March – April 2017
Larry Friedman spent more than 26 years at the Nevada Commission on Tourism, now TravelNevada. During his tenure, he developed the annual Rural Roundup conference; helped educate the industry through the Nevada Tourism University; assisted with the creation of Nevada’s National Scenic Byways; and expanded the rural grants program, resulting in special events and historic building preservation across rural Nevada. Our Carrie Roussel recently spoke to Larry.
Question: Where were you born? Where do you live now?
Larry Friedman: I was born in Marin County, California, and I now live in Douglas County. I originally came to Nevada to work as a radio DJ in South Lake Tahoe.
Question: What’s your favorite thing about living in Nevada?
Larry Friedman: The people, of course, the landscape, and the variety of activities available here.
Question: Do you have a favorite Nevada memory?
Larry Friedman: I have about 30! Really, there are so many but I can condense them into two things. Every single Rural Roundup and every familiarization (FAM) trip we hosted are my favorite memories. The time that stands out the most is when we hosted 147 tour operators from Brazil on a visit to the Reno-Tahoe area. The final night was an award ceremony and dinner that we arranged at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City. Every single Brazilian in that room was impressed that they had dinner in the Governor’s Mansion. It was a spectacular night.
Question: What’s your favorite Nevada event or festival?
Larry Friedman: I’m most proud of the World Human Powered Speed Championship in Battle Mountain. The producers traveled all over to find the location, and Battle Mountain ended up being perfect. Participants come from all over the world: Mexico, Japan, Russia, the UK, and more. It continues to grow each year in terms of teams, countries represented, and spectators. People should go and see how unique it is.
Question: What’s your favorite Nevada thing to show/do with out-of-town guests?
Larry Friedman: Living here I’d say Lake Tahoe, Virginia City, and Genoa. Our state parks are amazing, too, and I’m always proud of them. Having done so many FAM trips, Lehman Caves, Valley of Fire, and our night skies are my favorite things to show people.
Question: Who do you consider to be a notable Nevadan? Why?
Larry Friedman: Well, there are actually five people I’d like to include:
- Virginia Ridgeway from Goldfield
- Denys Koyle from Baker/Great Basin National Park
- Wally Cuchine from Eureka
- Chris Melville from West Wendover
- Jan Morrison from Austin
Virginia and Denys are both so passionate about their communities and are always at the forefront of sharing what their area has to offer. Wally deserves recognition for his dedication to preserving Nevada art. Chris grew up in West Wendover and is also very passionate and dedicated to his community. Jan is a “one-woman act of love” for her dedication to Austin and the work she has put in to restore St. Augustine. I have admired all of them for the past 20 years and they deserve recognition for what they’ve done.
Question: What does being Battle Born mean to you?
Larry Friedman: Free to be yourself. I’m a left-wing liberal working with mostly conservatives throughout rural Nevada but it’s never been an issue. Nevadans are non-judgmental. If you are a hardworking and dedicated individual, you get the respect you deserve.