INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Doug Swanson's new office is only a 15-minute drive from the previous location of XplorIt.But Swanson says the business and tax environment at the company's new headquarters in Incline Village feels far distant from what the company faced in Truckee, just across the California state line.Swanson, chairman of the board of XplorIt, said the company's move to Incline Village comes as XplorIt's growth rate - which has been running more than 60 percent a year for the past three years - begins to accelerate.XplorIt develops interactive software that's used by clients to provide virtual tours to folks who come to their Web sites.The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, for instance, commissioned XplorIt to create virtual tour of the city's attractions as well as the Los Angeles Convention Center.Resort at Squaw Creek and Mammoth Mountain, meanwhile, use XplorIt to introduce their resorts to potential users.The tour on Mammoth Mountain's Web site, Swanson says, drew 85,000 visitors last year.More critically, he says users stick with the tours far longer than they do with traditional Web video. The mountain resorts, for instance, have reported viewer engagement times of seven to 10 minutes. XplorIt's technology won the Media Vanguard Award from Advertising Age for the best innovation in virtual technology.The company currently employs eight, and Swanson said it expects to have a staff of 20 by the end of this year.The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, which assisted the company's decision-making, says XplorIt's wages average about $41,000.Mike Kazmierski, chief executive officer of EDAWN, said the jobs are important, too, because they help build entrepreneurial and technology-based creative energy in the region.The company began working with EDAWN through the economic development agency's entrepreneurial development team, which seeks to help startups in the area.Swanson said advisors at the C4 CUBE business incubator in Reno also assisted with the decision.VizKinect, a company headquartered at C4 CUBE, struck a partnership with XplorIt last autumn. VizKinect, which has developed technology to track what viewers are watching on a screen in a real time, might combine that technology with the XplorIt system.The company was launched about three years ago as a unit of J.D. Publishing, which publishes Tahoe Quarterly. Before it was rebranded as XplorIt last year, the company was known as VTour.Swanson said the company developed from the needs of magazine advertisers who wanted to use virtual reality to show off resorts and other properties.Xplorit is renovating office space at 924 Incline Way and expects to complete its move by mid-March.
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