How Will County Tourism Funding Be Used? (Edited)
11/04/2011 14 Comments
I was reading the latest post on the Sierra Foothills Report and discovered that the editor has agreed to become the Public Affairs and Communication Coordinator for SYRCL’s grass routes effort to save the South Yuba River State Park from closing. As you may recall, the County recently awarded the Pelline’s a contract to provide content for the County Tourism Web site. Anyone want to bet one of the major features soon to appear on GoNevadaCounty might be about the South Yuba River State Park?
Jeff: Your offer of Public Affairs and Communication assistance is inspiring and inspired. Accepted!
Do not get me wrong, I would like to see the South Yuba River State Park stay open. However, I will be troubled if the Pellines use their new contract to support this grass roots effort as the Public Affairs and Communication Coordinator. The issue is, would this be the best use of the County funding to attract tourists should the Pellines choose to support the South Yuba River grass roots efforts with GoNevadaCounty funding?
The premise is that the people who are coming to the river at the South Yuba Rivers State Park could have a significant impact on the local economy. I have not seen any studies that these people visiting the Park actually stay, shop and eat in Nevada County.
Ellen and I attended a CSU Chico sponsored Economic Conference in Eureka about ten years ago. We heard a presentation by representatives from Siskiyou County about their efforts to become a mountain biking mecca.
They build bike trails on old logging roads, upgraded the sewer systems to allow expansion of motels and opening of more restaurants and then were disappointed when they discovered that mountain bikers brought their own food, biked and then when home. They did not stay in the motels or eat in the restaurants. They made assumptions about the target audience that were not true.
When people come to the river they bring picnics, spend the day in the sun and then go home looking for a hot shower. Many of those using the river park are locals, they are not bringing tourism money into the community.
I would like to see some marketing statistics on the park visitor before we make the assumption those visitors are money spending tourists. We do not need to repeat the Siskiyou experience by not understanding who the real users of the South Yuba State Park are, and how many of those user are tourists who will be spending in the County.