LINCOLN — The Nebraska Tourism Commission has released its Official Passport Travel Program for Nebraska for the year of 2018. The Nebraska Passport Program is in its ninth year and features 70 places to visit across the state.
The purpose of Nebraska Passport is to “help travelers discover Nebraska’s hidden gems,” according to the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Stamps can be collected, either in a Nebraska Passport booklet or digitally, at each stop and can be used to obtain prizes. Travelers have from May 1 through Sept. 30 to collect stamps to be eligible for prizes.
Prizes include participation prizes for visiting 10, 25, 45 and 70 stops. Travelers who make it to all 70 locations will be entered into grand prize drawing. Details can be found by obtaining a Passport booklet or visiting the Nebraska Tourism website. The Tourism Commission highly encourages travelers to visit stops during business hours and take time to explore the area around the Passport locations.
Erin Lenz, public information officer for the Nebraska Tourism Commission said, “The locations on the Passport are chosen because of destination verity, geographical location and excellent customer service.” Last year 40,000 people participated in the program and 469 individuals visited all listed locations.
“This has a noticeable impact on Nebraska economically,” Lenz said.
The Tourism Commission’s aim is to show both Nebraska natives and out of state individuals everything Nebraska has to offer.
There are two Passport stops located in Dawson County: Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington and Lasso Espresso Co. in Gothenburg.
Business director Barry McFarland said Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington is thrilled to be one of the passport stops.
McFarland said the first day the program started there were a half dozen visitors to Mac’s Creek specifically taking part in the passport program.
“It gets people out here. The nice part about it is it goes from border to border. We’ve already met people from across the state and from Kansas,” said McFarland.
McFarland said Mac’s Creek employees enjoy meeting travelers and being a gateway to talk about other things to see and do in the area. People ask about the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles, the Dawson County Historical Museum and Johnson Lake.
Marsha Hecox, owner of Lasso Espresso Co. said “to be chosen for the passport you have to have something of interest. Ours is because of the history we have here — timbers from Fort McPherson and original pictures of Native American chiefs.”
Hecox also said that they were working on having pamphlets about Gothenburg to help promote the town and its attractions as well their location. Attractions include the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Pony Express Station Museum and the Gothenburg Historical Museum.