Officials request funds for Nevada railroad museum expansion
BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — Boulder City officials have asked state lawmakers to provide funding to expand the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum and build an urban park.
Officials are seeking about $35 million for a visitors’ center, new boarding platforms, a linear park and links to a hiking trail system, the Las Vegas Sun reported earlier this month.
The museum operates a heritage railroad that takes passengers on half-hour rides on vintage trains that travel tracks laid for the construction of the Hoover Dam. The attraction is part of the state Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
The expansion is needed to accommodate the growing number of museum visitors, said Peter Barton, administrator of the state Division of Museums and History. The railroad had nearly 55,000 passengers last year, increasing from the 2,000 recorded when it opened in 2001, he said.
Officials aim for the improvements to help bring more of the 40-million annual visitors to Las Vegas to Boulder City, said Lisa LaPlante, the city spokeswoman who was among the officials who met with lawmakers.
“This really is an additional draw in for those tourists, to get them to come to our city and visit our businesses, learn our cultural history and become more engaged with what we’ve got going on here right now,” LaPlante said.
The expansion calls for a 9,700-square-foot (901-square-meter) visitors’ center with educational displays, a ticket office and store. The park would include a playground and interactive exhibits on the history of the railroad and state.
“We found that there was widespread support for the idea of expanding the museum,” LaPlante said.
Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com