Registration on the 2nd floor.


Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. All lodging and conference rooms are in the Peppermill Tower

April 5th  3 pm to 5pm GWTTRA Board Meeting, (board members only) Naples 5

6 pm-8pm: Opening reception, sponsored by Visit Seattle Valleyview 1734

Thursday, April 6th: Naples 1-3

9 am:  Opening welcome by City of Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. Introduced by GWTTRA Board President Ken Bartkus.

Keynote: 9:30 am: US International Tourism Policies. Todd Davidson, Immediate Past National Chair, US Travel Association: Introduced by Board VP & Washington State University Professor, Dr. Byron Marlowe

“As travel-related policy proposals and legislative concepts are debated, US Travel works tirelessly to provide fact-based research and well-reasoned evidence to our nation’s elected officials and opinion leaders. The message is clear – even amidst ongoing global uncertainties, national security and travel facilitation can and must co-exist.” Todd


10:30 am Steve Cohen, VP, Insights MMGY Global: The Portrait of the American Traveler Interested in Visiting Nevada.  In the presentation, Steve will  compare the visitor who is interested in Nevada versus the traveler not interested in terms of:



  1. Gaming (including revealing the percentage of those interested in visiting who are not interested in gaming)
    Competitive destinations interested in visiting
  2. Activities interested in participating while on vacation
  3. How they are inspired to choose a destination
  4. Micro-segmentation of travelers – and why targeting Millennials isn’t always the best idea

Break: 11:15 Partnered with: 

11:30: Bethany Drysdale, Bethany Drysdale joined the Nevada Division of Tourism in 2005 as a public relations specialist and has served as the director of public relations and chief communications officer since 2011.

Chief Communications Officer, Bethany will speak on correcting and improving sustainable tourism growth for small town Nevada.

  • Ely
  • Virginia City. …
  • Incline Village. …
  • Elko. …
  • Tonopah. …
  • Boulder City.
  • Rachel. …
  • Goldfield.

12:15 pm: Buffet lunch partnered with Travel Nevada and Reno-Sparks Visitor Authority

1 pm: Break

 1:15 pm: Valerie Woods, Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels for STR (STR, Inc.), the leading authority on hotel industry performance trends. Valerie will be discussing changes and new trends in the hospitality industry in Nevada and long-term implications.

2:00 Break

2:15 pm: Changes in Tourism Revenue Projections from pre to post Federal Election: Dr. Byron Marlowe, Washington State University, VP GWTTRA Board of Directors.

3:15: “Why Have The Hospitality & Tourism Industries Fallen Behind in Digital Marketing?” John Hope-Johnstone is Managing Director of HPR Digital Marketing LLC.

John has been VP of marketing for three major international hotel companies and two DMOs. He has written two books on tourism marketing. He is a certified Google Partner & Certified by the Internet Marketing Association. He is considered one of the top Digital Marketers in the Country.

4:30 pm Happy Hour!! Terrace Lounge.
Mobile App sponsored by 

GWTTRA Program P2  Friday, April 7th