Getting Ready for a Busy Summer Season

 Penny Becker

 

by Penny Becker
       Executive Director
       Sheridan Travel and Tourism

     

EXCITING and NEW is the name of our game! The tourism game, that is, as we head into a promising summer tourism season . . . .

With all the great promotions in place for our successful season, we are excited with each feature of our seasonal events, activities, historic sites, and attractions! Kicking off work with our oldest and biggest annual tourism event, the Sheridan WYO Rodeo (as if I had to tell you), has an enhanced presence with their NEW display at the Information Center on East 5th Street! This means the nearly 100,000 visitors coming though the Center annually have yet one more reason to stay in Sheridan longer, or to come back on their return trip.

In our highest May visitation since 2007, our Center’s team served nearly 10,000 visitors! And for this very purpose, we continue to enhance our customer services and displays to showcase each.

We also now have a NEW B&B within the city limits – the Residence Hill B&B! For overnight travelers, this lovely, historic lodging property, adds to our unique and varied options – quaint local inns and cottages, chain hotels, mountain lodges and authentic ranches. We anxiously await future progress for the Sheridan Inn’s NEW Buffalo Bill character suites.

Sheridan Travel and Tourism’s (STT) work with the Wyoming Film Office and Rosie Berger showcased Sheridan to major film company scouts seeking NEW set locations again this past week. The Los Angeles scouts, with cameras in hand, explored Eatons’ Ranch, Kendrick Mansion, our polo facilities, and mountains. And following our French TV programming two years ago, Director Girard called recently to continue promotions of Sheridan and our western culture!

Speaking of filming, we are blessed with Craig Johnson’s brand NEW “Longmire” episodes weekly debut on A&E, and in the Wall Street Journal, and on billboards across the East Coast! For years he has taken Wyoming and Sheridan to a whole new level with his books’ features of the fictitious Absaroka County (a lot like Sheridan County), and now his ten TV episodes! I thoroughly enjoyed the first two, and you will want to tune in with me at 8 PM for Sunday’s third episode.

Surrounded by these positive energies and projects, STT continues to enhance our outreach to over 19 million through our aggressive marketing endeavors – coordinating all with our NEW ‘Blaze Trails’ theme. Our EXCITING, and NEW $300,000 advertising campaign covers broadcasting, web, electronic, print and billboards – all driving perspective visitors to our website, via multiple QR codes over the last few years, and then naturally to the Sheridan area!

STT’s marketing, revealed in the 3-state, 15-billboard campaign, draws those traveling the ‘rubber-tire market’ between Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills – with Sheridan’s convenient location midway between these two national icons.

In the last 2 weeks we have distributed 73,000 brochures regionally! The NEW ‘Blaze Trails’ brochures and postcards also showcase our area offerings and are available to you and your guests, compliments of STT. Just call us for your supply at 307-673-7120.

Although the ‘project’ is not so new, NEW efforts are certainly on an exciting cutting edge of opportunities to improve our air service. We all know how key this is to our area’s economics and health! And with this week’s assistance and direction from heavy hitters in the Wyoming Aeronautics Division and Senator Hank Coe’s interactions, a core group of the area’s concerned and involved citizens, organizations and businesses is growing. With Sheridan’s current 70% leakage to the Billings airport, it is crucial we unite commitment to enhanced air service with a serious commitment and plan of action for the future of our tourism and business travelers – focusing on price, schedule and reliability!

Sheridan can be proud of our cohesive teams and team-building skills! I know my small team of seven STT Board of Commissioners makes me proud as they work year-round, year after year and they deserve kudos for their proactive dedication to tourism, economics and Sheridan! Thanks Steve Jacobson, Sharie Prout, Ryan Franklin, Dave Youngren, Gary Small, Ryan Mulholland and Rich Bridger!

See www.sheridanwyoming.org for all of the offerings we have for visitors.

 

[This article was published in the “Community Perspectives” column of The Sheridan Press, June 12, 2012 and is being reprinted with permission.]

 

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