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Press Releases

05/01/18
2018 Nebraska Passport starts today

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Erin Lenz at 402-471-7755, or erin.lenz@nebraska.gov

2018 Nebraska Passport starts today

Nebraska Passport generates nearly $6 million in traveler spending

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (May 1, 2018) – Round up your family or friends and start exploring the state because the 2018 Nebraska Passport season starts today. Last year, the program generated nearly $6 million in traveler spending and enticed more than 40,000 people to explore Nebraska. With the Nebraska Passport, travelers can discover Nebraska’s beautiful scenery, try one-of-a-kind cuisine, experience life from a different era and view unique works of art, all while collecting stamps and earning prizes.
 
“This program not only encourages people to explore every corner of the state, but it benefits Nebraska tourism destinations through increased traffic and revenue,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “The Passport is an outstanding example that tourism promotion is a significant economic driver and great investment for the state.”
 
According to a study done by Nebraska Tourism and Dean Runyan Associates, in 2017 the Nebraska Passport program not only generated nearly $6 million in travel spending throughout the state but $469,500 in state and local tax revenue. 
 
The 2018 Passport will run from May 1 through September 30 and features 70 attractions and 11 categories, including: Animals, Arts, Back in Time, Coffee, Oregon Trail, Outdoors, Pizza, Restaurants, Shopping, Sweet Treats and Wine & Beer. A full list of this year’s stops can be found at NebraskaPassport.com.
 
Last year, 1,579 stories were shared from Passport travelers of their explorations on NebraskaPassport.com. One traveler shared her story of traveling with her mom, “20+ stamps and 3 days later we arrived back in Wahoo… tired, but thrilled with the time spent with mom and filled with new experiences in a beautiful part of the state that none of us had explored before. We are looking forward to next year’s adventure!”
 
A grand-prize drawing for an Omaha Steaks Butcher's Share Quarter of Beef and a free chest freezer will be held in October. In addition, a drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets, a year's worth of Runza or Bakers Candies chocolates, and a drawing for over 100+ prizes from many of the 70 Passport stops will take place. Information about additional prizes can be found at NebraskaPassport.com.
 
Passport booklets are now available at all participating stops. Participants can also download and participate via a free mobile app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, simply search “Nebraska Passport.” With the app, Passport participants can get digital stamps and submit for prizes virtually. Nebraska Tourism encourages all participants to download the app to receive notifications about unexpected Passport stop hour changes and important announcements.
 
More information about the program can be found at NebraskaPassport.com. 

       

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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04/25/18
Step into spring in Nebraska

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Erin Lenz at 402-471-7755, or erin.lenz@nebraska.gov

Step into spring in Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (April 25, 2018)—This spring, step outside into the warm Nebraska weather and enjoy all the state has to offer.

“Spring is the perfect time to visit Nebraska. The gardens are blooming, the weather is just right to take a hike in one of our many wonderful state parks, and there are many different events to enjoy across the state,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director.

Here are some springy events that are sure to entertain you all season long!

Meadowlark Hill Lilac Collection
Ogallala
May 7-21
This two week celebration of lilacs is the perfect way to enjoy spring in Nebraska! Enjoy the sights and smells of one of the world’s largest lilac collections with over 800 varieties.
https://visitnebraska.com/see_and_dos/meadowlark-hill-lilac-collection

Sip Nebraska
Ashland
May 11-12
There’s no better way to celebrate spring than with an outdoor wine festival. Indulge in all of the local wines, craft brews and spirits that Nebraska has to offer.
https://visitnebraska.com/events/sip-nebraska

The Great Pinewood Bluegrass Festival
Lincoln
May 20
You can’t enjoy spring without an outdoor music festival! Enjoy a day full of music, food, craft beer and more at this inaugural festival.
https://visitnebraska.com/events/the-great-pinewood-bluegrass-festival

Omaha Farmers Market Night Market
Omaha
May 25
Omaha’s Night Market has all the things you love about a regular farmers market… but after dark. Indulge in great food from local vendors and delight in the fantastic entertainment.
https://visitnebraska.com/events/omaha-farmers-market-night-market

Wine, Cheese and a Walk among the Trees
Nebraska City
May 27
Arbor Day Farm is celebrating spring in the best way they know how. Grab a glass of Arbor Day Farm wine, snack on some cheese and enjoy the view.
https://visitnebraska.com/events/wine-cheese-a-walk-among-the-trees

Here are a few other ideas to make this the best spring yet!

Take part in the Nebraska Passport Program
There are so many new places around Nebraska you can explore with the Passport Program. A list of all 70 stops can be found here: http://nebraskapassport.com/

Set a tee time at a Nebraska golf course
Nebraska is home to many award-winning golf courses that you can enjoy all season long. For a list of golf courses in Nebraska, click here: https://visitnebraska.com/search?q=golf+course

Go hiking
Enjoy the mild temperatures of spring and hike through one of Nebraska’s state parks and recreation areas. Click here for a list of Nebraska parks: https://visitnebraska.com/search?q=parks
 
Still looking for an activity that is right for you? Head to https://visitnebraska.com/ .
 

     

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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03/09/18
2018 Nebraska Passport stops cover the state

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Press Contact: Jenn Gjerde at 402-525-4455 or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Passport Coordinator: Erin Wirth at 402-471-3789 or erin.wirth@nebraska.gov

2018 Nebraska Passport stops cover the state

LINCOLN, Neb. (March 9, 2018)—The Nebraska Tourism Commission is pleased to announce the stops that will be part of the 2018 Nebraska Passport. The Passport inspires Nebraskans and tourists to travel the state collecting stamps to earn prizes, while also supporting Nebraska’s tourism destinations. In 2017 a record-setting number of people participated in the program with 469 participants hitting every stop.

“I’m continually amazed by the number of people who are passionate about this program and I’m pleased we can bring it back for the 9th year,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “Each summer these travelers embark on new Nebraska adventures and I know they’ll enjoy the destinations listed in the 2018 booklet.”

The 2018 Passport will feature 70 attractions in 11 different categories, including animals, sweet treats and outdoors. Travelers will have from May 1 through September 30 to visit the attractions and get their stamps.

“The purpose of the Passport program is to help travelers discover Nebraska’s hidden gems. 2018 Passport travelers will experience a variety of unique destinations while creating lifelong memories,” said Passport program coordinator Erin Wirth.

Passports will be available at participating stops starting May 1 or can be pre-ordered at NebraskaPassport.com.

Participants are also encouraged to download the Nebraska Passport App for their smartphone to get digital stamps, supplementing the physical Passport booklet for convenience. Please note, the passport app will be updated with the 2018 information on May 1. Those who used the mobile app last year will need to download the update to see the new program information. To download, search ‘NE Passport’ in the Apple App Store or the Google Play App Store.

2018 prizes will include:
●10 stamps – Passport car decal and $15 in Nebraska lottery coupons
●25 stamps - Nebraska Tourism calendar
●45 stamps - Nebraska poster booklet
●70 stamps – “Passport Champion” apparel.
●All children who participate will be awarded a special Passport surprise.
●Additionally, there will be drawings for 100+ prizes, including a Butcher’s Share from Omaha Steaks, “One Combo Meal a Week for a Year” from Runza, and a year’s supply of chocolate from Bakers Candies.

 

2018 Passport stop categories:
Animals
Arts
Back in Time
Coffee
Oregon Trail 175th Anniversary
Outdoors
Pizza
Restaurants
Shopping
Sweet Treats
Wine & Beer

The selected sites are (by town):
Knight Museum and Sandhills Center (Alliance)
Dragonfly Desserts Coffee House & Bakery (Alma)
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (Ashland)
Gene Roncka Willow Point Gallery & Museum (Ashland)
R.F. Goeke Variety & Soda Fountain (Atkinson)
Plainsman Museum (Aurora)
Bassett Lodge & Range Café (Bassett)
Chimney Rock National Historic Site (Bayard)
The Black Crow  (Beatrice)
Fontenelle Forest (Bellevue)
The Tarnished Halo (Bridgeport)
Pizza Palace (Burwell)
Dark Island Trail (Central City)
A Pocketful of Rye (Chadron)
Chadron State Park (Chadron)
Urban Farm Boutique (Columbus)
High Plains Homestead, Home of the Drifter Cookshack & Bunkhouse (Crawford)
Corps of Discovery Welcome Center (Crofton)
Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center (Denton)
Sugar Shack Country Candles (Edgar)
The Garden Gallery (Elkhorn)
Rock Creek Station State Historical Park   (Fairbury)
Milady Coffeehouse at The May Brothers Building (Fremont)
Fill My Cup Coffee Shop  (Genoa)
Rowe Sanctuary (Gibbon)
Lasso Espresso Co. (Gothenburg)
Wave Pizza Co.  (Grand Island)
Platte Valley Antique Mall (Greenwood)
Nissen Winery (Hartington)
Hastings Museum (Hastings)
Sugar Bee (Hickman)
Nebraska Prairie Museum (Holdrege)
Iron Horse Food & Spirits (Hooper)
Shopping Tripps (Kearney)
The Archway (Kearney)
Windbreak Bar & Grill (Kimball)
Mac's Creek Winery (Lexington)
Piezano's (Lincoln)
Sheldon Museum of Art  (Lincoln)
The Rabbit Hole Bakery   (Lincoln)
UNL Dairy Store (Lincoln)
Feathers (Lousiville)
Loop Brewing Company  (McCook)
Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure   (Nebraska City)
Wildwood Historic Center (Nebraska City)
Barnstormers Family Bar & Grill   (Norfolk)
Lincoln County Historical Museum (North Platte)
Pals Brewing Company    (North Platte)
Petrified Wood & Art Gallery (Ogallala)
Passageway Gallery (Omaha)
River City Star Riverboat (Omaha)
The Durham Museum (Omaha)
Zio's Pizza - Old Market   (Omaha)
Shamrock Nursery (O'Neill)
Herban Coffee Lab (Plattsmouth)
A Collective Gathering (Potter)
The Flight Deck (Scottsbluff)
Riverside Discovery Center: Zoo & Splashpad (Scottsbluff)
Bottle Rocket Brewing Co. (Seward)
Liberty House B&B, Antiques & Tiny Tall Grass Tours (Seward)
Indian Cave State Park (Shubert)
Miletta Vista Winery (St. Paul)
Superior Estates Winery  (Superior)
Allsorts Boutique (Sutherland)
Taylor Community Arboretum (Taylor)
Master's Hand (Tekamah)
Peppermill Restaurant (Valentine)
1912 Emporium (Wayne)
Red Door Coffee (West Point)
Wessels Living History Farm (York)


More information on the Passport program can be found at NebraskaPassport.com.

       

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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02/15/18
Presidents Day, Celebrate in Nebraska’s capital city

PRESS RELEASE

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768 or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov

Presidents Day 
Celebrate in Nebraska’s capital city

LINCOLN, NE (February 15, 2018)— Celebrate this Presidents Day by venturing to a few locations in Lincoln, Nebraska, named for U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln.

Grab some lunch at Honest Abe’s and then go out for a scavenger hunt of all the statues and memorials of Abe scattered throughout Lincoln.  Even snap a selfie with him and use #AbeLNK on social media.
John Ricks, Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission, stated, “Lincoln, Nebraska is the largest city in the world with the namesake of our 16th president and there are a lot of tributes to him here. It’s a grand place for a fun history lesson.”
For more information go to https://visitnebraska.com/.

Lincoln Visitors Center
Stop at the Lincoln Visitors Center in the historic Haymarket and be greeted by a giant Abe Lincoln bobblehead. While there, collect information about destinations in Lincoln and snap a selfie with Abe and some fun props!

Honest Abe’s
Honest Abe’s, a burger joint, makes incredibly and honestly tasty burgers for honest people. The theme of the restaurant: Abraham Lincoln. Stop in for a bite and take in all of the Abraham Lincoln décor and merchandise.

Nebraska State Capitol
The Lincoln Monument, on the west side of the State Capitol is an 8.67-foot tall bronze statue commemorating Abraham Lincoln. The creator of the statue stated he “purposely tried to represent Lincoln bearing the burdens and perplexities and problems of the Great War.” The Gettysburg Address is carved in the granite backdrop behind the statue. There is also a depiction of the Emancipation Proclamation on the side of the Nebraska Capitol.

Pioneers Park
Four iconic columns from the Treasury Department in Washington D.C. are now nestled on a beautiful hill overlooking a small lake at Pioneers Park. It has been said that Abraham Lincoln addressed the Union troops from between these very columns while they were still in Washington D.C.

City/County Building
The statue of young Abraham Lincoln is located right in front of the Justice and Law Enforcement Center part of the City/County Building. Titled the “The Rail Joiner”, this statue depicts Lincoln joining two fence rails symbolic of him rejoining the North and South. 

Southpointe Pavillions Shopping Center
There are several statues at Southpointe Pavillions Shopping Center commemorating presidents in American history. Abraham Lincoln guards the front door of Scheels from his bench and is always ready to sit and relax with shoppers.
 

     

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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01/31/18
Nebraska Tourism announces tourism grant recipients

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Press Contact: Jenn Gjerde at 402-525-4455 or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Grant Administrator: Heather Hogue at 402-471-3774 or heather.hogue@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Tourism announces tourism grant recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (January 31, 2018)— The Nebraska Tourism Commission today announced grant awards totaling $835,548 in the combined application cycle of the Community Impact and Tourism Marketing Grant programs. The Commission received a total of 76 applications this grant cycle requesting $1,757,906.50 in funding.
 
The Commission’s grant programs are very competitive and involve a selection committee of grant reviewers from the private and public sectors and citizens at large. “This round of grant awards provides funding to communities, events and organizations, directing the funds towards innovative opportunities in group tour promotions, social media marketing, digital advertising and more – providing an affordable way for communities to tie into the Commission’s major campaign efforts while increasing overall impact,” said Commission Executive Director John Ricks. 
 
Awardees this grant cycle are: 

  • $256,442.50 to the Omaha Sports Commission for the 2020 US Olympic Team Swimming Trials and continued branding efforts of the Greater Omaha Area as a premier sporting city in the US
  • $40,585 to Nebraska City to promote the community and the 50th Annual AppleJack Festival
  • $36,537.38 to Friends of the International Quilt Study Center for the 10th Anniversary Celebration
  • $28,700 to Opera Omaha for marketing of the ONE Festival
  • $26,500 to Visit Omaha for group tour promotions
  • $25,000 to Cheyenne County Tourism to promote their marketing campaign
  • $25,000 to Kearney Visitors Bureau for Groups and Meetings marketing and directed marketing
  • $25,000 to the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition to promote their marketing campaign
  • $25,000 to Lincoln Calling for promotion of the 2018 music festival
  • $25,000 to Maha Music Festival in Omaha for promotion of the 2018 event in conjunction with Big Omaha
  • $25,000 to the Lincoln CVB for promotions to the Group Tour, Meetings, Sports, Religious and Leisure markets
  • $24,996 to the Omaha Equestrian Foundation for marketing of the International Horse Competition
  • $24,723 to the Golden Spike Tower in North Platte for promotion of Rail Days and directed marketing promotions
  • $19,760 to Rabble Mill’s Skate Art Music Fest marketing campaign
  • $15,000 to Kearney Cultural Partners for directed marketing
  • $14,500 to North Platte/Lincoln County CVB for directed marketing
  • $14,197.50 to Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud for marketing/branding
  • $12,421 to the Sports Nebraska State Sports Coalition marketing campaign
  • $12,000 to the Columbus/Platte County CVB for directed marketing
  • $9,750 to Hastings Museum for directed marketing
  • $9,750 to Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City for directed marketing
  • $9,000 to York CVB for directed marketing
  • $9,000 to Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney for directed marketing
  • $8,625 to Norfolk CVB for directed marketing
  • $8,000 to Grand Island/Hall County Visitors Bureau for directed marketing
  • $7,000 to Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway for directed marketing
  • $6,845 to Gering CVB for directed marketing
  • $6,750 to McCook/Red Willow County Visitors Bureau for directed marketing
  • $6,750 to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation for directed marketing
  • $6,500 to Joslyn Castle in Omaha for directed marketing
  • $6,187.50 to Red Cloud Area Chamber for directed marketing
  • $6,100 to Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue for directed marketing
  • $5,250 to McCook Economic Development/Southwest Tourism Coalition for directed marketing
  • $5,250 to Minden Chamber of Commerce directed marketing
  • $5,250 to Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation for directed marketing
  • $5,020 to Wessels Living History Farm in York for directed marketing
  • $4,500 to Kearney’s Classic Car Collection for directed marketing
  • $4,147.50 to Star City Pride in Lincoln for directed and additional marketing
  • $4,000 to Brownville Cultural Center for directed marketing
  • $4,000 to Friends of Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln for directed marketing
  • $3,750 to the Archway in Kearney for directed marketing
  • $3,000 to Northwest Nebraska Tourism for directed marketing
  • $2,991 to Seward’s Red Path Gallery and Tasting Room for directed marketing
  • $1,500 to Knox County Economic Development for directed marketing
  • $1,500 to Calinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery in Ashby for directed marketing
  • $1,500 to Mustang Club of America for directed marketing
  • $1,500 to Genoa US Indian School Foundation for directed marketing
  • $1,299.62 to Gage County Historical Society’s promotion of Gene Coon: From Beatrice, Nebraska to Star Trek and Beyond
  • $1,040 to Legal Aid of Nebraska and Center for Rural Affairs for Answering the Call: Veteran Farmer Conference
  • $1,000 to Seward Arts Council for directed marketing
  • $1,000 to Harchelroad Motors in Imperial for Funfest in the Midwest
  • $1,000 to The 2018 Renaissance Festival of Nebraska near Omaha for directed marketing
  • $430 to Legacy of the Plains Museum for directed marketing of their Harvest Festival

For additional information about future grant opportunities through the Nebraska Tourism Commission, please visit https://visitnebraska.com/media/industry/category/grants

       

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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