Friday, May 20, 2005

THE NEVADA PASSAGE Made-for-TV Adventure Competition Gets Underway in Las Vegas

THE NEVADA PASSAGE Made-for-TV Adventure Competition Gets Underway in Las Vegas

Twenty athletes from 11 states have converged in Nevada to participate in The Nevada Passage, a made-for-television, multi-sport adventure competition that begins in Las Vegas Thursday and travels across the state over six days, concluding in Reno on May 24.

The amateur athletes, paired into 10 male-female teams by profession will compete in six outdoor athletic challenges in six days at six different locations. Their experiences will be filmed and then edited into a one-hour reality television program to be syndicated and broadcast in more than 80 U.S. markets between Aug. 1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2006. The program will air primarily daytimes during weekends, when sports program viewership typically is highest.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), which initiated the event, expects the program to reach at least 2 million television viewers, showing them a ruggedly beautiful landscape made for adventure, Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, NCOT chair, said.

"THE NEVADA PASSAGE will reshape many travelers´ perceptions about Nevada by demonstrating that our diverse outdoor landscapes are just as awe-inspiring as our famous 24-hour cities," Hunt said. "Viewers will see places in Nevada they may never have known existed and be able to picture themselves experiencing their own adventures."

THE NEVADA PASSAGE begins with rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and jet skiing on Lake Mead, both near Las Vegas - four-wheel driving in the high desert near Ely, biking in Lamoille Canyon near Elko, sandboarding at Sand Mountain near Fallon and kayaking on the Truckee River Whitewater Park in downtown Reno. After each day of competition, the teams will travel to the site of the next day´s event.

"Televising The Nevada Passage will broaden our appeal to potential visitors and outdoor enthusiasts and help brand the state as an adventure destination," Bruce Bommarito, NCOT executive director, said. "The three Nevada athletes know that this state is a premier location for outdoor adventure, but we expect that the wide variety of adventure attractions will come as a surprise to many of the visiting athletes and TV viewers."

Each team will compete in all six sports, and the team with the most points will receive a trophy from the Lt. Governor during an awards ceremony at downtown Reno´s Wingfield Park Amphitheater at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24.

Three Nevada residents are among the athletes that TEAM Unlimited, the Hawaii-based company that is producing The Nevada Passage, selected for the competition: Tom Lyons and Kent Robison, both lifelong residents of Reno, and Susan Hughes of Incline Village. Other states represented in THE NEVADA PASSAGE are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

To emphasize that Nevada´s adventures are accessible to people of different ages and interests, TEAM Unlimited selected athletes age 25 to 57 representing a variety of professions, including bartending, finance, law, aviation, medicine, news media, firefighting, and business.