The whole idea behind the Nevada Passage is to showcase the natural beauty of the state and to show out-of-state visitors all of the adventures possible...once you step outside of the casinos.
Ten male-female teams shoved their two-person kayaks from the bank of the Truckee in a fast-paced sprint to the finish in Wingfield Park. This whitewater stage is the sixth and final of the Nevada Passage...a multi-sport, made-for-television adventure, designed to attract a different kind of tourist to the state.
Lorraine Hunt, Lieutenant Governor says "We always talk about "from neon to nature." We know about the neon. A lot of people know about the neon. This is the nature part."
Teams, with competitors from all over the country, began the race by rock-climbing at Red Rock Canyon in Southern Nevada.
Audie Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee "This has been the most incredible trip I've ever taken in my lifetime."
Stage two was a ride on personal watercraft on Lake Mead...Before heading on to a four-wheel drive rally and treasure hunt in the Ely area.
Stage four was a popular competitor favorite: a mountain bike ride and snowshoe in Lamoille Canyon, near Elko.
Brian Rothell of Richmond, Virginia says "when you're in Lamoille Canyon, you're climbing up hand over hand in snowshoes, in the snow, in a pair of shorts and a tank top. You stop and look around you--you can't believe it. It's so breath-taking. I recommend anyone to come out here and enjoy the scenery. There's stuff for everyone to do out here."
Next, teams had to compete on sandboards on Sand Mountain, outside of Fallon...before the kayak race in Reno.
Dave Nicholas, the races' developer says "The idea here is that these are not professional athletes. They are people who have jobs. They're healthy, they're outside, they're skilled, they're athletic. There are tens of millions of people like that who probably are not so interested in gaming."
The Nevada Commission on Tourism has been looking to diversify the state's image, since the increasing popularity of Indian casinos in dozens of other states.
The one hour version of the Nevada Passage will eventually air to two million viewers in more than 80 TV markets. Scott Schumaker of Boulder, Colorado "There's so much outside to explore here. It's like you have to balance being in the casinos with getting outside because it's brilliant."
The overall winners were the firefighting team...they don't win any cash or prizes. Simply bragging rights...and even more incentive to return to the state.
The final version of the Nevada Passage will air right here on Newschannel 8 on August 14th at 4 o'clock pm.