All-county tourism push starts Wednesday |

All-county tourism push starts Wednesday

Tourism in Nevada County comes with a bit of baggage, but facilitators at a public workshop Wednesday want to bring together a diverse group of promoters for an overarching marketing campaign.

Supervisors approved a $90,000 contract this summer with Truckee-based Switchback Public Relations to attract tourists from outside the county. The workshop – set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Express in Grass Valley – is the kick-off.

The hotel is at 121 Bank St., downtown.

A second workshop will be held in Truckee Wednesday afternoon.

For more than two years, county supervisors have been discussing how to get more bang for their tourism budget. In the past, the county’s marketing money has been divided mostly among six local chambers of commerce. Switchback hopes to synchronize those efforts and expand their scope.

“We want them to change their frame of thinking – to look outside of the county, because that’s where the real competition is,” said Carl Ribaudo, a Switchback subcontractor and president of South Lake Tahoe-based Strategic Marketing Group.

Wednesday’s meeting will be for soliciting opinions from key “stakeholders” in the community and looking for places where efforts are being duplicated.

Rather than taking a piece of the tourist dollar “pie,” Ribaudo said, “how can we build a bridge in an effort to grow the pie?”

After scrutinizing the work of the separate chambers last year, supervisors established an ad hoc visitors and conference committee charged with bringing more tangible tourism results for the county as a whole.

Tourism is a significant part of the county’s economic activity, but like the even larger engines of construction and high-definition video manufacturing, it has suffered with the recession.

“We have a great band here without a conductor,” District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston said of the chambers at a June 30 meeting.

Switchback’s was one of two marketing proposals submitted to supervisors this spring; the other was from the independent Grass Valley-Nevada City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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

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