Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fight for marketing funding ends fruitfully

Ketchum, Sun Valley give $800,000 to marketing alliance, as planned

Express Staff Writer

From left, Ketchum City Councilmen Larry Helzel and Baird Gourlay and Mayor Randy Hall sit in the front row at a Sun Valley City Council meeting on Oct. 28, waiting for the group to vote on fiscal 2011 funding for the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance. Sun Valley approved $400,000 in funds, and Ketchum approved an equal marketing alliance contribution on Monday. The Sun Valley City Council also confirmed Candice Pate—sitting behind Gourlay with an orange scarf around her neck—as interim CEO of the marketing effort. Photo by David N. Seelig

The Ketchum City Council on Monday eagerly and unanimously approved a $400,000 contribution to the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance for one year of promoting the area.

Alliance President Jake Peters made a short presentation to the council, asking for the first quarterly installment of $100,000 to hire San Francisco marketing firm Eleven to develop a marketing plan for $24,000, start planning next summer's USA Cycling Mountain Biking National Championships, to be held at Dollar Mountain, and keep the area website,, up and running until the alliance builds a replacement site.

"Let's go," said Councilman Curtis Kemp after Peters was done speaking.

"This is what we need to do," added Councilman Larry Helzel shortly before the vote.

The Sun Valley City Council unanimously approved an equal $400,000 contribution Thursday, Oct. 28, also following the same quarterly-installment system. The council was able to reach a consensus because of a new structure conceived in a closed-door meeting on Oct. 26 between Ketchum and Sun Valley mayors and two council members from each city.

Prior to the closed-door meeting, half of Sun Valley's four-member City Council was against funding the marketing board because of its structure. Councilmen Bob Youngman and Nils Ribi stood vehemently opposed to the board ever since it merged with the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau in mid-September, forming the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance. They said the new structure would prove unsuccessful and wanted the chamber separated or placed beneath the marketing board.

Ribi and Youngman now support the alliance because of its new form—one organization consisting of both the originally conceived marketing board and a reconfigured chamber board. The change is that the marketing board will sit at the top of the organization, with the chamber board below it.

The marketing board will oversee a CEO hired to lead all marketing, but this marketing won't begin until Eleven builds the plan and it's presented to the cities.

"We don't intend to launch this targeted marketing effort until we present our plan to you," Peters said.

A permanent CEO will not be hired until then.

The CEO's job will also entail overseeing the chamber of commerce's general manager, who will be in charge of the visitor center, event planning and customer satisfaction.

Trevon Milliard:

Candice Pate to serve as interim marketing CEO

A graduate of Princeton University, Pate, 36, worked for about five years as president and vice-president of marketing and business development for the Hallmark cable channel in Los Angeles. She served most recently as president of the alumni board of the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. She also has experience in the entertainment industry, including as an associate producer at MTV Networks.

Pate is married and has two children, ages 3 and 5. She lives in Hailey.

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