Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, May 4 @ 2:30 p.m.

Crescent City Engages LuLish to Market RV Park, Beachfront Park, Swimming Pool; Councilors Poised to Up Annual Visitors Bureau Allocation by $30,000


Previously:
Del Norte County Ups Annual Visitors Bureau Allocation By $30,000

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Crediting her marketing efforts for making Del Norte County a destination location, four members of the Crescent City Council voted to work with Lynnette Braillard to promote its RV park, swimming pool and Beachfront Park.

Those same four members also indicated they would support allocating an additional $30,000 to the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau in the city’s 2022-23 budget. Crescent City already allocates $72,000 to the Visitors Bureau and Chamber and offers space at the Crescent City Cultural Center to the nonprofit organization at no charge.

“Sixteen years ago, the realization was that we need a big investment if we’re going to begin to introduce ourselves to the world as a travel destination,” said Councilor Blake Inscore, who has been involved with the Visitors Bureau since he was elected to the City Council about seven years ago. “We worked along the way and a lot of people have done a good job, but we really didn’t catch the momentum until the last three years when we brought on a professional marketing firm to help us do what we envisioned many years ago. The investment is paying off, there’s no doubt about that.”

Inscore and his colleagues on Monday approved a $24,000 marketing agreement with Braillard, founder and creative director of Oregon-based LuLish Design. Crescent City Mayor Jason Greenough was absent.

According to City Manager Eric Wier, the marketing agreement came out of direction the City Council gave to city staff at the last budget meeting. The Council directed staff to allocate $8,000 toward marketing efforts for Lighthouse Cove RV Park, the Fred Endert Municipal Pool and “our parks in general.”

Under this agreement, Braillard will promote Crescent City at the Travel and Adventure Show in Santa Clara this month, according to the city’s recreation director, Ashley Taylor. Braillard is developing trifold brochures promoting the RV park, Beachfront Park and pool with updated photography and expanded distribution.

Crescent City will be featured alongside Del Norte County in four bi-monthly ads in AAA’s Via Magazine, which is sent to association members in Oregon and Idaho. Braillard will also be tasked with developing the Lighthouse Cove RV Park website.

According to Taylor, Braillard will transform the RV park’s website into a “vibrant standalone site” that will promote local attractions and events while offering online booking services.

Taylor said city staff will recommend the city retain Braillard’s services beyond the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year with a focus on developing a website for the Fred Endert Municipal Pool.

“We’ll also be securing a half-page ad in the popular Discover Del Norte visitors guide,” Taylor said. “Crescent City will also be featured in a full-page co-opted guide with Visit Del Norte County, an in-room hotel guide distributed in Crescent City, Brookings and Gold Beach.”

Braillard began working with the chamber of commerce and visitors bureau in 2019. At the visitors bureau’s annual year-in review of its marketing efforts, Braillard said the number of campaign impressions is up by over 233 percent from last year — going from about 7.4 million to 24 million.

Braillard said lodging tax in Del Norte County increased by about 128 percent on average from the previous year, though those numbers don’t include the revenue that’s allocated to the Crescent City Harbor District.

“Due to this success, the county increased our funding by $30,000 for this fiscal year, which really enabled us to do a lot more over the last several months, which has been exciting,” Braillard told Councilors. “Crescent City’s room tax report (shows) an average 31 percent increase over the first two quarters of the fiscal year and consistently sales tax collections have been up.”

This statement coincides with a presentation Crescent City Finance Director Linda Leaver made in March, stating that the city’s lodging tax revenue this fiscal year is expected to come in $400,000 higher than originally projected.

According to Leaver, the city is expected to receive $1.8 million in lodging tax revenue this year.

On Monday, the chamber’s executive director, Cindy Vosburg, praised the City Council for having the “wisdom and the foresight to invest in the future of Crescent City.” Of the $72,000 the city already allocates to the Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, about $11,000 is used to run the visitors center.

An additional $30,000 from the city would allow the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce to up its contribution to the Humboldt-Del Norte County Film Commission to $15,000 — an $8,000 increase from this fiscal year — according to Vosburg.

“If we can get them back to $15,000, that makes our presence even stronger,” she said. “And we would build a local photography library of possible film sites that Cassandra (Hesseltine), the film commissioner, can use in Hollywood to lure these producers here to Del Norte County and we would take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves.”

An additional $30,000 from the city would also allow the chamber and visitors bureau to take out a print ad in Journey Magazine, AAA’s tourism magazine for Washington, Vosburg said.

That money would also allow the visitors bureau to cover increased postage costs fueled by an increase in demand for local visitors guides, Vosburg said.

During public comment, Crescent City resident James Hamilton pointed out that looking at the number of Airbnb and vacation rentals in the community would be a way of measuring its marketing efforts.

“Every person that discovers they can either rent a room or rent a whole house or make that extra buck that helps them, that’s when things are discovered and we’re starting to hit growth where it become exponential,” he said. “I’m saying, yes, let’s give these folks some money. Let’s start measuring stuff.”

Inscore also pointed out that the 128 percent increase in TOT is directly tied to vacation rentals, adding that no new motels have been built in Del Norte County.

“That is an exploding market and it is a market that is bringing people here,” he said. “People have different opinions about vacation rentals especially when you have a tough housing market like we have, but people are coming here and they are investing their money here.”


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