MCTA eyes next steps on projects
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At a special meeting Monday, the Moffat County Tourism Association board also:
• Approved, 4-0, spending $10,184 on a half-page ad in the Colorado 2011 Official State Vacation Guide, complete online listing and banner ad on www.colorado.com.
• Approved, 4-0, a revised memorandum of understanding between MCTA, the Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County and the City of Craig. The MOU will be sent to the city and county for approval.
— Note: Board members Leona Hemmerich, Tammie Thompson-Booker and Vicki Wade were absent from Monday’s meeting.
The Moffat County Tourism Association put one project on hold as it looks to move forward with another.
The MCTA board met with Josh Lowe, owner of Yampa Geo, and Linda Hill, president of Hill Aevium, during a special meeting Monday.
The board tabled a decision on Lowe’s collaborative interactive mapping project and had forward-looking discussion based on Hill’s presentation about her firm’s research into Moffat County’s assets and possible future branding work.
The board decided to hold off on paying Lowe to complete further work on his interactive map of the area because members of the board felt the map is one piece of a site that needs to be redesigned.
“Our website needs to be ready for what people are looking for when they come to it,” said board member Bryce Jacobson, who is also the Craig Daily Press publisher. “We need to look at our web strategy … as a whole, not just the mapping piece.”
The web strategy will likely come with Hill Aevium in phase II of its marketing work for MCTA.
Hill presented Monday on the research completed in phase I of the project, which included a situation analysis, economic impact study and past guest visitor survey. The latter survey is ongoing.
MCTA has spent about $12,900 on phase I projects with Hill Aveium this year.
MCTA Director Melody Villard said the board will need to put a proposal out to bid for the second phase, which includes a marketing plan, branding platform and digital strategy, a scope of work Hill estimated to cost between $168,000 to $295,500.
Villard said the board may ask the Moffat County Commission to waive the county policy requiring a bid process based on the board’s existing relationship with Hill Aevium.
Hill said that once the board approves hiring the firm that phase II could be completed in three to six months, or in time for the 2012 tourism season in March.
“We’re ready to roll,” Hill said. “We’re just waiting for direction.
“A lot of this is contingent on you guys.”
The figure cited above is contingent on MCTA’s budget and its priorities moving forward, Hill said.
“You guys need to prioritize your budget, and then we can back into that and get cracking,” Hill said.
Villard said Hill’s figure is likely higher than what MCTA will spend.
For instance, a total of $100,000 and $200,000 for advertising is not currently budgeted for 2012, so the board will need to identify its priorities and attach a dollar figure to those within its budget.
Until that plan is completed, however, the board agreed to delay a decision on the mapping project. Hill agreed that about 80 percent of travelers use the Internet to find visitor information, so MCTA’s website will be her recommendation as the board’s “No. 1 priority.”
Board member Tom Mikesell said he’s ready to separate MCTA’s site from the shared one the organization currently has with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.
“Our website, from what I understand, sucks,” Mikesell said. “I think as MCTA and what we’re doing for tourism, we need to have our website. We can link to whoever we want, but it needs to be our website.”
Jacobson said he’d like to wait on the mapping feature and first focus on a complete website that will coincide with the branding work of phase II.
“I think we’re ready to put (Lowe) to work,” Jacobson said. “But, I don’t think it’s on mapping.”