Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ketchum commits $450K to SVMA

Group plans to use money to target Seattle, San Francisco


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum City Council on Monday unanimously approved committing $450,000 from fiscal year 2013-14 local option tax funds to the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance.
After President Arlene Schieven delivered a presentation on the marketing group’s state of affairs, the council forgot to vote on the contract and ended its meeting. The council then voted to re-open the meeting to vote in favor of the contract.
The contract states that the money will be paid over four quarterly installments on Oct. 1, 2013, Jan. 1 2014, April 1, 2014, and July 1, 2014. Community Development and Economic Director Lisa Horowitz wrote a recommendation in favor of the contract.
Schieven said during her presentation that the Marketing Alliance is focused on reaching out to its target markets of Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Our campaign is in Seattle, LA and San Francisco, with Boise dropped to support San Francisco,” Schieven said. “We are trying to create a demand for our markets with direct air access. When you can get here from Seattle in 90 minutes and ski the same day, that’s a great selling point. We are pushing that message in San Francisco as well because the trip from there is nothing compared to Tahoe.”


We are trying to create a demand for our markets with direct air access.”
Arlene Schieven
Sun Valley Marketing Alliance




Councilman Jim Slanetz said he was concerned that Boise was no longer an emphasized target market. Despite the Marketing Alliance having its lowest budget in 15 years, Schieven assured the council Boise is still on the organization’s radar.
    “Boise is certainly not being abandoned,” Schieven said. “The Sun Valley Resort still has a presence in Boise. We’ll continue our public relations and social-media efforts in Boise as well. It’s not gone.”
Schieven said she is hopeful a proposed local-option-tax increase will pass in the upcoming election to bolster funding to support air service, and that a new advertising campaign could occur in Boise if more funds become available. The Marketing Alliance is still working on its year-end financial report.
    The council appeared encouraged when Schieven talked about social-media campaigns. She said the Facebook page for Visit Sun Valley has 51,750 likes, which is a 31 percent increase from the previous year. The number of Twitter followers for Visit Sun Valley went up 36 percent to over 3,600 followers, she said.
“We’re pleased with all of the results, especially with the website, which had a 40 percent increase in page views,” Schieven said. “We still have a ways to go, but are still looking very strong.”
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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