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Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce Budget Work Program Request for Funding . TIZUC!\EE' tH)i"iNE.R Ch;.l1\1h'T..1 (Or'I1!!1JtTCC Since 195:\ May 2, 1994 Town of Truckee PO Box 2884 Truckee, CA 96160 Town Council: Mayor Kathleen Eagan Council Members J. Aguera, G. Botto, S. Carpenter, B. Cross Town Manager, S. Wright For your consideration and initial approval is, attached, the 1994- 95 Tourism Development plan from the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce. This plan was developed by the Chamber's Tourism Development Committee and Economic Development committee, both of which utilize the talent and professional skills of a representative group of members. First, the plan assumes that the Council subscribes to a general promotional philosophy about tourism development: -that tourism is a valuable industry and that you desire to promote tourism and business development in Truckee; -that any promotional strategy should cause a net economic gain to the community. Job creation and economic enhancement are key goals; -that a comprehensive plan should avoid duplications and inefficiencies, providing assistance to the Town in areas not already being performed. The one-year plan is a comprehensive program reflective of the aggressive approach the Chamber has taken in the past three years. This outline puts forth the recommended approach for the town's contract only', The Chamber's tourism development activities go beyond this plan by pursuing additional funding partners and contracts, enhancing the program with numerous volunteer hours and skills, and significant capital improvements (computer system, updated phone systems, and information distribution systems) to be funded by the Chamber's general operating funds in the coming year. To most effectively manage this program, the Chamber requests consideration of an agreement for services for a minimum of 2 years. The organization is interested in providing the Town with the optimal service on a continual basis, without interruption. admUlistrativ. offices: (916) 587-8808. fax (916) 587-2439 GA TEW A Y TO THE CALIFORNIAS POST OFFICE BOX 2757. TRUCKEE. CA 96160 In The Train Depot (916) 587-2757 . The proposal is a continuation of the strategies employed in the previous plan, with notable increases. The Chamber proposes this plan as a reinvestment of transient occupancy tax, in congruence with the tax's intended uses. For long term planning purposes, the Chamber proposes that a calculation of 20% of the total TOT collected in the previous fiscal year be a guide for the total plan amount. Truckee has an opportunity to condition its leadership early in its evolution to the intended uses of TOT revenues: to offset the real costs of tourism upon a community and to fund local tourism promotion for the purposes of economic development. The program plan and budget is attached for your review; it consists of promotions, public relations, research, event development, transit development, and visitor center services. The value of these services should not be underestimated. Development spending is a reinvestment in our community's economy for years to come. We are pleased to answer your questions and look forward to reviewing this program with you. Sincerely, ~ . J"'-- J:'1 / ~ (. t I ^) /' ./ /(C~(; hytJ#<-- L./ttt-1# ?td$.tf; /? /' ~ic ~le Franke Laura Silvestri ~~ . Executive Manager VP, Development cc: R. Hemig, President Members:Tourism Development Committee :Economic Development committee . . TRUCKEE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN, 1994-95 TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: A WORTHWHILE RE-INVESTMENT! The community's excellent gain and return on this investment are evident by the results of our aggressive tourism development program. Consider, for example: . The visitor spends an average of $143/day* in our area... AND... an average of 10% of inquiries result in a visit to the area*: ...the 500 visitors who attended the Donner Party Hike, in mid-October, (seeded with $3000 for 1993 with county contract) therefore resulted in local revenues of $71,500. Also, the funds were enhanced exponentially by volunteer efforts and cooperative programs, in some cases tripling the overall "seeding" of the event. .. .$1200 spent on advertising in Nevada Magazine in 1993 resulted in 3000 direct inquiries through the ad's reader response fulfillment program. With an estimated 300 of the inquiries becoming day visitors, a total of $85,800 in revenues were gained by that advertising placement. .. . over 12,000 inquiries (phone, mail, walk-in) were handled by the Visitor Center in 1993. An estimated 1200 total visits were gained by these services. Assuming an average stay of 3 days, a total of $514,800 in revenues were gained. . AND . . . a full page article in Sunset magazine as a result of the $5,000 publicity campaign, would have a corresponding advertising cost of $28,000. The front cover shot of Donner Lake has an estimated value of $100,000. Sunset magazine has a circulation of 4 million readers. The investment was quadrupled with just this result. ...in 1993, the total media inches of Truckee coverage gained valued at a minimum cost of $120/inch in media would have a corresponding advertising cost of approximately $170,000. . CONSEQUENTLY, ...one chamber member Realtor credits the inquiry system with three property (home) sales in the past year, translating to gains in property transfer taxes as well as long-term property tax gains. . ALTERNATIVELY, ... when misinformation or no information is disseminated, the message can have a negative impact on our community. A recent survey of ski towns placed our area at the bottom of the "attractiveness" scale. This rating was a simple miscalculation due to poor or no information being disseminated. The potential for gain in this type of rating, when reported correctly, are tremendous. *source: Tahoe North Visitors & Convention Bureau I . PROGRAM NARRATIVE TRUCKEE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN, 1994-95 Proposed services for: Town of Truckee Contract Period: July 1, 1994 - June 30, 1995 Cate!!orv: EVENTS Amount: $ 4,000 Obiective: To expand the average visitor season with off-season diversions and attractions as well as to enhance the image and build awareness of the area as a four-season, diverse recreational destination. Building shoulder season activities for the area is critical; the initiation of this process can be the role of the Chamber in a development program. Extended visitor stays benefit the community with additional sales revenues, and ultimately, tax revenues for the Town. Research indicates that we can gain trial from new visitors by offering non-ski options; a significant percentage of new visitors came to play in and experience the snow. Our goal is to convert these occasional visitors into regular customers by offering them another reason to visit the area again. Proiects in this category: In 1994-95, we intend to focus on the following projects in this category: 1) Snowfest Ice Palace: to create a focal point in Truckee for Snowfest as well as gain considerable national publicity, the construction of the Ice Palace will be a key component of the event program, drawing day visitors who might otherwise have no other reason to visit Truckee during their ski vacation. Ideally, the palace will be built in January to extend its publicity "life". 2) The Community Showcase will be held Memorial Day weekend, to expand the regional visitors interest to Truckee. It will again feature a real estate home tour and community services fair to acquaint visitors and potential relocaters with the assets and features of our Town; attendance is anticipated to reach 2,000. 3) Event Organizer Development will be a focused effort to develop interest among event producers in staging a main event in our area. Initially, our efforts will be to attract producers with an interest in a long term development strategy in our market with an off-season event. 2 . PROGRAM NARRATIVE TRUCKEE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN. cont. Catel!orv: PROMOTIONS Amount: $10,000 Objective: To build awareness and establish the image of the area's attributes as a visitor/tourism destination, capturing a larger share of the regions visitors, and increasing the length of the visitor's stay in our area. Projects in this category: Advertising, publications, a regional marketing co-op program, and . coordinated information systems are included in this category. 1) The advertising program is focused to support our group travel efforts and air travelers arriving in Reno, and the recreation customer from our major market. 2) The co-op program with High Sierra Council insures that Truckee participates in a state- funded rural tourism grant program, aimed largely at participation in key consumer travel shows in the Western US. 3) Locally, a co-op advertising program with North Tahoe ensures that Truckee be understood as a component of the Lake Tahoe product. 4) Information systems such as new delivery systems for event information and a lodging property distribution system for visitor packets will be initiated this year. Catel!orv: PUBLIC RELATIONS Amount: $20,000 Obiective: To build awareness and establish the image of the area; to promote the area's diversions and attractions to lengthen visitor stays, and generate leads and develop revenue for local business/industry/government. Proiects in this category: In 1994/95, the public relations program should be developed and expanded to move beyond tourism publicity: 1) The value of tourism publicity is evident, and there are myriad opportunities for our area to receive coverage. This method is the most cost-effective communications program and allows us to differentiate our product among our region. Our successes speak for themselves: full page articles in Sunset magazine are a boon for our community! The publicity program includes on- going media relations to gain press coverage and to enhance media coverage for our area. Monthly press releases and story submissions to travel media and follow-up insure continual mention of Truckee in the travel press. 2) As an extension: of the publicity program, and closely related because of the impact of negative publicity, it is important to extend these services into the area of media relations. This program would allow for town issues and unplanned circumstances to be managed in the media in a planned, responsive manner.. Great attention can be paid to the overall positioning and impact of specific messages. This is an important step for the Town in its management of information, and specific programs, such as crisis communications, could be accomplished through this program. 3) To develop exposure in electronic media, a video library will be developed with regional partners. The resulting footage, stock of the area, of the recreational assets, of key events, and of recognizable visitor attractions, will aid in the repeated use and broadcast by Northern California television stations. 3 . PROGRAM NARRATIVE TRUCKEE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN. cont. Category: VISITOR CENTER Amount: $50,000 Objective: To enhance the visitor and potential visitor's experience with key information, thereby insuring a longer visit or future visits by that traveler and others. Projects in this category: The image of our community, awareness of our attractions! diversions, and opportunities to expand the visitor season rest largely on the successful operation of a quality visitor center. Our study points out that, as an entry point for the entire North Shore area, the scope of the visitor center should be expanded. Additionally, the Truckee Chamber is the lead information source for visitors inquiring about the region prior to their trip: 10% called for information before their trip. Over 80% of our inquiries are handled by telephone. This year's program includes upgrades of our phone and information delivery systems to include a computer and a visitor information display Kiosks, supported by Chamber general funds. 1) This program focuses on the expansion of our visitor center to include 7-day!week services. 2) The information program has been expanded to allow for distribution of welcome packets to all visitors and participants at area events. 3) The program considers the substantial increase in postage costs as of 1/95. 4 , . PROGRAM NARRATIVE TRUCKEE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN. cont. SPECIAL PROJECTS: Please note that the following items represent are of substantial importance to the overall program. However, both are items which may be best carried out by the Town. In order to assure completion of these programs in FY94, the Chamber is willing to assist in these items and can be agreed to by the general or separate contract if you so choose. Catel!:orv: TRANSIT Amount: $ 7,500 Obiective: To foster the formation of our transit programs with a through marketing program and, in turn, build awareness of the area's attributes as a visitor/tourism destination, establishing the area as such a destination, and capturing a larger share of the market's visitors. Proiects in this category: A marketing campaign for the Truckee Trolley would include local efforts as well as visitor marketing to capitalize on the development of our transportation systems. Note that $2500 of this budget would be for the 1995 system. 1) The marketing program would enable ongoing surveys, direct mail to residents, advertising and schedule distribution, publicity and co-op campaigns, and could possibly include underwriting a free fare day. It is most crucial that the large capital investment that the Town has made in this system be developed and supported with appropriate marketing funds. This is an investment in our infrastructure deficiencies as viewed by the visitor (traffic/roads deterioration), and the development of the system is a commitment of revenues designed to support such visitor impacts. Although some municipalities participate in operational funding of such systems, the town has been unable at this juncture to participate. Supporting the business community's financial commitment in a reasonable proportion with marketing funds will strengthen the system now and in the future. CategorY: RESEARCH Amount: $ 7,500 Obiective: To identify expansion opportunities for the community, and generate leads and develop revenues for local business, industry, government. Proiects in this category: It is evident that the community-would benefit from a comprehensive inventory of business services. Additionally, this would be a cooperative effort with the Truckee TTREC group to manage this project. 1) This research project would survey its full-time residents, second home owners, visitors, and businesses and develop a report to be updated annually from the results. This would be a scientific study and assist the economic development groups in organizing, developing, obtaining and reporting this information. The results will assist the Town in planning for future services and tax revenues. Local businesses can use the results to fine tune their business plans and better match their services to the customer profiles. This is a key economic attraction component as well as business retention tool, leading to a healthier and more profitable community. 5