"n" is for North Shore
As San Francisco Bay Bridge commuters battle traffic, they’ll now get teased with something a bit more peaceful ” views of North Lake Tahoe.
The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau have partnered for a broader marketing campaign to brand the North Shore, and part of the effort is a large billboard located on the Bay Bridge boasting stunning photographs of the North Shore.
“N is for North” launched last month and includes a variety of marketing efforts beyond the billboard, including newsletter and e-mail blasts to more than 100,000 contacts, as well as a new, regional map highlighting the individual neighborhoods of North Lake Tahoe. The Bay Area billboard will be posted nine months out of the year with rotating photos, and costs $48,000 annually, said Andy Chapman, director of tourism for North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
The purpose of the campaign is to promote the North Lake Tahoe area by clearing up consumer confusion with one single message, as well as bringing in higher tourist volume, Chapman said.
A study conducted in 2002 on the economic significance of travel in North Lake Tahoe determined that visitors generated more than 71 percent of the area’s total jobs. Because the economy is so dependent on tourism, promoting the region is particularly important, Chapman said.
“The campaign is designed to educate our visitors [about] the North Shore and to set us apart from the South Shore . . . it’s like we’re two different destinations,” said Bill Hoffman, executive director of Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau.
Still, the two shores must work cooperatively on projects targeting the national and international markets.
First we must sell Lake Tahoe as a whole, and then bring visitors in to the North Shore, Hoffman said.
There are 11 unique neighborhoods across the North Shore of California and Nevada that do not look or feel the same as South Shore communities, he said. In an attempt to explain the differences to potential visitors, marketing efforts are focusing on presenting the areas from Sand Harbor to Emerald Bay as unique communities but with a united front.
And while the new campaign presents the North Shore as a single destination, during ski season marketing efforts will brand skiing at Lake Tahoe’s north and south shores as a whole. Within the ski industry, Lake Tahoe competes with entire states like Utah and Colorado, Chapman said.
“We want people to plan a ski vacation to ‘Lake Tahoe’,” said Jen Gleckman, account manager for Ski Lake Tahoe and Sierra Ski Marketing Council.
Once the tourists arrive at the Lake Tahoe destination, it is essentially the responsibility of the individual ski resorts, hotels and lodging properties, restaurants and communities to fight for where visitor dollars are spent, said Gleckman.
The Sierra Ski Marketing Council promotes Lake Tahoe as a winter destination, primarily to proven ski markets with non-stop flights to local airports, including cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas. The organization works on providing information on all the ski resorts and tries to be as equitable as possible in their promotion of resorts on the North and South Shores, said Gleckman.
The director for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Patrick Kahler, was not available for comment on the target audience or marketing for South Lake Tahoe.