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All-county tourism marketing kicks off

A brainstorming session about marketing Nevada County didn’t yield any groundbreaking ideas, but attendees hope support from supervisors will take a major campaign from idea to reality.

About 100 people attended the western Nevada County planning meeting Wednesday, led by Truckee-based Switchback Public Relations. It’s a kick-off after Switchback won $90,000 from the county to market the area as whole.

“We need to create a united effort, because right now (marketing efforts) are pretty fragmented,” said District 2 Supervisor Ed Scofield, who attended the meeting. “And somehow, they’re going to have to draw west and east (county) together.”



Past marketing efforts have been spearheaded by the county’s six separate chambers of commerce and focused on individual cities. Supervisors have talked about a countywide campaign for years.

The meeting looked like other strategic planning meetings: Community members and business community leaders gathered at round tables to discuss the county’s strengths and weaknesses and to set goals.




Attendees identified competitors, including Amador, El Dorado and Placer counties. They listed areas that could be promoted better, such as historical and heritage tourism, recreational vehicle tourism and agricultural or “ecotourism.”

Switchback must give a progress report to the county each month. Among the deadlines set for the project:

• A final marketing action plan is due Oct. 15. Switchback will distribute it by e-mail to attendees and to city councils.

• A “brand development” process – defining what the county wants to be known for – must be finished by Nov. 15.

• An all-county tourism website must be complete by Dec. 14, when Switchback will present it to supervisors.

• A sustainability plan to fund marketing efforts in subsequent years is due Feb. 15.

The $90,000 budget does not include money for advertising, but may support the planning phases of such a campaign, according to Switchback President Brinn Wellise.

Attendees remarked that marketing efforts in the past have petered out. But they also said things with Switchback looked hopeful.

“They sound like they’re going to make it happen,” said Nevada County Chamber of Commerce Executive Manager Cathy Whittlesey. “They were very professional.”

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail mrindels@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4247.


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