Lake Tahoe athletes on center stage for marketing California |

Lake Tahoe athletes on center stage for marketing California

TAHOE CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Lake Tahoeandamp;#8217;s Olympic athletes will be the next focus for the state of Californiaandamp;#8217;s marketing efforts, said Caroline Beteta, president of the California Travel andamp; Tourism Commission.Beteta, who spoke to a crowd of Lake Tahoe marketing professionals Wednesday at a tourism conference held at Granlibakken Resort, showed a commercial starring Julia Mancuso, Shannon Bahrke and Errol Kerr, who all competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.The video is the next in a series promoting California in markets all over the world, Beteta said. Celebrities like Jay Leno promoted California in the last commercial.Beteta explained that she hopes to brand the state internationally for its lifestyle, culture and andamp;#8220;California attitude.andamp;#8221;andamp;#8220;The rest of the country sees us as fun-loving, hedonistic,andamp;#8221; Beteta said, andamp;#8220;because weandamp;#8217;re surrounded by stone beauty. Itandamp;#8217;s the guy in an Armani suit with flip flops. Thatandamp;#8217;s our identity.andamp;#8221;Beteta said the state tourism organization is projecting a 3 percent growth in visitors this year and a 5 percent growth in visitor spending; in 2011, the tourism agency projects a 4 percent growth in visitors, and 9 percent additional growth in spending statewide. Other speakers included tourism data professional Ralf Garrison and Nicole DeJonghe with the Sierra Business Council, as well as representatives from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.Read through the live coverage of the conference at and

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