The Palisade Tourism Advisory Board learned at its Aug. 12 meeting that midyear budget revenues appear less than expected, heard a midyear marketing report, and prepared for a special work session the next hour with the Palisade Trustees.
Rich Sales, town administrator, told the board about the possible revenue shortfall and said the trustees may ask them to reduce expenses. Sales said that the tourism board might need to ask the trustees for a budget back-fill.
Jean Tally, tourism board member, noted that the US Airways ad purchase, for instance, “was money we weren’t planning on spending,” although it provided “good press.” Sales noted that the town has also handled unfunded expenses, including property purchases.
Sales pointed out that the tourism board serves at the direction of the trustees and that they trust the board. “They don’t meddle in the use of money, and I recommend that it be kept that way.”
Brooke Webb, tourism board member, commented that the tourism board was wise to hold a large contingency fund.
Sales explained later at the trustees work session that the tourism board budget for Palisade and area marketing comes from the town lodging occupancy fee. It is $2 per occupied room a night. He noted that the town budget planning for 2015 is starting and that the budget needs to be adopted by Dec. 10.
Later, Sales responded by email to follow-up questions. He said the tourism board’s budget for 2014 is $30,000, and that the majority of the money is spent on advertising programs.
Sales said the tourism board uses the funds to advertise Palisade outside the local area, as arranged with the Palisade Chamber of Commerce.
This year, the tourism board specifically targeted advertising on the Front Range. “The metrics show that that advertising has been pretty successful,” Sales said.
Sales said, “Since it is wise to advertise in advance, that is the reason that more than half the budget has been used half way through the year.” He noted that the board did set a contingency “which should allow it to hit the target figures discussed at the meeting.”
During the tourism meeting, Teri Cavanagh, Cobb & Associates marketing firm, Grand Junction, presented a midyear review of activities. The overall strategy includes targeting agritourism, demographic categories (income, age, gender), and the Front Range. Strategies include online and print media and targeting off seasons, including the spring mud season.
Online marketing included Get Boulder.com, Colorado.com, VisitDenver.com, Facebook, a newsletter (sign up at: http://www.palisadetourism.com/), and the website, Cavanagh reported.
Cavanagh outlined upcoming marketing projects and decisions. They include a fall Facebook campaign, a newsletter, and collaboration with Mesa County Libraries, which might include creation of a video. Also, she noted, Stan Stephens, Longpoint Digital, Palisade, is using a drone in shooting a video.
Following the marketing review, Chair Cassidee Shull said the board can discuss marketing costs later, but first the board wants to know this year’s revenue. She added, “We have a lot of choices.”
Jean Tally, tourism board member, said later, “We need to know what we have to spend.”
The one-hour meeting was held at the Palisade Civic Center. Also attending the meeting was Ron Quarles, town community development director. The board has been meeting monthly, the second Tuesday at noon at the Civic Center.