March 13, 2024 – 6:48 am

Preserving history for generations to come while simultaneously boosting tourism – that’s the goal of Tonopah Main Street: Historical Storytelling, a project that’s using the digital age to promote all of the fascinating facts about the bygone days of Tonopah.

Last May, Tonopah Main Street received $52,400 through the Nye County American Rescue Plan Act grants program to fund the project and following many months of painstaking work, the various components are all starting to fall into place.

Providing an update on the project during the Nye County Commission’s March 5 meeting, Tonopah Main Street Executive Director Kat Galli said there are two official websites established, one specific to the Old Tonopah Cemetery and another highlighting the many points of interest around downtown Main Street. The group is now turning its attention to acquiring plaques that will be placed around town, which will direct people to the websites for further information.

“We have a lot of historical assets and also murals and monuments that have proven in the past to get these people, who are coming through our town anyway, to stop. The whole point is to get them to not stop for five minutes but to spend more time, because more time equals more money,” Galli told commissioners that morning.

“If they can wander our downtown – looking at all these structures, reading about what used to go on here, who possibly lived there, what business was there and then visit the business that is currently there – they are shopping, they are eating and before you know it… it’s getting dark and they are going to get themselves a hotel room,” she continued.

It’s not just about the buildings and artistic attractions that remain in Tonopah, either. The project also shines a spotlight on the Old Tonopah Cemetery, where numerous famed residents of the area are buried. It’s a location that Galli said is already quite popular and the website will undoubtedly increase interest as visitors are able to learn about the lives of those who rest in peace there.

“So hopefully these websites will generate money and not just in the next few years but, because the websites are going to exist forever… hopefully it will keep generating for decades to come,” she said.

Although currently live with lots of information, Galli emphasized that the websites are each a work in progress. Tonopah Main Street will be continually adding content as it is gathered and moving specific features around on the websites, to ensure the best user experience for both computer and mobile device users.

Galli made sure to add that websites have notations explaining that the project was developed using a grant from Nye County.

“We want to make sure everybody knows this was funded by the county and it’s very much appreciated because, quite honestly, this would have taken a lot of fundraising on our part to get to this. It would have been years and years and years down the road to be able to afford all of this, including the plaques that are coming,” Galli remarked.

She also touched on the fact that a bulk of the work that has gone into the Historical Storytelling project has been accomplished by those who, simply wanting what’s best for their community, offered their volunteer efforts.

“I appreciate them very much,” Galli said. “Especially my co-conspirator, Joni Eastley, she’s sitting in the audience and I can’t even tell you how many hours she’s spent volunteering for us, and not just on this project. So if you want good things in your community, step up and volunteer.”

To view the Historical Storytelling project websites visit and

Marvin Minnick, Nevada Silver Trails Territory Chair, Kat Galli, Nevada Silver Trails Excellence in Tourism Award Winner, and Nevada Lt. Governor Stavros Anthony at the Excellence in Tourism Awards at Travel Nevada's Rural Roundup conference in Mesquite, Nevada.
Marvin Minnick, Nevada Silver Trails Territory Chair, Kat Galli, Nevada Silver Trails Excellence in Tourism Award Winner, and Nevada Lt. Governor Stavros Anthony at the Excellence in Tourism Awards at Travel Nevada's Rural Roundup conference in Mesquite, Nevada.

Kat Galli, Nevada Silver Trails Excellence in Tourism Award Winner

MESQUITE, NV – The Nevada Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada) honored rural Nevada’s top tourism supporters for their dedication to the state’s tourism industry at the Excellence in Tourism Awards dinner at the 30th annual Rural Roundup conference held April 12, 2023 at Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite.

Seven awards were announced, one from each of the state’s tourism territories, as well as the Larry J. Friedman Industry Partner of the Year.

“It is my privilege to recognize these esteemed tourism professionals and honor them with these awards,” said Brenda Scolari, Director, Department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs. “Nevada’s tourism industry is stronger than ever, and the efforts this group has contributed to the state is remarkable. We thank them for their dedication to the industry and all partners for their ongoing collaboration and support.”

Those recognized included:

Excellence in Tourism Award Winners

Cowboy Country Territory

Paula Tomera executive director of the Lander County Convention & Tourism Authority, has been promoting tourism throughout Cowboy Country and the State of Nevada for several years. She has worked various consumer shows to introduce Lander Country to potential visitors and share information about the territory.

Pony Express Territory

Candy Dolan has worked at the Fallon Convention Center for 25 years and has been involved with the territory during most of that time. Candy is an integral part of helping the team succeed in promoting Highway 50 and distributing information to the community and its partners.

Reno Tahoe Territory (RTT)

Jan Vandermade has led the Carson Valley Visitors Authority since July 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development and execution of the long-term vision and annual business development plan for the Carson Valley area. He has served as RTTs representative to the Reno Air Service Committee and was instrumental as the chair of RTTs communications committee to navigate the territory through complexities during the pandemic.

Las Vegas Territory

Raul De La Cruz has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience, focusing on showcasing the many products of Las Vegas and its surrounding rural communities. In addition, he has become well versed with the international marketplaces, most specifically Mexico, Canada, as well as Central and South America, helping to open the door for many first time visitors traveling to Southern Nevada.

Nevada Silver Trails Territory

Kat Galli has been dedicated to helping the territory promote their destinations, attractions, and marketing organizations over a number of years. She has shown tremendous dedication and commitment to tourism in rural Nevada and understands the importance of ensuring small businesses thrive in local communities.

Nevada Indian Territory

Larry Burton has been an active Nevada Indian Territory member for over 10 years and is being recognized this year for his Great Basin outdoor photography and contribution to the territory’s website, downloadable brochure, and marketing graphics.

Larry J. Friedman Industry Partner of the Year Award Winner

Sheree Tibbals spent 28 years at the Winnemucca Events Complex. As the Fairground’s Operation Supervisor, Sheree was instrumental in designing and producing advertising for special events. For the last 20 years, she has held the treasurer position for Cowboy Country Territory to help promote northern Nevada communities from Lovelock to Wendover.

Hosted by Travel Nevada, the state agency charged with promoting tourism of the Silver State, Rural Roundup is an annual conference for Nevada’s tourism industry. The event includes speakers and panel discussions, training workshops, and networking opportunities with a goal to help Nevada’s rural communities develop and market themselves as destinations, resulting in increased visitation, developing local economies, and strengthening Nevada’s position in the tourism market.

Rural Roundup is set to return in 2024 in Lake Tahoe.