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Visitors authority reviews strategy

Griffin Rogers
griffin@tahoedailytribune.com

The Lake Tahoe Visitor’s Authority met with board members, business leaders and other stakeholders Tuesday to discuss the agency’s goals and strategies as it tries to market the South Shore and promote the Tahoe South brand.

By creating a more focused “road map,” LTVA officials hope to better define the organization’s mission.

At this week’s meeting, that meant clarifying what the pillars are of the Tahoe South brand, identifying new markets to increase tourism, enhancing the agency’s website and online presence and discussing which events the LTVA should or should not support.

Two events the LTVA may try to distance itself from in the future are the popular Fourth of July and Labor Day fireworks shows, which were nearly cancelled this year after a lawsuit alleged the events polluted Lake Tahoe and violated the Clean Water Act.

“What the board has seen is it would be better if they got out of the fireworks business,” LTVA Executive Director Carol Chaplin said after the meeting, “but that doesn’t mean we will abandon the event.”

Chaplin said the organization’s hopes are to partner with another organization that could sponsor the fireworks shows.

For other events, however, questions at Tuesday’s meeting centered on funding, and how to prioritize expenses to get the most out of a limited budget. Mike Frye, event and media relations manager at LTVA, expressed a need for tighter direction.

“We don’t have a clear definition of who should come and ask for money,” he said.

Nancy McDermid, a Douglas County commissioner, said the LTVA wants to be supportive of community events, but she wants them to become self-sufficient.

“If an event comes and just wants cash, if they continue to bill that amount of money into their budget on an annual basis, they will always be coming to LTVA rather than having the event become self-sustaining or go away, one of the two,” she said.

Additionally, stakeholders discussed new locations they would like to see the South Shore marketed to in an effort to draw more tourists to the area.

For the past several years, efforts have been concentrated on Northern California. But other marketing locations considered at the meeting included Southern California, Vegas, Mexico and the Pacific Northwest.

The rest of the meeting focused on the Tahoe South brand and digital strategies.

“We have our road map,” Chaplin said, “and for the most part I think we accomplished what we needed to.”


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