Visiting the back roads of rural Nevada has become a trend amongst travelers for an experience unlike any other as the Nevada Department of Tourism pours money into the marketing of rural communities. Last year, they spent $1.4 million on promoting the small towns of Nevada through commercials, websites, billboards, and the like. 

This grant money goes towards promoting events such as this Valentine's Day weekend's "Lock Your Love" and "Lovers Aloft Balloon Race" in Lovelock, Nevada. 
"They can come to Nevada and do something special they cannot do anywhere else. You are not going to find this in any of our neighboring states," said Bethany Drysdale, Director of Public Relations for the Nevada Department of Tourism.

This Valentine's Day event and others like it is something the Department of Tourism says is important for the business community in these towns and something they look forward to every year. 

Rural tourism grant money is not paid through the general state tax fund, but rather collected from hotel room tax. 

The grant money has been effective according to Drysdale. 

"We saw a rise of 7.8 percent in rural counties and that's a big deal," said Drysdale. 

That 7.8 percent equates to an additional 117,000 people and a total of 1.5 million people visiting rural towns in the third quarter of last year. 

An up and coming demographic for these rural towns is international travelers looking for that "middle of no where" experience. They can definitely get that in Nevada considering over 80 percent of Nevada is public land.