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Former State Tourism Director Leads County Marketing Workshop

LAKE COUNTY, CA — Twenty Lake County business leaders, many from the tourism industry, along with City and County staff, participated in a marketing workshop on March 26, 2014 led by prominent tourism consultant and former Director of Tourism for the State of California, John Poimiroo of Poimiroo & Partners.  The Lodge at Blue Lakes hosted the all-day event.
Tony Barthel, owner of Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast in Nice said, “That was an outstanding workshop.  We came up with so many positive things that Lake County has to offer to visitors.”  Poimiroo pointed out several times how fortunate Lake County is to have so much water in Clear Lake, when other lakes and reservoirs in the state are empty or closed to the public due to low water levels.

The purpose of the workshop was to develop marketing strategies and tactics to inspire visitors to come and experience Lake County, thus improving our local economy.  Numerous topics were discussed including advertising, public relations, website development, social networking and changes to marketing strategies triggered by technological advances.  Discussions of branding and key messages were a vital part of the workshop.

Matt Perry, Lake County Administrative Officer, was in attendance at the workshop and attended a half-day follow-up session the next day, hosted by the Tallman Hotel.  He said, “We learned valuable information and strategies on how to attract tourists to Lake County while gathering critical information from our business community.  John is extremely knowledgeable and practical in his approach and recommendations.”

“Many people left feeling energized, positive and excited to continue promoting Lake County,” said Melissa Fulton, CEO of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce.  Several key tourism stakeholders participated including Grant Sedgwick of Resort Equities (prospective purchaser of Konocti Harbor Resort), Todd Wisniewski Resort Manager of WorldMark at Clear Lake, Steve Denero Marketing Director of Twin Pines Casino, representatives from both the cities of Lakeport and Clearlake, representatives of both the Winery Association and the Winegrape Commission, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, many lodging facility owners and other business leaders.

Poimiroo’s reoccurring theme was that Lake County needs to become relevant again as a vacation destination.  To explore and build on this concept, the County committed to looking into refocusing priorities for expenditures from the Transient Occupancy Tax budget, which is revenue raised from the bed taxes collected from lodging establishments.  Because the majority of travel decisions are made based on information gathered from the internet, a new, updated website with mobile friendly features, and other ways to reach visitors through technology were identified as top priorities.

Please contact Jill Ruzicka, Lake County Public Information Officer at (707) 263-2580 or by email at Jill.Ruzicka@lakecountyca.gov for more information.

Marketing Workshop Group

From right to left: Matt Perry, County Administrative Officer, Wilda Shock, Economic Development Specialist City of Lakeport, John Poimiroo, Poimiroo & Partners, Alan Flora, Deputy County Administrative Officer, Jill Ruzicka, County Senior Administrative Analyst.