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Snow and Silver…

The ‘silver state’ offers much by way of attractive locales, and exciting options

The name Nevada is derived from the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, which means “snow-capped mountain range” in Spanish. Nevada is a state located in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States.

Nevada is largely a desert and semiarid, with much of it located within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are located within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains lie on the western edge. Approximately 86 per cent of the state’s land is owned by the US government under various jurisdictions, both civilian and military.

The economy of Nevada was “founded on mining and refounded on sin—beginning with prizefighting and easy divorce a century ago and later extending to gaming and prostitution”.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis[29] estimates that Nevada’s total state product in 2007 was $127 billion. Resort areas such as Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin attract visitors from around the nation and world. In FY08 the total of 266 casinos with gaming revenue over $1m for the year, brought in revenue of $12 billion in gaming revenue, and $13 billion in non-gaming revenue.

The Nevada Commission on Economic Development (NCED) provides strategic leadership to develop a more diverse and resilient economic base — ensuring a healthy economy for Nevada. In addition to attracting new businesses to the Silver State, economic development involves business retention, expansion and the development of entrepreneurial enterprise. Under the NCED umbrella of programs are the Nevada Film Office as well as the offices of Global Trade & Investment, Protocol & Diplomatic Relations, Rural Economic Development, Research & Business Development, Community Development Block Grant Program, Made in Nevada and Procurement Outreach.

Nevada’s outstanding tax climate coupled with these result-oriented programs foster an environment for business to succeed.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not only one of the world’s leading travel and tourist hot spots, but it also doubles as a premiere production destination. Las Vegas’ unmistakable backdrop has been featured in films and on television since its infancy. The city’s famous landmarks appear frequently on popular television shows such as C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, Pawn Stars and Holly’s World, while making its debut on other new programs like CBS’s The Defenders whose storyline requires the high-stakes and big thrills action that Las Vegas offers.

The southern Nevada area is distinctive in that it provides a myriad of locations beyond the resorts and casino properties on Las Vegas Boulevard.  From the phenomenal open-air scenery at Red Rock National Park, to the quaintness of Boulder City, to awe-inspiring Hoover Dam, filmmakers are sure to find the perfect match for their production needs.

Southern Nevada was showcased in numerous productions in 2010 including commercials, reality shows, documentaries and live events. Hoover Dam was prominently featured; draped in orange fabric in the national AT&T Coverages commercial, while a group of children’s toys are shown living it up on a road trip to Las Vegas during the Hyundai Tucson Commercial. The area was also center stage this year for numerous live events and awards shows including: The 45th Annual Country Music Awards, Daytime Emmy Awards, Miss USA pageant, Miss America pageant, and Miss Universe pageant, which put Las Vegas on the global stage.


In contrast to the urban settings of southern Nevada, northern Nevada is home to some of the most charming and unique settings in the silver state. A landmark neon archway proclaiming Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World, is easily recognised by many. While this city offers a slice of small town life, travel just a few minutes outside suburban Reno, and one will find themselves surrounded by the breathtaking natural landscapes typical of the American west. The Reno area will appear on the big screen in 2010 with the release of the action-thriller, Kerosene Cowboys and in the independent comedy, Melvin Smarty. The city of Reno is situated on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in close proximity to Lake Tahoe; renowned for the infamous boat scene in The Godfather II. This region provides stunning outdoor “sets” that change with each of the four seasons. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, filming outdoors in this area is a sure way to keep your production on schedule.

Nevada’s Countryside

Rural Nevada is truly unique in that it is composed of rugged and untamed territories reminiscent of the state’s early pioneer days. This region has majestic mountains and valleys, rivers and “playas” or dry lake beds. Follow the path of the Pony Express on Highway 50, dubbed, The Loneliest Road in America, which cuts across the central part of the state. As you continue to travel in and out of “civilisation” you will pass through towns such as Fernley, Fallon, Austin, Eureka, and Ely. Farther north along Interstate 80, is the town of Elko. Part of Northern Nevada’s “Cowboy Country”, Elko keeps the old west alive with the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a one week tribute to the American West and Nevada’s ranching culture and traditions. Northern Nevada is also home to the Great Basin National Park. Established by the Federal Government in 1986, the park encompasses 122 square miles of land in Nevada near the Utah border. Whether you are looking for a sandy desert, snow-capped mountain, grassy valley, sprawling prairie, historic mining town, vast lake or sparkling river, rural Nevada has it all, and is sure to satisfy even the most discriminating of filmmakers.

Permitting And Insurance Information

The Nevada Film Office (NFO) meets the needs of hundreds of productions annually, fielding questions in all realms of the entertainment industry; from film and television to music and other multi media projects. The NFO can provide information and resources in the following areas:
• Locations
• Production Infrastructure
• Support Services
• Public Properties & Requirements
• Private Sector Contacts
• Permitting & Jurisdictions


The NFO provides information and assistance to connect you to the resources and services that will meet your production needs. Nevada law says you must register your production with the Nevada Film Office (NFO). It’s free and saves you guesswork, time and effort.


Permitting in Nevada is multijurisdictional across city and county lines. The completion of a Film Permit Application is required to film in the State of Nevada. An application package must be submitted to each desired filming jurisdiction. The application package typically consists of a Film Permit Application and Film Location Permit, which outlines any special production needs such as pyrotechnics, traffic closures, etc.

Turn-around times for the receipt of a permit vary, and depend on the specifics of the production’s requirements. In Nevada, as in most places throughout the United States, proof of liability insurance by a company licensed to provide insurance in the State of Nevada is required in addition to a film permit.
There are separate permitting requirements for locations outside of city and county limits such as: The Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas, National parks and State roads and highways.


Many Nevada county and city permits are free. Fees for wilderness and recreation areas, state parks and similar locations are based on the size of the crew, number of vehicles, type of use intended, expected impact and other variables. For additional details on fee requirements, please contact the counties and/or cities directly. For hyperlinks to individual city and county offices please visit our website at


Many sidewalks on Las Vegas Boulevard or “The Strip” are the private property of the hotels they border. In most cases you may have to contact the hotels directly to obtain permission to film on the sidewalks in front of their properties. Las Vegas Boulevard falls within the jurisdiction of Clark County and the City of Las Vegas. The dividing line is Sahara Avenue. Las Vegas Boulevard North of Sahara is the City of Las Vegas and South of Sahara is Clark County.

For more information on film permits call the Nevada Film Office toll free at 877-NEV-FILM (877-638-3456) and at 702-486-2711 or visit

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