, and who could forget the scene of Whoopi Goldberg and a group of fellow nuns running under the famous downtown “Biggest Little City in the World” arch in “Sister Act”?

2005 — Rhyolite
Plot: A man goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a “harvestable being,” kept as a source of replacement parts, along with others, in a Utopian facility.
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, & Djimon Hounsou
Forget its role in popular films. If you haven’t been to Rhyolite, a popular ghost town just west of Beatty, you’re missing a real Nevada treasure. The barely standing buildings and ruins remain from the early 1900s when the Bullfrog Mining District boomed. By the 1920s, the town was by all means abandoned. Structures such as the three-story Cook Bank Building fit Bay’s vision of a desolate world in which Johansson and McGregor’s characters are thrust.
Filming of “The Island” also commenced in Tonopah, according to 1987’s “Cherry 2000,” a sci-fi action number starring Melanie Griffith, was filmed almost exclusively in Nevada, utilizing the aforementioned Rhyolite, as well as Goldfield and the Hollywood-popular Valley of Fire State Park.

What are your favorite Nevada movies? Let us know in the Comments section.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nevada Magazine Covers Mining's Past & Present

An overview of Coeur Rochester, Inc.'s Nevada mine, northeast of Lovelock.
Nevada Magazine’s November/December 2013 issue, featuring former president Abraham Lincoln on the cover, is now available on newsstands throughout Nevada. In it are parallel feature stories: one about the logistics of modern mining in the state and a partner piece that focuses on Nevada's mining history and how the innovative and lucrative Comstock district propelled Nevada into statehood on October 31, 1864.

Lincoln was president during the Civil War, when Nevada become a state, earning it the "Battle Born" moniker. This is the second of eight Sesquicentennial Special Editions the magazine will produce through November/December 2014. The State of Nevada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2014.

Also highlighted in the issue are the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center, Fort Churchill State Historic Park, Sand Springs Pony Express station, the Frank Sinatra Jr. kidnapping of 1963, a roundup of 2013 Nevada Books, and The LINQ, an open-air retail, dining, and entertainment district now under construction on the Las Vegas Strip.

The magazine is currently offering a number of great holiday gifts, including the Historical Nevada book, the 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar, and our special 75th-Anniversary Edition of 2011. Find out more at, or by calling 775-687-0610.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nevada Magazine Gets Into the Sesquicentennial Spirit

This old-time photo of the Nevada Magazine staff was taken in August 2013 at Priscilla Pennyworth's in Virginia City.
Release of Historical Nevada book and Historical Calendar coincides with Nevada Day weekend celebration.

Nevada Magazine staff will be selling the new Historical Nevada book and 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 in Carson City during the Nevada Day festivities. Look for the booth at the Nevada State Museum in the main concourse on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be an additional booth on Saturday, during the Nevada Day Parade, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Paul Laxalt State Building.

In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday in 2014, Nevada Magazine has published a special book titled Historical Nevada: 150 Memorable Images in Celebration of the Silver State's Sesquicentennial. This 159-page publication is a great way for Nevadans and Nevada enthusiasts to celebrate the state's heritage. The cover shows the Virginia & Truckee Railroad as it was in 1876 Carson City.

Each book is $29.95 if purchased in person, and the magazine will accept Visa and MasterCard. If ordering online or via phone, the book is $29.95 plus a $6 shipping and handling fee. To order, visit, or call 775-687-0610. Nevada state employees can get the Historical Nevada book for $25 by e-mailing or calling 775-687-0610.

The 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar is also produced by Nevada Magazine. An 1876 scene of the Carson City Capitol appears on the cover. The 2014 calendar features many images from Nevada’s first decade of statehood, including a few from the early days of the Comstock, famous writer Mark Twain's cabin in Aurora, an 1860s photo of Austin, and an 1870s photo of Eureka.

Each calendar is $14 if purchased in person. If ordering online or via phone, each calendar is $14 plus a $4 shipping and handling fee. To order, visit, or call 775-687-0610. Nevada state employees can get the 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar for $11 by e-mailing or calling 775-687-0610. Purchasers can also bundle the book, calendar, and a Nevada Magazine subscription by taking advantage of various special offers available at

In addition, Nevada Magazine is hosting Nevada Photographers Day II, October 25-27. The magazine is inviting all photographers, statewide, to capture the Nevada Day spirit from our small towns to our big cities. Show and tell a memorable story that takes place in Nevada only during this 72-hour period. Submissions and detailed photo descriptions (names, place, time, etc.) are due to by Monday, November 11 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Special Events at Safe Haven Rescue Zoo

Photo: Matthew B. Brown

Safe Haven Rescue Zoo is a wildlife sanctuary located in Imlay. We provide rehabilitative services and permanent placement for wildlife in need. We respond to assistance requests from state and federal agencies, law enforcement, veterinarians, and concerned citizens.

Many of our wild residents are former exotic pets. Several have come to Safe Haven as the result of major rescue efforts coordinated by agencies and sanctuaries nationwide.

Why do we put so much effort into our special events? While there are many reasons, we think Max, one of our rescued cougars, speaks volumes on the importance of bringing awareness to our organization.

Max’s Story:

The feel of the sun on my face, the earth beneath my paws, the tall grass swaying along my flank—these are the simple pleasures I never knew I was missing! The first ten years of my life were spent in a cramped and filthy 10 x 12 stall in a privately owned barn warehousing many other exotic cats just like me. For ten long years I could catch only a glimpse of the outside world, a hint of a fresh breeze, sometimes, through our single grimy window. Although a cougar can live twenty years or more, I had no expectation of that as I watched my fellow inmates languish and sometimes die. Dirty water, not enough food, no veterinary care, it took its toll on us. Sometimes we even lashed out at each other. If I stood on my hind legs to look out the window, I risked injury from my neighbor, a much larger and stronger African lion. Each lonely day passed like all the others—I paced my cramped quarters, I worried about my neighbors, I faced the high stall walls surrounding me and I wondered if there would be food today.

Photo: Matthew B. Brown
But I am one of the lucky ones, one of the survivors. Rescue came in time and now my life here at Safe Haven is beyond anything I could have imagined. I have room to run and play, to chase my own boomer ball at top speed, to pounce from hiding and scare my laughing caregivers, to dance through the grass and bask in the warmth of a sun so bright I have to squint my eyes. I have a healthy diet and endless fresh drinking water. I can rest well in the clean straw of my protected den – no more nightmares of the long arm of the lion next door reaching out towards me while I sleep! Oh, I still have lions for neighbors, but it is not at all the same. A safe and secure distance away, Kovu and Ifaw are interesting neighbors to watch and listen to. The sights and smells and sounds of Safe Haven, my new family of lions, tigers, servals, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, lynxes, and yes, even another cougar or two, are becoming comforting and familiar. We trade our stories quietly at night, a low trill exchanged between enclosures, a roar at past indignities, a growl at remembered hardship, the peaceful purr of thanks. We all remember and we are all grateful for a Safe Haven future full of joy and happiness.

Max was one of nine other cougars, nine African lions, and one tiger rescued from a Texas pole barn, discovered after the owner passed away from cancer. The cats were housed in 10 x 12 horse stalls with one single window—never going outside.  

Upcoming events that will help Max and his fellow Safe Haven residents:

Month of October
Location: Rapscallions Seafood House and Bar
Eat at Rapscallions during the month of October and mention Safe Haven when paying your bill. Twenty percent of the food portion of your tab will be donated to Safe Haven at the end of the month.

October 12, 2013
Tiger Dash!
Time 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Location: Safe Haven (Imlay, NV)
Activities: 5k race/walk, vendors, enrichment demonstrations, guided tours of facility, lunch, and silent auction
Cost: varies from $10-25 per person for race; Vendors-$50
Must complete registration form:

November 2, 2013
Open House
Time:  2:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: Safe Haven (Imlay, NV)
Activities:  guided tours, enrichment demonstrations, hors d'oeurves and beverages.
Cost: FREE

November 17, 2013
Full Moon Tour
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Safe Haven (Imlay, NV)
Activity: Tour of facility and enrichment demonstrations
Cost: $15 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and younger (Advanced registration is required)

Safe Haven is a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) verified wildlife rescue sanctuary. GFAS collaborates with other US accredited animal rescue groups when a facility is shut down or in this case, animals discovered in need of immediate placement.  Safe Haven provides these "forever home" to abandoned and illegally owned exotics to allow them to finish their lives in dignity.

Telephone: 775-538-7093

Friday, September 6, 2013

Reno Man Wins Nevada Magazine’s 2013 Photo Contest

Nevada residents sweep Grand Prize and 2nd through 4th Places.

"Light Glyphs," by Neil Lockhart
Neil Lockhart, owner of Neil Lockhart Photography based in Reno, is the Grand Prize winner of Nevada Magazine’s 36th annual Great Nevada Picture Hunt photo contest — the feature story in the publication’s September/October 2013 issue.

The winning image, titled “Light Glyphs," is an epic nighttime scene of Lagomarsino Canyon. One of the state’s most intriguing collections of petroglyphs, the site is located in the Lousetown area north of Virginia City. “The image was created by light-painting the rock formations with a large portable spotlight, as well as a small Mini Maglite for the glyphs themselves,” says Lockhart, who has a passion for night photography. He strategically included the Milky Way. “I can only imagine how bright the light of the stars must have been at the time the glyphs were created,” he adds.

In addition to the Grand Prize, there were 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and 4th Place winners in the magazine's 2013 photo contest. Carson City resident Jarrod Lopiccolo took 2nd with his stunning "Life Guard Off Duty" photo, taken at Sand Harbor on Lake Tahoe's northeastern shore. The 3rd Place photo, "Rhyolite Ghost Town" by Wayne Posner of Las Vegas, also landed on the cover of the current issue. Like Lockhart, Posner used a light-painting effect on the "Ghost Rider" sculpture at Rhyolite’s Goldwell Open Air Museum. Rhyolite is a ghost town in southwestern Nevada, not far from Beatty.

Reno resident Michael Lindberg took 4th Place with his photo of Sand Mountain Recreation Area, titled "Star Dust." The gigantic pile of sand, east of Fallon, is a popular ATV destination. “I went in February 2013 during a cold weekend in hopes of seeing zero motorized vehicles,” Lindberg says. “Unfortunately, there were still plenty of people, and I had to hike all over to find sand that had not been touched. Luckily my sweat and determination rewarded me with this scene.”

To view the winning images and Honorable Mentions, pick up the September/October 2013 issue at national bookstores and where magazines are sold in Nevada, or visit Look for information in a future 2014 issue covering submission rules for the 2014 photo contest, or check back regularly at

Also in the September/October 2013 issue

Photo by Wayne Posner
The current issue is also Nevada Magazine's first Sesquicentennial Special Edition. Nevada is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2014, so the magazine will honor the sesquicentennial over the next eight issues, through November/December 2014. Author and historian Ron Soodalter is writing a series of history stories that covers Nevada's past. Part I of Soodalter's two-part "Pre-Nevada" series covers the Indians, explorers, miners, and settlers who paved the way for Nevada's rise to statehood.

Also highlighted are a southwestern Nevada ghost-towns tour, spectacular fall images, more on the changing face of downtown Las Vegas, and a new tavern in Reno that pays homage to Nevada's birth year of 1864.

Historical Nevada Book Now Available

In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday in 2014, Nevada Magazine is publishing a special book titled Historical Nevada: 150 Memorable Images in Celebration of the Silver State's Sesquicentennial. This 160-page publication is a great way for Nevadans and Nevada enthusiasts to celebrate the state's heritage. The cover shows the Virginia & Truckee Railroad as it was in 1876 Carson City.

The book also pays homage to Nevada Magazine's annual Nevada Historical Calendar, because the 150 images showcased are the most intriguing and memorable from 36 years of calendars (1978-2013). "We carefully scanned and edited the photos to preserve their original attributes," says Nevada Magazine Publisher Janet Geary. "We know you will enjoy this nine-decade journey through the different eras that shaped Nevada and helped create the state we know and love today."

From 1870s Virginia City to 1950s Las Vegas, Historical Nevada illustrates the Silver State's rise from a sparsely populated mining mecca into a world-renowned tourist destination. It also includes a Foreword by Richard Moreno, who was the Nevada Magazine publisher from 1992 to 2006. He has authored a number of Nevada history books, most recently A Short History of Carson City, and he is currently a professor at Western Illinois University.

Each book is $29.95 plus $6 shipping and handling. To order, visit, or call 775-687-0610. Nevada state employees can get the Historical Nevada book for $25 by e-mailing or calling 775-687-0610.

2014 Nevada Historical Calendar Now Available

The 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar, produced by Nevada Magazine, is now available for pre-order. For 36 years, Nevada residents and enthusiasts have enjoyed the award-winning wall calendar full of black-and-white photographs from years gone by. It also makes for a great holiday gift.

An 1876 scene of the Carson City Capitol is featured on the cover. The 2014 calendar features many more images from Nevada’s past, including a few from the early days of the Comstock, famous writer Mark Twain's cabin in Aurora, an 1860s photo of Austin, and an 1870s photo of Eureka. All of the inside calendar images are from Nevada's first decade of statehood.

Each calendar is $14 plus $4 shipping and handling. To order, visit, or call 775-687-0610. Nevada state employees can get the 2014 Nevada Historical Calendar for $11 by e-mailing or calling 775-687-0610.

Friday, August 30, 2013

THS-Visuals Tells Nevada's Story


One of the slogans we use at Nevada Magazine is "Telling the Silver State's story since 1936." Well, THS-Visuals has been telling Nevada's story for many years as well. We were lucky enough to work with owner Todd Simon and his crew this month for a Nevada Magazine promo video, which you can watch below:

I found it interesting, in conversations I had with Simon in between filming at our Carson City offices, just how much of Nevada he's seen. We share this in common, I as the editor of Nevada Magazine and he as the owner of THS-Visuals, which has produced numerous Nevada tourism videos. Here is a summary of THS-Visuals' Nevada travels just this year:
  • In March, they shot for a new TLC TV show called "Insane Bathrooms" covering a solid-gold bathroom in a Zephyr Cove (Lake Tahoe) home. The house was built by the co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger.
  • Shortly after, they visited Pahrump for eight days to film a series of videos aimed at promoting tourism on the Visit Pahrump website. Included were Southern Nevada attractions such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Hoover Dam, local wineries, Death Valley National Park, and Rhyolite ghost town.
  • In May, THS-Visuals spent time in Elko making a video for the California Trail Interpretive Center, followed by a shoot at Barrick Gold Corporation's Goldstrike mine site.
  • In June, the Nevada Commission on Tourism asked THS-Visuals to put together a "Travel Nevada" video set to the new Nevada theme song, "Don't Fence Me In," by Las Vegas band The Killers.
  • This summer, Simon and crew filmed events and activities in West Wendover during the city's July 4th celebration, then spent four days covering wild horses around Reno and Winnemucca for a new Discovery Channel show. Then they were back in West Wendover for 10 more days to film a series of tourism videos for the city website.
"Who knows where in the state you'll find us next? Interesting, and often unexpected...but always fun. That's my take on Nevada!"—Todd Simon
THS-Visuals' reach is not limited to Nevada, having produced shorts for Redding, California and Shasta Lake, for example. They were extremely professional during filming and turned the video around quickly, while remaining diligent about quality. We at Nevada Magazine highly recommend their work if you're looking to have a video made for your agency, business, etc.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Six Must-See Sites Named State Treasures in Discover Your Nevada Contest

Photo: Lori Drew (Nevada Northern Railway in Ely)
Online voters have identified six standout sites as the 2013 Nevada Treasures in the Discover Your Nevada contest, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio announced today.

Three of the six Nevada Treasures defended their 2012 title through active social and viral marketing outreach. This year’s winners are:

• Cowboy Country: The Star Hotel and Basque Restaurant in Elko, which also won in 2012
• Indian Territory: The Lost City Museum in Overton
• Las Vegas Territory: The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas
• Nevada Silver Trails: Pahrump Valley Winery
• Pony Express Territory: Nevada Northern Railway in Ely, which also won in 2012
• Reno-Tahoe Territory: Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden, which also won in 2012

The contest, now in its second year, is administered by the Nevada Commission on Tourism and is designed to raise awareness of Nevada’s extraordinary assets among Silver State residents, ultimately driving travel within the state.

The 2013 contest comprised a four-week process whereby people nominated, then voted for their favorite Nevada Treasures in the state’s six tourism territories: Cowboy Country, Indian Territory, Las Vegas Territory, Nevada Silver Trails, Pony-Express Territory, and Reno-Tahoe Territory. Nominations began July 3, followed by two rounds of online voting. The final voting round closed at 5 p.m. on August 2.

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas
“Nevada has so many interesting towns, historical sites, and natural wonders. It truly is a place for discovery,” Vecchio says. “The winners represent urban and rural areas, showcasing the incredible offerings found throughout the state.”

The 2013 contest was conducted via Facebook, providing an enhanced opportunity for sharing recommendations and viral marketing by nominees. This platform allowed residents, business owners, and Nevada fans to rally behind their favorites via critical social networking channels.

For more information about the 2013 “Treasures” and traveling in Nevada, visit Read about the 2012 Discover Your Nevada winners in this Nevada Magazine story.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nevada Moon Rocks on Display

The smaller of two samples of moon rocks on display
at Nevada State Museum in Carson City through August 11.
Debunking a myth, Nevada’s moon rocks are not missing. In fact, moon rocks gifted to the Nevada State Museum and carried from space on Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 missions are safe, sound, and on public display in Carson City through August 11.

For more than a decade, a rumor has swirled that the moon rocks provided to several states were lost. The rumor circulated again recently, though Nevada’s samples have always been in the museum’s collections.

“They aren’t missing and never have been,” says Peter Barton, administrator of the Nevada State Division of Museums and History. “I saw them again for myself [recently]. We invite the public to come see for themselves. We just added what some experts say is the cannon John C. Fremont carried across the western states as he mapped out much of what is Nevada. We think these explorers had some things in common and hope people will come see both great pieces."

To celebrate the debut of  “Our Nevada Stories,” a new collection of artifacts has been gathered in advance of the state’s 150th birthday in 2014. Starting Saturday, July 27, the public can enjoy the moon rocks as part of the exhibit. For a more information about Nevada's moon rocks, refer to this 2009 Nevada Magazine story.

The museum is at 600 North Carson Street in Carson City. Admission is $8 for adults and free for members and ages 17 and younger. For information, call 775-687-4810 or click here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Savor the Season

The Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute and NevadaGrown "Home Means Delicious" are presenting a celebration of culinary skill with the year-long “Savor the Season” recipe contest. The contest encourages residents to learn about locally grown, seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other foods and submit a favorite recipe utilizing one—or all—of the foods for a chance to win. The campaign is designed to educate the community about the benefits of eating both locally and seasonally.

Every month, a selection of the top “Savor the Season” recipes are featured in the Reno Gazette-Journal’s “Food” section and will be compiled into a NevadaGrown cookbook to be printed in 2014. Each home chef whose recipe is featured in the “Food” section receives a complimentary copy of the completed cookbook after printing, and at the end of the promotion, all entries are eligible to win a seven-cubic-foot freezer filled with $300 worth of meat or produce from Nevada farms.

Participants can get ahead of the competition by visiting the website for tips on where to buy local, how to select the best of the bunch, the most effective way to store food, and even ideas on how to prepare it.

To learn more about the contest and to enter your recipes visit the NevadaGrown Facebook page or whist

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reno Hosts its First Triple-A All-Star Game

Photo: Matthew B. Brown
As the days become longer and hotter, it is evident that summer in Reno is in full swing. Summer means baseball, and Aces Ballpark in Reno hosted a spectacular display Wednesday during the Dolan Auto Group Triple-A All-Star Game. An Aces Ballpark record crowd of 10,135 fans gathered to watch the best Triple-A players.

Editor Matthew B. Brown and I were fortunate enough to attend the game, enjoying some much-needed ballpark food, sunshine, and, of course, baseball. The familiar organ music and the concession men shouting, "Get your popcorn here!" set the stage for a great evening at Aces Ballpark.

The highlights, according to the Reno Aces' communications department, are as follows:

The International League defeated the Pacific Coast League by a score of 4-3.

Catcher Tony Sanchez of the Indianapolis Indians hit a three-run home run to right field off PCL starter Jarred Cosart of the Oklahoma City RedHawks in the second inning, giving the IL a 4-2 lead. Sanchez finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs and was named the IL Top Star for his game-deciding home run. 

Michael Wacha of the Memphis Redbirds was named Top Star for the Pacific Coast League after pitching one-and-two-thirds innings without allowing a base runner. 

International League starter Greg Reynolds of the Louisville Bats tossed one inning giving up two runs off three hits and earned the win. Cosart received the loss and was replaced after allowing four runs over one-and-two-thirds innings. 

Photo: Matthew B. Brown
Louisville’s Billy Hamilton led off the game with an infield single and followed that up by stealing second. Back-to-back ground outs advanced Hamilton to third and eventually home to give the IL an early 1-0 lead. 

The PCL answered back in the bottom half of the first as Albuquerque’s Nick Buss and Reno’s Chris Owings hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Buss quickly scored off another single from Brett Pill of the Fresno Grizzlies. Owings advanced to third and would score on an RBI ground out off the bat of Brock Peterson of Memphis, giving the PCL a brief 2-1 lead. Peterson finished 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Sanchez’ blast in the top of the second inning was the first home run hit in in a Triple-A All-Star Game since Russ Canzler launched one in 2011. The PCL would score another run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI ground out by Fresno catcher Johnny Monell, but the IL relief pitchers closed the door, only allowing just one hit after the fourth inning.

Chris Bootcheck of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders contributed two shutout innings allowing only one hit. Earning the save was Columbus Clippers closer Preston Guilmet after he came in with two outs in the ninth to get Aces catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to ground out to end the game. 

Matt Davidson, the IGT Home Run Derby champ and Reno Aces third baseman, finished 0-for-2 and failed to reach base.

The International League’s victory gives them a 9-7 advantage over the Pacific Coast League in Triple-A All-Star Games since the format switched from AL vs. NL 16 years ago. The win also secures home-field advantage for IL’s representing team in the Gildan Triple-A National Championship to be held on Tuesday, September 17th at Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nevada 150 Commemorative Silver Coins

Through September 1, visitors to the Nevada State Museum in Carson City will have a chance to witness a piece of Nevada's history in the making. In celebration of Nevada's sesquicentennial, 1,000 one-ounce NV150 commemorative coins will be made from a silver ingot, which is now on display at the museum. The 1,000-ounce bar of silver, mined from 4,000 tons of exclusively Nevada ore, will be melted down and stamped with the “CC” mint mark, honoring the state’s sesquicentennial which is Nevada Day, 2014.

The Coeur mining company near Lovelock donated the bar of silver to be used for the celebration. The mine has produced more than 130 million ounces of silver over 27 years, including the donated bar that is one foot long, six inches deep, and weighs more than 60 pounds.

The Northwest Territorial Mint in Dayton is in charge of melting the ingot to produce the coins. Coin sales will help fund the Nevada 150 events. Sale price is to be determined.

The museum is located at 600 N. Carson St. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults. Visitors who are 17 and younger and museum members are free.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

150th-Anniversary License Plates

Governor Brian Sandoval has announced that the Nevada 150th-anniversary license plates will be available at metropolitan DMV offices beginning July 29, and rural offices beginning July 31. The Governor also announced that as of July 9, DMV offices will begin accepting orders for personalized 150th license plates. The license plate is a precursor to the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Nevada’s 1864 statehood.

"The 150th license plate is an important part of recognizing our state's 150th anniversary," Sandoval says. "The proceeds from the plate will go toward supporting the year-long celebration, and I am thrilled that at the end of this month, motorists will be able to show their support for our great state."

Standard plates cost $33.50, plus a $20 annual fee, and personalized plates cost $68.50, plus a $30 annual fee. Revenues from the Nevada 150 license plates will generate funds to support projects and events related to the Nevada 150 celebration.

Click here for more information on standard or personalized 150th-anniversary license plates.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nevada's Sesquicentennial Celebration

Brian Krolicki and Brian Sandoval in Carson City.
Earlier today, Governor Brian Sandoval and Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki held a press conference after arriving by steam locomotive at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. The governors addressed the celebration of Nevada's sesquicentennial, the unveiling of the Nevada Commission on Tourism's 2013 Discover Your Nevada campaign, and some important news about Nevada's state museums.

Governor Sandoval announced that many of Nevada's museums are upgrading, and all will expand their hours and days of operation. In celebration of the expanded museum operations, all seven Nevada state museums are offering two free admission days.

The free admission days are scheduled for July 6 and 20 and feature special programs, new exhibits, and unique opportunities. The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City is offering half-price train fares. The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson city is celebrating Independence Day July 4-7 and offering special outdoor locomotive displays and a chance to ride on a train pulled by the Virginia & Truckee (V&T) locomotive No. 25.

As part of the Discover Your Nevada campaign, the Nevada Commission on Tourism announced that beginning today, July 3, people can vote for their favorite activity, experience, or event in the state. Whichever activity, experience, or event gets the most votes will receive a plaque, a mention in a future issue of Nevada Magazine, and much more. Details can be found at, and by clicking on the Discover Your Nevada graphic below.

With Nevada's quickly approaching sesquicentennial, the governors announced the launch of the Nevada 150 campaign. With 150 events planned during the sesquicentennial year, the Nevada 150 campaign plans to "promote the independent spirit of Nevada through education, tourism, and history."

In lieu of the sesquicentennial, Governor Sandoval signed a law which authorizes sale of a special Nevada 150 license plate, which will be available for purchase through the DMV starting late July. Revenues from the Nevada 150 license plates will support projects and events related to the year-long Nevada 150 celebration.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nevada Magazine Announces 2013 Best of Nevada Winners

Nevada Magazine has released the results of its 2013 Best of Nevada readers' survey. The survey spans 16 categories and includes golf courses, museums, restaurants, and state parks.

In most cases, winners are divided into three subcategories: North, South, and Rural. The top vote-getter was Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, which took honors in the North category for Casino, Hotel, Nightclub (EDGE), and Wedding Venue.

“We are excited about the enthusiasm our readers have for the State of Nevada,” said Janet Geary, publisher of Nevada Magazine. Many businesses and attractions leveraged social media to campaign for their categories. “The power of social networking is evident with surveys such as our annual Best of Nevada,” added Geary.

Carson City's Casino Fandango was a multiple-category winner as well for Buffet (Rum Jungle Buffet) and Casino. Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno received recognition in the Museum and (best) Place to Take the Kids categories. Reno's Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe again garnered top honors in the Ski Resort category, which is not divided into subcategories.

Photo: Cindy Joyce
In food categories, Toucan Charlie’s Buffet & Grille (Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno) and Carnival World Buffet (Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas) were the other Buffet winners. Cactus Creek Prime Steakhouse (Bonanza Casino in Reno), Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Las Vegas), and The Star Hotel in Elko won in the Restaurant category.

A complete Best of Nevada 2013 list is published in the current July/August 2013 issue of Nevada Magazine, on newsstands now, and on

Also in the current issue are stories about backcountry lakes, rural Nevada campgrounds, wildlife sanctuaries, the monarch butterfly, and a History story about the state's innovative Mobile Museum that traveled around Nevada in the 1950s and '60s.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cactus Air Force Plans New Aviation Museum

A Cessna T-41B idles on the runway at the Carson City Airport.

Cactus Air Force—a privately owned and operated military aircraft and vehicle restoration organization—recently invited me to check out what they do best: fly vintage military airplanes. Dedicated to preserving, restoring, and educating the public on aviation and military history, Cactus Air Force is making strides toward improving the longevity of vintage aircraft in Nevada.

I'll admit I'm not the most comfortable person around airplanes and was hesitant when I received the offer. However, after mustering up the courage to fly "into the danger zone," I walked away from my flight with an enhanced knowledge and a new appreciation for aviation.

Doug Thorngren, director of public relations and operations and pilot at Cactus Air Force, took me for a spin in the skies above Carson City in his Cessna T-41B. The day was windy, and the turbulence had me gripping my handle firmly, but focusing on the view of the capital city from this vintage military aircraft did well to calm my nerves. After about 30 minutes in the air I saw how easy it was to fall in love with these beautiful machines.

Piloting aircraft since he was 18, Thorngren understands the necessity to get kids involved in aviation at a young age. To reach this goal, the Cactus Air Force is teaming up with the Carson City Airport Authority to open the Wings and Wheels Museum, a public museum dedicated to U.S. military aircraft and vehicles built since WWII. The 12,000-square-foot museum will include a number of indoor exhibits, as well as a large outdoor tarmac area with aircraft and vehicle displays.

“We just really want to be good stewards and educate people about aviation,” Thorngren says. “We hope to accomplish that by building this educational museum.” The museum, set to open in fall 2013, gives visitors a chance to see decades' worth of military aviation history up close.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fallon is for the Birds

The Carson Lake Wetlands are teeming with migratory birds in the spring.
BY MATTHEW B. BROWN (story & photos)

"It's Cinnamon Teal sex!" blurts out tour guide Mike Goddard. This gets the collective attention of the small group of journalists and bird enthusiasts huddled atop the two-story observation tower located at the Carson Lake Wetlands. Our binoculars and camera lenses move frantically in the direction Goddard points, as this "miracle of nature" plays out. Like most bird activities, this particular duck courtship is over rather quickly (as is today's lesson in the birds and the bees), and we're back to scanning the fields and marshes for other interesting avian behavior.

So it is at the annual Spring Wings Bird Festival in Fallon — located 61 miles east of Reno on U.S. Highway 50 — which for good reason touts itself as the "Oasis of Nevada." Every year, birders flock to Fallon and its surrounding Lahontan Valley Wetlands, recognized as critical and important by such prestigious groups as the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, American Bird Conservancy, and Audubon Society.

From May 17-19, as media I had the pleasure of attending some of the Spring Wings events. Below is a summary of those activities and a few more nuggets to be found in the City of Fallon.

The Amazing Birds of Prey

Friday night we were treated to a presentation titled "The Amazing Birds of Prey," by Master Falconer Marie Gaspari-Crawford, one of only a few female falconers in Nevada. She, along with her niece and partner Chloe Bowen, shared information about the history of hunting with birds of prey and how they've developed a deep passion for working with these amazing birds, such as their lovable red-tailed hawk named Dartanyon. Gaspari-Crawford lives in Palomino Valley, between Sparks and Pyramid Lake. See photo here, by @shannonswitzer.

Meander the Marsh: Kayak Float

On Saturday morning we kayaked Tule Lake, located within Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, with guide Pat Fried, owner of Great Basin Sports. Aside from the scenic kayak tour and the many birds to view, Fried educated us on the importance of properly disposing of waste, such as motor oil or the soapy water people conveniently dump down the storm drain when washing their car at home. Stillwater, east of Fallon via country and dirt roads, is the terminus of the Carson River, so that unfiltered waste water ends up in these marshes.

Whoo's Where? Owl Prowl

Various types of owls make their respective homes at the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, which we witnessed on Saturday afternoon. Whether it was in a manmade box (barn owl), a tree (great-horned owl), or a hole in the ground (burrowing owl), we were shown the many different environments that owls roost in during the day. I later heard Kyle Carlsen, assistant editor for Bird Watcher's Digest, say that the burrowing owl was a life bird for him — and he's seen a lot of birds! This tour was guided by the aforementioned Goddard, who is extremely knowledgable in his role as president of Friends of Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Carson Lake Wetlands Loop

Male American Avocet
Goddard was our guide again for this Sunday morning tour, which this time took us south of Fallon to Carson Lake. It's not your typical lake, but rather a network of canals, channels, and marshes that run through extensive cattle range. One thing is for sure: Birds love it. We saw a ton here, routinely stopping to set the scope on seasonal migrants such as avocets, ibises, waterfowl, hawks, and many other winged critters. The observation tower is 25 years old this year and affords incredible views of the wetlands, part of the Globally Important Bird Area.

See more photos from the 2013 Spring Wings Bird Festival in this Flickr set.

Other Fallon goodies:

• The historic Douglass House — Built in 1904, this charming pink Victorian house stands out nicely in downtown Fallon. See photo here.

• The Williams House — Also historic, this is said to be the first home built in Fallon. Owner Licia Rogne has plans to make the beautifully refurbished home into a spa/wellness retreat.

• The Slanted Porch — One of Fallon's great restaurants that takes advantage of its agricultural surrounds by offering such menu items as fresh-out-of-the-garden beet salad (see photo here). Read more about the restaurant in this Nevada Magazine story from our September/October 2010 issue.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Historic Bowers Mansion Opens For Tours

The recently renovated historic Bowers Mansion in Washoe Valley will reopen for tours on May 18 for the first time since 2009. Two $100,000 grants from the State Historic Preservation Office Commission on Cultural Affairs were received for the seismic and structural rehabilitation of the mansion. In addition, the mansion’s spring-fed swimming pool will reopen June 8. The William N. Pennington Foundation donated $150,000 to renovate the Bowers Pool, which has also been closed since 2009.

There will be a series of programs entitled “Programs on the Porch” at 7 p.m. Friday evenings May 31-June 28. Washoe County Parks Ranger Jerry Buzzard will host the programs, which will include music and guest speakers and are free with donations accepted.

WHERE: 4005 U.S. Highway 395 North, Carson City, NV 89704 (21 miles south of Reno on old US 395).

WHEN: Tours are Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through September 29. Tours are on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

COST: Adults, ages 18-61, $8; children 6-17, $5, seniors 62+, $5; children 5 and younger are free.

CONTACT: Group tours can be coordinated by calling 775-849-0201.

Bowers Mansion offers a rare glimpse into Nevada life during the 1860s. The mansion was built in 1864 by Comstock millionaires L.S. “Sandy” Bowers and his wife, Allison Oram. Their story reflects the rags-to-riches-to-rags tales so commonly associated with Nevada’s first silver boom. Along with the history, visitors are sure to enjoy the beauty of the mansion’s sixteen rooms, each elegantly furnished with Victorian antiques.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas Prepares For Grand Opening

-- Gold and Season Pass holders to be among first park guests --
-- Operating dates and times – In-park services details on website --

Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas waterpark is in the final stages of construction and today announced additional details regarding park operating hours, special days for Gold Pass and Season Pass holders, and information on other services being offered inside the park. Gold Pass and Season Pass holders will be among the first to try the more than 25 slides and attractions at the new water park beginning Memorial Day Weekend. Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas is located at 7055 S. Fort Apache Rd., just west of the I-215 and W. Sunset Road exit.

Operating Hours and Days*
● May 25-27: Gold Pass holders only from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
● May 28-31: Season Pass and Gold Pass holders only from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
● June 1-2: Season Pass and Gold Pass holders only from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
● June 3-Sept. 30: Single day admissions, groups and pass holders
Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Pricing, dates, and time are subject to change.

“We’re excited to welcome our Gold Pass and Season Pass holders with special days starting Memorial Day weekend to be among the first to enjoy all our slides and attractions,” said Takuya Ohki, Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas general manager. “Our pass holders’ support, eagerness and excitement since the water park was first announced has been tremendous, and providing them with exclusive time in the park is one way we can show our appreciation.”

Single-day admission tickets that can be used beginning June 3 will go on sale soon on the park’s website. Pre-season discounts on the Season Pass and Gold Pass will end on June 2 with a regular Season Pass and Gold Pass pricing beginning on June 3. Ohki said the various pass options provide the best value to enjoy the park throughout the season.

Details on the many in-park services — such as cabana, locker, and tube rentals — and more group event information has been added to the park website. For more information, visit, and click on the Park Info and/or FAQs tabs.

Read more about the waterpark in Nevada Magazine's May/June 2013 issue, or here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nevada Magazine Announces 2013 Photo Contest

For more than three decades, Nevada Magazine’s Great Nevada Picture Hunt photo contest has been a favorite among photographers and readers. The Grand Prize winner of this year’s contest will receive a $250 gift certificate (redeemable online as well) courtesy of Gordon’s Photo Service based in Carson City and Reno. The winner will also have the image published in the September/October 2013 issue of Nevada Magazine and on, and receive an award certificate.

2nd Place will receive a $150 gift certificate from Gordon’s, 3rd Place will receive a $100 certificate, and 4th Place will receive a $50 certificate. All winners and Honorable Mentions will be published in the September/October 2013 issue of Nevada Magazine and on, as well as receive award certificates.

The 2013 Great Nevada Picture Hunt, open to all photographers, has no categories this year, so your creativity has no bounds. Send up to seven (7) submissions via e-mail to by 5 p.m. (PDT) on Monday, July 1, 2013. To mail your images, call 775-687-0617 for instructions. Click here to view past photo contest winners, or for more contest details, visit

In Nevada Magazine’s May/June 2013 issue 

Nevada Magazine’s May/June 2013 issue is now available on statewide and national newsstands. It features stories on HawkWatch International, which has a raptor research site in Nevada's Goshute Mountains, and a Carson Valley falconry family. Also highlighted are the Silver State's vast network of scenic dirt roads, and the issue's other feature story is a photo gallery spotlighting the historic town of Virginia City.

The Cravings department includes a story about arte italia's Reno culinary classes, featuring authentic Italian chefs and food. The City Limits section previews the new Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas waterpark. Finally, cycling enthusiasts can learn about six scenic Nevada rides — three in Northern Nevada and three in Southern Nevada.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Wildfire Awareness Week starts May 4

Residents urged to be proactive

"Reduce the Fuel — Reduce the Risk!" is the message for the 2013 Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week, which kicks off Saturday, May 4. Ed Smith, director of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, says this year’s message is a call to action.

“Reducing the fuel around homes and other structures is critical to survival during a wildfire,” Smith, a natural resource specialist, says. "Residents must be proactive, monitoring and removing appropriate fuels year-round."

Smith says there are three factors that control wildfire behavior:

  • Weather, including relative humidity, wind, and air temperature;
  • Topography, including steepness of slope, aspect, and slope position; and
  • Fuel, including amount, continuity, height, and moisture content.

Together, these three factors determine the ease in which a wildfire will start, direction it will go, how fast it will travel, length of its flames and how difficult it will be to suppress.

"Of these three factors, only the fuel can be altered in order to reduce the wildfire risk," Smith says. "That’s why we continue to focus our efforts on helping homeowners to know how to manage the vegetation and fuels around their homes."

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week is a collaborative effort of local, state, and federal firefighting agencies, Extension, and many others. Proclamations and resolutions supporting the effort have been issued by Governor Brian Sandoval, the Nevada League of Cities, the Nevada Association of Counties, county commissioners, and other groups.

Events and activities are being held across the state. To see what is happening in various communities, visit and click on the Wildfire Awareness Week tab, or contact Sonya Sistare at or 775-336-0271.

Refer to the November/December 2012 issue of Nevada Magazine to read a feature story titled, "Fire Danger: Extreme."