Carol Chaplin: Welcoming Amgen cyclists to Tahoe’s South Shore (opinion)
Tribune Guest Columnist
The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority’s new campaign theme, “There Must Be Something in the Water,” reinforces the destination’s greatest asset, and our priority is to convey that message to the world.
Our pristine nature, outdoor activities, non-stop entertainment and passionate locals works together to create a place unlike anywhere else in the world — it’s almost unexplainable. It’s the place where people leave their comfort zones and do things they never imagined.
The campaign will include several new TV/video spots to showcase outdoor recreation, adventure and, of course, our big, blue lake to audiences in Northern California and San Diego. TV, radio, digital, social media and public relations channels will all point visitors to the Tahoe South website for inspiration to visit us this summer. Public relations and social media outreach efforts will also target direct air service markets into Reno/Tahoe including New York, Orange County, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Boise.
Event promotion is a priority for not only driving awareness, but for decision-making — and our digital outdoor billboards and online banners will flash dozens of reasons why visitors should come to South Lake Tahoe May through September.
As for events, we’ve got the usual incredible variety of cultural, music and sports lineups, including the Valhalla Art, Music and Theatre Festival, Harveys Outdoor Concerts, and Lakeview Commons and Heavenly Village’s weekly free concerts. There’s the Rock Tahoe half-marathon in June and American Century Championship in July. And just around the corner (at speeds up to 50 mph) is the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Stage 1 start and finish and the Men’s Stage 5 finish, Thursday, May 19.
Visit California’s vice president of marketing Lynn Carpenter presented at the recent Future-Ready tourism forum. She mentioned what an opportunity the Amgen Tour affords a host city for international exposure — the men’s race is televised in over 200 countries, along with the website and tour tracker at http://www.aegworldwide.com). This sends the message about world-class cycling up and down the state.
The LTVA sponsors this cycling event to do just that — convey to our recreational markets that we are a Mecca for leisure and competitive biking. As more than 350 cyclists compete on May 19, we hope you will welcome them and celebrate with us. Follow these cyclists on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and share their admiration of our incredible environment.
Check http://www.tahoesouth.com for the best viewing spots for both the women’s and men’s race, join a viewing party or cheer on these international athletes at Heavenly’s California Base Lodge between 2-3:45 p.m., when both the women and men will finish a challenging Tour de France-type alpine course. Please remember that during this business day rolling road closures will be in effect, so build extra time into your weekday schedule so you can enjoy this unique opportunity to its fullest.
On the heels of a strong winter, with water levels returning to the natural rim, and the continuation of renovations to the tune of $500 million in the past two-and-a-half years, we’re in the midst of something special. Add in the combination of a robust advertising, marketing and public relations campaign and we are seeing results of another banner year. In fact, year-over-year lodging revenue has increased by over 20 percent. The trend is anticipated to continue this season with several properties already near capacity throughout July.
Coming full circle back to opportunities, “There’s Something in the Water” will provide us with a strong platform from which to speak to all of our assets. We look forward to sharing more of the plan with the community in the coming months.
Carol Chaplin is executive director of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.