Local businesses and organizations are rolling out the welcome mat for a group of 22 Northern California tour guides who are scheduled to visit western Nevada County Wednesday and Thursday.
The tour is the result of a yearlong effort spearheaded by Susan George, president of the Regional Chambers of Commerce of Nevada County.
“We are hopeful that once all of these people are introduced to the attractions of Nevada County, they will organize tours of our area,” said George.
“We feel it’s important to establish relationships that will encourage more tourism,” George continued. “These tours could be a real economic benefit to our community. They’ll be staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants and shopping in our shops.
“We have a small amount of funding to sponsor this,” said George.
“The local business community has really stepped up to help us put it all together.”
For the past year, George has been working with Melissa Nelson Brown, a director of the San Francisco Tour Guide Guild. The Nevada County visit was planned for this time of year, before the tour guides’ busy season. The group’s visit will be a 24-hour experience that will focus on the historic downtowns of Grass Valley and Nevada City and the Empire Mine.
The Wednesday itinerary includes a pasty lunch in Grass Valley, a docent-led tour of Empire Mine State Historic Park and a bus tour of Grass Valley. Following check-in at the Gold Miner’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites, the guests will tour the historic Holbrooke Hotel & Saloon and hear a presentation by ghost tour leader Mark Lyon. The group will dine at The Owl Grill & Saloon and hear a talk by local author Chris Enss, writer of books about women in the Old West.
On Thursday, the tour guides will visit Nevada City’s Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, Miners Foundry and Off Broadstreet, enjoy a walking tour led by Nevada City booster Paul Matson and lunch at Lefty’s Grill. Afternoon browsing and shopping in Nevada City conclude the whirlwind tour.
The sponsoring businesses are joined by several other groups and organizations that are providing support, funding and merchandise for the visit and to fill visitor swag bags.
Other participants include the Grass Valley Downtown Association, Sierra Vintners, Nevada County ERC Tourism Committee and the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
The Regional Chambers of Commerce of Nevada County was formed in 2010 to better facilitate collaborative projects among county chambers. It includes the Greater Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley Area, Rough and Ready, South Nevada County and Truckee Donner chambers of commerce.