Nevada's Pony Express Territory Receives $25,000 Grant for New Visual Billboard Campaign To Direct Travelers To America's Loneliest Road

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Nevada Commission on Tourism Awards Historic U.S. Highway 50 with Funds to Drive Its Economy; this part of the rugged West will be discovered thanks to the assistance of a $25,000 grant awarded to Northern Nevada’s Pony Express Territory.

New Pony Express Territory Billboard along I-80

The intent of the campaign is to drive more traffic to U.S. Hwy 50 through the state and provide economic benefit to the communities that make up the Pony Express Territory."

Travelers along Interstate 80 for the first time ever will now be tempted to veer off to U.S. Hwy 50. Lured by striking images of the drive along “America’s Loneliest Road”, this part of the rugged West will be discovered thanks to the assistance of a $25,000 grant awarded to Northern Nevada’s Pony Express Territory. The discovery begins once a billboard is noticed, and a driver veers off on exit 46 or 48. Six towns and one national park grace these lands.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) on Nov. 29 funded $492,771 in projects to promote tourism in rural Nevada. NCOT awarded grants to 72 applicants with funding designed to help those organizations enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays.

For Nevada’s Pony Express Territory, the $25,000 in funds produced two billboards along I-80. One faces west 7.5 miles east of Sparks, Nev. and is aimed at travelers going east through Nevada toward Utah. The other billboard is close to the Nevada/Utah border near Wendover with an east face aimed at travelers going west through the state toward California.

“The intent of the campaign is to drive more traffic to U.S. Hwy 50 through the state and provide economic benefit to the communities that make up this area of the Pony Express Territory. U.S. Hwy 50 gets you across the state with the most expansive scenery, historical culture and enriching experiences. It’s truly the best way to see the rugged west,” stated Rick Gray, director of Nevada’s Pony Express Territory tourism efforts. “The billboards give travelers a glimpse of just one of many majestic places they’ll miss if they continue to journey along I-80.”

Intertwining along U.S. Hwy 50 are the authentic fun-filled small town family festivals, events and cultural heritage sites of Dayton, Fallon, Fernley, Austin, Eureka and Ely all connected through Nevada’s Pony Express Territory. With plenty of affordable travel options, America’s Loneliest Road tempts travelers to a new time of discovery and even includes the Great Basin National Park.

“You can travel across the great state of Nevada or, you can experience it,” said Patrick Pharris, who is behind the creative on the billboard campaign and owner of PM Advertising & Marketing. Pharris is a 50 year Northern Nevada resident and commented: “The Loneliest Road was a dig from years ago, but this route has six great friendly towns, one awesome National Park and 10 mountain ranges.”

The billboards feature a visually compelling picture of U.S. Hwy 50 and one of the 10 different mountain ranges one will see and traverse along the route. The creative aims to entice drivers to take the path less traveled on the nationally recognized “Loneliest Road in America”. Twenty years ago Life Magazine designated this section of U.S. Highway 50 – “America’s Loneliest Road”.

Mountain ranges seen and traversed along America’s Loneliest Road from east to west are Sacramento Pass; Connors Pass; Robinson Summit; Little Antelope Summit; Pancake Summit; Pinto Summit; Hickison Summit; Austin Summit; My Airy Summit and New Pass Summit.

The U.S. Hwy 50 route adds only approximately 39 extra miles (Reno to Wendover, UT, via I-80 is 400 miles; via Hwy 50 is 439 miles). Pony Express Riders took approximately 41 hours to cover the territory on horseback while today’s traveler can drive across the Hwy 50 in only 6 or 7 hours.

Gray pointed out that “the billboards reinforce the territory’s branding of its striking terrain and changing climates.”

Travelers already choosing U.S. Hwy 50 can drive the entire territory from one end to the other, starting in either Dayton or Ely. If so, they should expect to drive roughly 409 miles in about 6.5 hours if driving 70 miles per hour.

The Pony Express Territory welcomes the media to its online pressroom.

ABOUT THE PONY EXPRESS TERRITORY
Nevada's Pony Express Territory sits on 17 million acres of wide-open space with 150 years of rich history, rugged undisturbed nature and black night skies. The Territory is where the Pony Express riders once galloped along its main trail crossing 1,840 miles of wilderness, now Highway 50, connecting the six adventurous towns of Dayton, Fallon, Fernley, Austin, Eureka and Ely. The area is home to the Great Basin National Park and twenty years ago Life Magazine designated this section of Nevada State Highway 50 – “America’s Loneliest Road.”

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