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Frank Ferry: City prepares for a busy summer

Posted: March 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita is a unique destination for travelers, because it offers something for everyone. As you may have guessed, our community is busiest in the summer months.

From May through September, millions of travelers make plans to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor, and to experience the outdoor amenities, historic points of interest and specialty businesses that travelers expect from a memorable destination.

The city of Santa Clarita has been working with its tourism partners for more than a decade to raise awareness about the area's attractions through joint advertising and public-relations campaigns.
Santa Clarita focused its efforts in two primary areas: attraction of sports tourism events and an expanded marketing campaign to reinforce Santa Clarita's position as one of the best destinations in California.

Not only does increased tourism help support and grow tourism jobs, but by attracting team sporting events and new travelers, the city is able to drive new customers and businesses to local companies, while increasing sales tax generation.

Attracting events
Santa Clarita's reputation as a safe, family-friendly, outdoor-enthusiast destination makes it ideal for a variety of sporting events. The city is continually working to enhance the existing sports infrastructure by adding new amenities at Central Park and the Sports Complex, among other facilities.

The city's Tourism Office has been reaching out to sports organizations to attract large-scale tournaments and championships.

In the last year, the city has contacted hundreds of organizations and secured the following tournaments for 2012: the California SuperStates Chess Tournament; the Triple Crown FastPitch Tournament Santa Clarita Open, which hosts a tournament in November, but will host a new, expanded tournament in the Santa Clarita Valley; the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy's annual tournament, which is a partnership between the city and William S. Hart Union High School District; and the Master's College Cross Country Invitational.

The city is also continuing to build relationships in the event tourism industry to secure sporting and lifestyle events such as Volcom's Wild in the Park event, Tributefest, wine festivals, music events and more.

Marketing Santa Clarita
This year, the city and the newly formed Santa Clarita Tourism Marketing District developed a comprehensive regional marketing campaign targeting two of our growing markets - Phoenix and San Diego.

Residents of these communities are already visiting our area, so the marketing campaign is designed to engage the audiences and increase the amount of travel currently coming from these cities.

The campaign uses television, print, radio and billboard advertising to reach residents of these communities, and includes witty taglines designed to generate buzz about Santa Clarita.

In Phoenix, residents on major highways are exposed to billboards with the following taglines: "Get out of the heat, come to where it's hot" and "You are just hours away from the thrills of your life." In San Diego, motorists enjoy billboards that read: "You don't need a whale to have a killer time" and "Even paradise needs an escape."

The campaign has already resulted in a 200-percent increase in Web traffic from San Diego to VisitSantaClarita.com and is generating buzz around town and in Southern California.

Frank Ferry is a Santa Clarita City Councilmember and can be reached at: fferry@santa-clarita.com.

 

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