Lodging Panel Begins Work on Changes for Funding Requests



Two requests for funding were tabled by the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel during their meeting on Tuesday, December 17th. The applications from the annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival and Southeast All Stars Junior High and High School Rodeo were discussed, but no action was taken mostly due to the dollar amounts requested.

While the amounts were not that different from past requests, with $8,000 for the Snowgoose Festival and $6,000 for the rodeo, the Panel felt the need to finalize how requests would be made and funded now that the marketing firm, Vista Works will be handling most of the advertising for countywide events. The Panel also plans to revert to its original criteria to limit or decline funding with regards to contract fees, a development that began several years ago that couples the contract fees along with marketing requests.

As an example of future promotions, Bryan Jordan of Vista Works said he has moved forward with advertising with the Colorado Tourism Office Social Media Co-op. “You give them a minimum of $1,000 and they give you an additional $1,000, so we’ve signed up for that for January 2nd, 3rd and 4th and we’ve spoken with the folks that handle the Snowgoose website getting it ready for the promotion.” Jordan said the Denver Post requested that a journalist come to the county to write an article on the Festival and the Panel approved expenses up to $250 for the visit once the bills had been submitted.

One of the next steps, Jordan explained, was getting people on social media such as facebook and Instagram to start engaging with what is posted about Prowers County to entice them to visit. “We also want to focus on influencers, such as those who post information online and have around 20,000 followers, for example. We need to make arrangements to get them out here for an overnight look at what’s on offer.”

Some Panel members expressed concerns about the way a writer would be attracted to come to the county for a single event such as a rodeo while Jordan said the marketing will stress coverage of a multitude of events through the year. He added that now, at the outset of this new marketing concept, there isn’t any general readership about Prowers County, but it should grow as events are marketed over the internet. “The reason we have some funding in this budget is to pay posts out there who will reach folks who will be interested in your events who never heard of them before,” he explained, adding that once people who may be interested in rodeos read about the county, the opportunity to learn more about the county in general presents itself over social media.

Jordan also reviewed a proposed revised application form the board should use to evaluate funding requests and end the practice of funding non-marketing expenses. A portion of the application will be used to determine if the requestor should continue with their past marketing outlets, have VistaWorks handle the advertising or a combination of the two. The panel will still interview for in-person requests. Panel President, Jane Felter, said some discussion will need to take place before deciding what new procedures will be put into practice.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEntertainmentFeaturedTourism


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