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Y4- 1 1.111 0"111j, er41 YAKIMA VALLEY ,- Visitors and Convention Bureau 10 North 8th Street Yakima, WA 98901 Phone: 509.575.3010 Fax: 509.575.6252 Toll Free: 800.221.0751 VisitYakimaValley.org • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . . • • . • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • • • • . . . . . . . . • • • • • . . . • • • • . • . • • • • • . . . . . . . • • • • I • • • • • • • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • • • • • . • • • • • • • • 2011 BOARD LEADERSHIP MESSAGE P/ CONVENTION & GROUP SALES 2011 VCB STAFF Visitors & Convention Bureau The meetings and group business industry in Adminstrative OF DIRECTORS On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Yakima Valley \ g 9 P rY John Cooper Ryan Lee Beckett the Yakima V is h President & CEO important VCB), we are proud to present our 2011 Annual Report . ma alle s an octant art of the RE /MAX Traditions p P P Y P P , � �% travel and tourism Industry The VCB worked Wench Boxier Jennifer Blresner The state of the econom continued to have an effect on travel and , hard to row this sector of the industry in 2011 Controller & HR Manager Teml, Lewis, & Wilke Insurance Y Y was underway By year ; ! 'I �- g tourism, but trends indicated recovery underwa B end, Yakima � ' \- `" Future conventions confirmed were up 2% Stephanie Gangle Sean Gilbert i o o '� -� Office Manager Gilbert Cellars County lodging room demand was down 1% over 2010 but up 1 / over ., ; , ' compare to 2 0 1 0 , and staff generated Mike Gilmore 2009 Yakima room tax recei is grew sli htl over 2010 and were 4 7% 185 ualified leads, an increase of 9% Barbara Fleming Yakima Federal Savings g Y " �"� q Receptionist i gs &Loan greater than 2009 from 2010 Due to the state of the economy and Convention Center Shawn Haggerty Yakima Convention Center decreased attendance, actual convention /group Connie Upton Legends Casino L'' Tourism is vital to the local economy According to Washington State room nights utilized were down compared to 2010 Cony Center General Manager Chris Malland Tourism research, YAKIMA CONVENTION CENTER Lisa Krous Yakima Sports Center Kathy Miller After dedicating more than two million Sales Activities Assistant General Manager Elizabeth McGree Parrish ■ Travelers spent an estimated $331 million in Yakima County in 2010 dollars in upgrades and additions over the In July we conducted our second "Customer dd d "C Laura Rodriguez JEM Development Event Coordinator 2011 Board Chair (most recent year figures available) previous two years, visitors to the Convention Advisory Forum " VCB Industry veteran and meeting Kathy Miller Parrish Sheldon Butler Miller &A Assoc Wealth Mgmt, LLC Center were able to enjoy and appreciate consultant Linda DiMario facilitated the forum for ■ Visitors created more than 3,370 jobs directly in tourism related industries. the many improvements at the center In Jim Milne meeting executives an industry Convention of Operations 1 Y Y p and local dustry partners. Convention & Group Sales Prosser Chamber of Commerce its inaugural year, the new Outdoor Plaza Brynn Kloster Matt Hawn ■ Tourism generated an additional 1,500 jobs for Yakima County in support was utilized by 27 groups for meal events, We kept our presence strong with Olympia based Director of Convention &Group Sales Two Mountain Winery industries including finance, construction, food processing, education, convention displays and social gatherings Diane Reim g P g meeting planners by hosting two major functions Wanda Riel insurance, real estate and wholesale trade The average wage of these Our Spring reception drew 38 representatives from Senior Sales Manager Holiday Inn Downtown obs exceeded $40 1� J , 000 �) eighteen various associations and government Miles Eaton Linda Sellers Convention Sales Manager Velikan a Halverson I agencies In the fall we returned with our popular 1 ` . Andrea Stone ■ Visitors to Yakima County created $25 million in state and local taxes, ` ..--' .. Farmer's Market Luncheon Extravaganza Attendees Convention Services Tami Silva I) - g Dangold Dairy fair John Cooper new revenues that supported our local roads, police and fire services, i o ' loaded up on farm fresh Yakima Valley produce &Housing Coordinator Jim Steelman President & CEO parks and other vital community services. and local products while learning about the Sports Commission Red Lion Hotel Yakima Convention Center South Lobby Art Rich Austin improvements at the Convention Center and Director of Sports Scott Steinloskr Clearly tourism is economic development. It creates jobs and local taxes while sustaining a quality The Convention Center hosted 149,543 visitors updates within the hotel community In addition, Mike Carey Union Gap Tourism of life we all enjoy As the designated agency responsible for this important industry, the VCB works (up 17% from 2010) during 554 event days staff made numerous trips to the west side to Sports Sal Manager Jamie Stickel hard to build tourism for the Yakima Valley (up 13 5 %) and brought in more than $6 7 conduct individual sales calls with convention and Richard Huebner Yakima Herald Republic million to the local economy in 2011 Sports Services Coordinator group related clients. EX- OFFICIO SHARE YOUR WA Leisure and Internet Marketing Kusten Danielson MaureenAdkuson The loss of the state tourism office in Sh are EVEN DAYS HELD Convention &Group Service Director of Marketing Yakima City Council 2011 was a frustration to our industry, .,. T , . 2011 was the third year of utilizing MeetingMax, an Dame! Writer Loren Belton 2009 2010 2011 however the tourism office went out r _ ; :: ... 4 .,� on -line group reservations system, and our first year Graphics & Web Developer City of Toppenish `# , ` , ".. T otal 512 488 554 with one final marketing campaign using ePly, an online conference registration system Visitor Services Kevin Bouchey �' Our Information Specialists logged ed 743 Pam Alamos Yakima County Commissioners "Share Your Washington " The project ;. __ REVENUE P • u r Volunteer Visitor Information Center Manager Kevin Jorgensen had Washington res send - — ' washers on hours and assisted 3,450 convention delegates. 2009 2010 2011 Diane Smestad City of Selah digital postcards to friends and family _ ���— Total $708,329 $681,147 $799,217 Travel Consultant in h em t o visit VCB's -- Dave McFadden encoura Industry Involvement & Education g g t — Herb Schmidt YCDA I New Vision throughout the state had a friendly -- , 4 11 %o Taking an active role in professional trade Travel Consultant Gene Rostvold competition to promote the campaign ` r ., organizations assists in staff development while Tourism Development Yakima Valley Sports Commission The Convention Center is the premier building relationships attracting group s for their Katie Heaverlo The Yakima Valley embraced the 9 P g g P Kathleen GoyetteofWhite Pass Ski Lodge Shares Her Washington meeting facility in Central Washington and Director of Tourism challenge by posting photos, videos, etc meetings. Trade organizations we belong to include serves an important role in presenting the the Member Services on Facebook, Twitter and on our website and succeeded at winning the competition Our prize was community to visitors while being a major e Wasin Washington Society ty of Association Executives Michelle Hopkins increased exposure for the Yakima Valley on the still -active state website experiencewa corn and the Society of Government Meeting Planners Director of Member Services generator of economic activity in downtown 2 • 2011 Annual Report • VisitYakimaValley org VisitYakimaValley org • 2011 Annual Report • 3 VisitYakimaValley.org MARKETING TOURISM DEVELOPMENT MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS 2011 Web Campaigns Our consumer website www visityakimavalley org continues to be an effective communications tool Wine Country Signage Project More than 360 businesses and organizations are members of the VCB, A strategic advertising schedule in 2011 of print media, partner advertising, seasonal or themed The VCB assisted Yakima County Development Association contributing $115,000 in dues to support our efforts to advance tourism Red/a)tes OF THE YAKKIMAVALL Y • micro websites and giveaways focused on driving consumers to the website was successful The (YCDA/New Vision) on the development of a new signage ...1-e- : ._ "lea , ;F, year ended with 211,943 unique visitors to the VCB's website, a 28% increase in traffic over program in Yakima Valley's wine country The completed project To add value to their membership, the VCB hosted educational programs " ""'� "' 2010 and a 76% increase over 2009 will provide visitors with cohesive directional signage within for the members. During the summer the VCB brought in Linda Mario, RedWineRoute corn Yakima County a respected tourism professional in the industry, to lead a workshop (January - February) This year we designed advertisements that were editorial in nature — telling dedicated to customer experience that gave tips and strategies to - ENTER TO win A - WASHINGTON the story of the Yakima Valley Aligned with our brand strategies, the main 1 Group & Leisure grow your business With the demise of the State Tourism office, the FARM ' w - T • focus was "where the grapes are grown" and "farm, fresh, fun I" depicting The Yakima Valley gained exposure through our attendance at VCB also hosted the Washington Tourism Alliance (WIA) meeting _ � '•' the Yakima Valley's unique agricultural goodness. Event advertisements were industry and consumer trade shows in 2011 Staff participated with a community outreach session to discuss future tounsm plans for • : e iilvett- placed bi- monthly in the Sunday issue of the Seattle Times' "NW Travel" in the following shows in 2011 Washington State - vim' Y.PIp{ — - __ — _ , , section covering what to do during the upcoming weekend Destination VisrtFarm S eptember) un corn r' ' r p romot i on advertisements were p laced in ma such as Washin ■ Go West Summit (international operators) r (May - S - -- , :' -: ' Tasting Room, Sunset, AM We stern Journey, and Wine Press NW ■ ► PRSNSooetyofAmencanTravelWritersTravel &Tourism Conference - 1 - , z . ._ ■ Travel Industry Association Pow Wow (international o r - _ • ` --;;T, ` . , ` :'i THANKSGIVING - e'it''6/R.. IJOV h: • .wi•„ ' 1 M . # • t , , . ►Tw Nation Vacation Travel Show (tour and travel trade} 4 ` ' ` • �T " w ,rr isitYakimavaue To stimulate travel, staff created Wine Country Getaway Giveaways _ ,,_ 44 ,..� promotions that encouraged potential visitors to enter a drawing plus opt -in, _ to our email communications and receive timely updates on packages, events and attractions A special event we participated in was the Travel Alliance __ 4 wine-industry and dining partnered g giveaways Partners (TAP) General Partner Meeting in Spokane As a WineCoun m com Lodging, wine- indust members artnered with the VCB to create eight iveawa s that Holiday Reception and Silent Auction (October- November) sponsor, we were able to present and showcase the attractions The 22nd Annual Silent an Holiday Reception welcomed more were advertised via social media and various pay - per -click and impression campaigns on popular Y P and wineries of the region generosity than 450 guests Thanks to the and goodwill of VCB members sites like seattletimes.com, oregonlive corn, sunset corn, etc Requests for information resulting 9 9 ty 9 fri ; A .-), ,." from adv ertising increased 6 6% ove 2010 and the community, the event netted $30,000 for the VCB and Visitor � Media Exposure Information Center VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER In addition to calling and corresponding with writers, we target - niche market writers For example, in the fall we invited and Annual Lunch and encores Awards WinterinTheValley corn The Yakima Valley Information Center (VIC) off hosted beer bloggers to experience the Fresh Hop Ale Festival In May the VCB hosted our Annual (November- December) Interstate 82 is one of the most comprehensive, state- of -the- art information centers in Washington State VIC staff is wel3- r— Lunch titled "Tourism Survivor " Our GreenRu remained the public relations firm to direct a TOUR. M `, guest speaker was Seattle based I • i ` inf ormed on lodging, dining, attractions and event information campaign to promote tourism an year -round culinary travel to SIJ rOR radio s h J Curley ,who '- ° el- Caw. ' ". r with an expertise in outdoor recreation for which the Yakima it t Y a k ima V alley By t en o t year, our collective editorial : valley � , spoke of the importance of taking on le i s known The VIC is often referred to visitors from ....to' L. y f �' i f all media efforts generated $2,8 in advertising value in v..... e over the world as one of the best they have visited 106 publications/media outlets with a combined readership r new challenges Wine Coun Getawa exc eeding 77 million This is up from 2010 because of results (Year Round) At the event, the VCB honored well - deserving businesses and In 2011 new features were added to the VIC Free 24 from a media blitz to New York and larger stories appeared in hour Wi -Fi access was made available plus a Facebook individuals that made contributions to our community by consistently 1 . ,'�, p big circulation publications and media The media coverage providing excellent service and leadership We congratulate the _ page was developed specifically for the VIC gift shop in 2011 was greater than 2010 by 38% i .. ,i„4... , to generate sales and interest in local products. The VIC following recipients o the 2011 encore' Awards �' ' ' crafted m ore than 300 gift baskets with local products for �i g p Visitor Information Center The Yakima Valley enjoyed editorial exposure in the followin Tourism Persons of the Year WineCountryGirls.com various businesses and local residents media in 2011 C ommittee for Downtown Yakima - Clean & Safe Ambassadors (Year Round) Wine enthusiasts from Yakima and beyond tasted and bought wine at our visitor center making it ■ MA Journey Magazine ■ Northwest Meetings & Events Tourism Business of the Year YAKIM _, ALLEY ; , . a destination for local Yakima Valley Wine. The VIC did over 400 tastings and sold 1,100 bottles of ►Entrepreneur Magazine ►Sunset Magazine White Pass Ski Area Yakima Valley Wine The VIC gift shop ended the year with an 18% increase in sales ■ Food &Wine Magazine ■ Seattle Times _ .. -. -_ ■ Frommers corn ■ Wine Press Northwest Chairman's Award _ -. • Dick Zais for 30 years of service to the Yakima Valley travel •° In 2011, the Visitor Information Center served 14,997 walk -in visitors, helped 259 families relocate YakimaValle Live.com to the region, plus responded to 6,330 people via online and mail industry in his role as City Manager to the City of Yakima Gear Round) 4 • 2011 Annual Report • VisitYakimaValley org VisitYakimaValley org • 2011 Annual Report • 5 YAKIMA VALLEY SPORTS COMMISSION WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2012 The sports event market continues to expand and grow, providing economic The following is a synopsis of the 2012 Business Plan for the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau 1 benefits and exposure for the Yakima Valley The Yakima Valley Sports Commission works to enhance existing sporting events and tournaments, A I� COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS MARKETING & ADVERTISING CONTINUED attract new events, and promote the Yakima Valley as a premier sports - • Nay a leadership role at the state level through active involvement • Further appeal to the 'wet' side of our state with sponsored radio impact of sports tourism in the Washington Tourism Alliance and their activities to market the weather reports encouraging visitors to the Yakima Valley, 'sun central destination in the Northwest The economic im p p • state and find a long term funding solution for state tounsm marketing • Continue advanced social media marketing strategies through utilization in the Yakima Valley was an estimated $28 9 million in 2011 and • Continue to be the community leader in tounsm economic development of user generated websites, social media sites and an optimized website the number of sporting events held was 386 (up 18% from 2010) through effective community and government outreach efforts for smart phones • Build awareness of the importance of the tourism industry • Purchase and implement the Book Direct accommodations booking tool Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) • Generate news releases and story ideas for the local press on VCB for the website that allows real time lodging reservations The Yakima Valley is host to several Washington Interscholastic Activities 4 activities and the tourism industry ��� MEMBER SERVICES Association (WIAA) State High School Championships including Girls � � " -_ DESTINATION BRANDING • Continue to provide meaningful support and services to partners to Volleyball (1B, 2B and 1A), Boys and Girls Basketball (1A and 2A), Girls /tom ` Q In 2012 the organization will continue to pursue a number of strategies ensure a high level of satisfaction Dance and Drill (all classifications), Boys Baseball (1B, 2B, 1 A and 2A), 117 M I S S and programs to build the brand Activities include • Build membership to 375 members and sustain a high level of retention. Girls Softball (1B, 2B and 2A) and Boys and Girls Tennis (1B, 2B and 1A) • Implementation of three new themed micro websites in the areas • Continue workshops and programs that assist member businesses in of Wine Tourism, Culinary Tourism, and Agritounsm The sites will their marketing and operations contain new photography, video, member advertisements, extensive • Print and distribute the Yakima Valley Official Visitors Gu;deTM Yakima Valley Sports Commission's Signature Events area mapping, and event listings • Stage the successful Annual Lunch and encores Awards and Holiday Reception Each year, the Yakima Valley Sports Commission organizes, promotes and operates three Signature Events • Increased banner ads on sites targeting demographics identified in the brand strategy TOURISM DEVELOPMENT `s ... ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' i • Streamlining our co-op advertising with key brand messaging • Increase media coverage on Yakima Valley attractions and communities K VALLEY/ + 4 ' l 1 ® ,- Wine, Food, Farm through public relations efforts. , • Utilize PR firm and membership in the Western Association of CVBs to ° ^J �•"" ° ' � J• id r 'r Q r "1 (� /_N CONVENTION AND GROUP SALES make media sales calls to publishers and writers in key markets The _i — —__/---1 -�--� —J _ _% ` — J • Through various sales efforts, generate 200 convention /group sales goal is the placement of more than 45 stories with a media value L . U N C HEONI' r'EYB;A nights exceeding LLLL I 3 -0N -3 TOURNEY leads and book 34,000 future room ni $500,000 ' �.-� -� _ -- — r DOWNTOWN g g • Attract meeting planners to the region for FAM tours through • Actively promote the region to the group tour and international markets Yakima Valley Sports Awards Luncheon SunDome Voile ball Festival Yakima Hot Shots 3 - - programs that target their needs for meeting planning and Attend leisure and industry travel shows, showcasing key attractions and y continuing education activities to attract visitors Awards were given in 20 high school sports 72 varsity and junior varsity volleyball Basketball Tourney • Conduct sales blitzes /trips to the Puget Sound corridor and other • Continue development of wine and farm fresh fun components of the for athletes, coaches and teams at the 2011 teams came to the Yakima Valley for - A record - 447 teams and 1,788 players regions of the state where meeting planners and associations brand strategies to further expand exposure and recognition Sports Awards Luncheon, attended by more the annual SunDome Volleyball Festival, participated in the 2011 Hot Shots are located than 500 people held at the Yakima Valley SunDome and Tournament held on 36 courts in the • Increase the number of hosted association /group board meetings YAKIMA VALLEY SPORTS COMMISSION East Valley High School streets of downtown Yakima for new and/or pending pieces of group business • Enhance existing Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) • Host loc appreciation events CENTER • for pre - selected staff members • state highEncourage school championships. belongin t o orga that regularly assist in hosting state • Utilize resources to submit and compete for various sporting events conventi and me etings • Provide leadership in the development of existing and new sports facilities. p .. _ • Continu o n site s to ensure quality service for groups • Strengthen working relationships with local sporting organizations, I I , � r — • tournament directors, venue owner /operators and key officials r. A organizing committee members to take an YAKI CONVENTION ". MINN , l • Implement year four of the Capital Facilities Plan active role in state, regional and national sports organizations. 4,,,:__ i , , u • Aggressively market the improvements at the Convention Center, y L _ ' . in particular, the new Outdoor Plaza VISITOR SERVICES I- . • „ 13 . , . : . :AN ' .I 1 ti t • Expand "green" environmental practices at the center • Continue to position the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center as an Set r•' .� , " . -0� ;,o�a,E� ■ y , , ` • Convention Center staff will maximize use of the facility to increase interpretive center to expand its effectiveness in educating locals and the U; , s h , I, ✓ ! earned revenue by 5 %, hosting 500 event days and 150,000 attendees visitors on the unique attributes of the Yakima Valley `E • Continue to provide exceptional customer service to a projected 17,000 �i j • o ' ~ } = . . ' MARKETING & ADVERTISING visitors at the VIC, encouraging them to extend their stay r► i ` ^ • • With the absence of significant state funding for tourism, utilize the • sponsorships for the VIC website to reach leisure markets throw • Maintain and secure additional s p onsorshi p h a variety of campaigns ns Expand the retail offerings at the VIC continuing efforts to expand local/ Js \ 4 , 9 ry p 9 p 9 9 p Y • Implement a leisure advertising campaign consisting of high impact made products Sports Awards Luncheon SunDome Volleyball Festival Hot Shots 3 -on -3 Basketball Tourney advertisements in magazines/newspapers representing priority markets. 6 • 2011 Annual Report • VisitYakimaValley org VisitYakimaValley.org • 2011 Annual Report • 7 +