By Ray Newton
During a June meeting, the City of Prescott destination marketing team announced a new strategic plan within the City’s Tourism and Economic Development Office.
More than 40 persons representing the business and residential community heard the detailed presentation.
John Heiney, community outreach manager, told Prescott LIVING that development of the strategic plan began more than three years ago. He said the focus has shifted from “Visit Prescott” to “Experience Prescott.”
What that means, he said, is that new emphasis will be placed on attracting visitors who will stay longer and experience everything Prescott has to offer. The intent is to increase the average spending per day by visitors who will celebrate and honor the history, culture, traditions and natural beauty of Prescott and the area.
Heiney emphasized the City’s Tourism Department is funded through bed tax revenue. Those dollars are generated by a tax at hotels and short-term rental units. Bed taxes for the current year are up substantially over last year. City officials estimate that they could amount to as much as $1.4 million to $1.5 million for the current fiscal year.
The department, a destination marketing organization (DMO), is required to use 75% of the bed tax revenue to attract more visitors and to improve and upgrade recreation and tourism-related efforts, Heiney said. Already, funds have been directed to events and activities such as the World’s Oldest Rodeo, the annual Courthouse Plaza lighting, several museums and other nonprofit events.
Future activities for the Tourism Department include updating of website and social media, new brochures, videos, and improving open space management and recreation projects.