Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Businesses Support 'Nevada Passage'

RENO, Nev. - A two-person team of firefighters won "The Nevada Passage" made-for-TV adventure competition sponsored by the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) along with Nissan, Paul Mitchell, XTERRA Gear, XTERRA Wetsuits, K2 Sports, Kawasaki, Stearns kayaks, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, and Zorrel sportswear company of Henderson.

The firefighters, Erin Johnson of Greensboro, N.C., and Brian Rothell of Richmond, Va., earned the highest score, 86 out of a possible 120, during the six-day competition that began near Las Vegas May 19 and included adventure sports at Ely, Elko, and Fallon. Four other teams also won events, including entrepreneurs, Tom Lyons, 43, a Reno real estate investor who won the kayaking competition with his teammate, Atlanta swimwear company owner Megan Melgaard, 25, in front of a cheering hometown crowd.

"It was a hard-fought competition that is going to excite and intrigue at least 2 million television viewers when the program airs beginning in August," Hunt, chair of the NCOT, which initiated the event, said. "They're all winners and we're proud of them for taking on the challenge and enabling us to create this adventure program."

Twenty amateur athletes from 11 states, paired into 10 teams of one man and one woman by profession, competed for the prize, a trophy. Their ages range from 25 to 58. "The Nevada Passage" will be made into a one-hour syndicated program and shown on network affiliate and other TV stations from Aug. 1 through Feb. 2006.

Viewers will see rock-climbing at 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 and snowshoeing in Lamoille Canyon near Elko, sandboarding at Sand Mountain near Fallon and kayaking in Reno. The Nevada Passage is expected to air in at least 80 TV markets, primarily daytimes during weekends, when sports programs attract the most viewers.

Seventy-four stations already have scheduled the program, and it is confirmed to air in Las Vegas on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, Reno on KOLO-TV, Channel 8, and key Nevada travel markets such as Sacramento, Calif., Salt Lake City and Palm Springs, Calif. As stations are added to the roster, updates will be posted regularly on www.nevadapassage.com.

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