LINCOLN, Neb. (Oct. 26, 2017)— This summer, more people than ever before traveled the scenic roads of Nebraska to get stamps in their Nebraska Passport booklet. A record-setting 465 participants submitted Passports with all 80 stops stamped, compared to 168 in 2016 and 81 in 2015.
“I thoroughly enjoyed each and every stop that I made in the process of getting all 80 stamps,” said Kristen Andersen of Lincoln. “Once again the Nebraska Passport has proven how unique Nebraska is and how stopping in a small town and opening a door can open a whole new world. I encourage anyone and everyone to get off the beaten path and explore Nebraska, there’s so much to see and do. Looking forward to next year’s adventure!”
2017 Nebraska Passport Statistics:
• There were 275% more prize entry sheets submitted in 2017 than in 2016
• 167,153 total stamps were collected (up 190% from 2016)
• The average number of stamps on submitted Passports was 32
• Participants included residents from over 376 Nebraska communities and 43 states
• The top 10 most visited stops were:
UNL Dairy Store, Lincoln
Runza Restaurant, Lincoln
Bakers Candies Inc, Greenwood
eCreamery Ice Cream & Gelato, Omaha
Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln
University of Nebraska State Museum – Morril Hall, Lincoln
Nebraska History Museum, Lincoln
Glacial Till Tasting Room, Ashland
Fort Cody Trading Post, North Platte
The Chocolate Bar, Grand Island
“The number of people participating in this program is remarkable. We set some fairly hefty goals for this year and all of those were exceeded by a long shot,” said Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director, John Ricks. “Every year more and more people discover Nebraska’s hidden gems through the Passport.”
The winner of this year’s grand prize drawing is Richard Cecava of Omaha. He will receive an Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Share Quarter of Beef with a free chest freezer, in addition to other program prizes.
The 300 Nebraska Lottery scratch coupons prize will go to Ellen Mohling of Beatrice.
A new giveaway this year was four Nebraska Getaways. Those winners are Austin Pelc of Wayne, Liza Miller of Riverdale, Starlight Fonseca of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Shea Holland of Marietta, Georgia.
Travelers who visited participating locations and collected stamps could also earn prize t-shirts, wall calendars, Bakers Chocolates, Nebraska 150 Ceramic Mugs and a Passport Gift Box that includes a jacket, car deal and a sampling of products from 2017 Passport stops.
Be a 2018 Nebraska Passport Stop
Applications are now being accepted for the Nebraska Tourism’s 2018 Passport program. To be considered as a featured destination in the 2018 Nebraska Passport program, go to http://nebraskapassport.com/program/forpassportstops/and fill out an online application before December 31, 2017 at 5 p.m. (CST). Questions about participating in the program can be directed to Erin Wirth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-471-3789.
Before applying, please consider that, if selected, your destination must:
•Offer an exceptional, unique visitor experience
•Be open regular, reasonable, consistent hours and keep the same hours of operation throughout the Passport season
•Display excellent customer service
•Abide by Nebraska state law that prohibits charging participants for admission in order to receive a stamp
More information on the Passport program and stories from Passport travelers can be found at NebraskaPassport.com.