County tourism website live, now stakeholders must decide how to fund it | SierraSun.com
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County tourism website live, now stakeholders must decide how to fund it

Kyle Magin
Sun News Service
Nevada County's new logo, as prepared by Switchback PR.
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NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. and#8212; Nevada County’s galleries, tasting rooms, ski resorts and hotels are represented on its new tourism site, http://www.GoNevadaCounty.com.

Now groups representing those industries are being asked to figure out how to pay for the countys website and marketing efforts in the long term.

Last year, the county signed a $90,000 contract with Truckees Switchback PR, hiring the public relations firm to develop a website and marketing plan for the county.

“It’s a fluid website right now, we’re still adding more content at this point,” said Switchback owner Brinn Wellise.

The company unveiled the website this week, but has not been contracted to keep it up beyond this year. A group of tourism leaders, representing visitor’s chambers on both ends of Nevada County, the arts, wine and other industries are slated to meet Friday in Grass Valley to discuss funding the marketing efforts into the future.

“My hope and expectation was that (the website) wasn’t intended to be a startup that was intended to be sent out into the woods,” said John Blinder, a member of the board for the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County, which will be represented at the Friday meeting.

Stakeholders in the website and marketing plan will be presented a slate of options to consider for funding the marketing efforts and website by Carl Ribaudo, South Lake Tahoe-based marketing consultant.

“What I hope to do is talk about sustainable tourism funding as a concept, and there’s a number of ways to do that,” Ribaudo said.

Some of those options could include using transient occupancy (hotel bed) tax revenues collected by the counties and cities, donations from private groups, or the formation of a Business Improvement District, which would levy a tax on tourism businesses to pay for the site, Ribaudo said.

Some government assistance could be helpful in maintaining the website and marketing efforts, said Grass Valley/Nevada County Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Ann Mueller.

“But, I know both the counties and cities have severe funding difficulties,” Mueller added.


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