American Bus Association names White Pine County’s “Fire and Ice” event one of North America’s top 100 for 2008

Sponge Bob Square Pants snow sculpture at the 2007 Fire and Ice Show in White Pine County, Nevada.

Nevada event to be held at Cave Lake State Park January 18-20, 2008

[See Related: the White Pine County Fire and Ice show video.]

ELY, Nev.–The American Bus Association announced today that the White Pine County Fire and Ice Show, to be held on January 18-20, 2008, has been designated as one of the top 100 events in North America by an elite tourism industry selection committee.

Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that Fire and Ice offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world.

“The White Pine Fire and Ice Show started as a small, local event but has turned into a major outdoor entertainment attraction for the western United States,” said Steve Gray, park supervisor at Cave Lake State Park.

Hundreds of people attended the weekend show in 2007 which featured 16 family oriented snow- and ice-sculptures up to 12-feet tall.

“The attractiveness of Fire and Ice as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for the event,” said Peter Pantuso, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news here is that Fire and Ice has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Fire and Ice an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”

According to studies recently completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from US $5,000 to more than US $13,000 in a local destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

“Simply put,” Pantuso said, “motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer. That’s why this event is truly a local economic asset. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay.”

ABA’s 2008 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected the White Pine County event from among hundreds of U.S. and Canadian events nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus. Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Nevada Division of State Parks plans, develops and maintains a system of parks and recreation areas for the use and enjoyment of more than 2.3 million visitors a year. The division was established in 1963 by the Nevada Legislature to form a new state park agency within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The division manages and maintains 24 parks in Nevada.

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