Billie Jean Guerrero (Pyramid Lake Paiute) honored with tourism award |

Billie Jean Guerrero (Pyramid Lake Paiute) honored with tourism award

By Travel Nevada | Special to First Nation's Focus
Photo:Billie Jean Guerrero, middle, was honored with the Indian Territory of the year VolunTourism Award on April 27.
Photo: Travel Nevada

Editor's note: 

This story was first published in the May 2017 edition of First Nation’s Focus.

ELKO, Nev. — The Nevada Division of Tourism recognized outstanding members of the state’s rural tourism industry at the VolunTourism Awards Dinner April 27 in Elko. The awards ceremony was a highlight of the state’s annual Rural Roundup conference.

“Tourism is a significant component of rural Nevada economies,” Claudia Vecchio, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs director, said. “It is a $2.3 billion industry that continues to grow thanks to the efforts of the tourism professionals in rural Nevada. It is our pleasure to recognize those efforts with this year’s VolunTourism awards.”

Visitation to rural Nevada — all counties except Clark and Washoe — was 5.23 million in 2016, up about 7.9 percent from 2015.

TravelNevada presented six VolunTourism awards, one in each of Nevada’s six tourism territories, as well as two statewide awards and a new accolade, the Larry J. Friedman Industry Partner of the Year Award. Also presented at the ceremony was the $1,000 June Stannard Rural Tourism Memorial Scholarship.

Indian Territory winner: Billie Jean Guerrero is the director of the Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitors Center for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Since Billie Jean began just one short year ago, she has been able to significantly increase visitation to the museum, has expanded the offerings at the museum gift shop, has created new and interesting exhibits and has been instrumental in digitizing photos and documents of the tribe.

She brings her experience and passion for her culture to the museum, offering classes in the traditional arts that utilize her unique talents.

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