Heiney told Prescott City Council members, “All indications are that tourism statistics – number of visitors, dollars spent and taxes collected – are up substantially because of our relationship with Front Burner Media.”
During his remarks at a Nov. 27 City Council meeting, Heiney requested approval of a professional services contract for $36,000 for the coming year. The request was approved. In fact, two council members, Phil Goode and Billie Orr, praised the tourism marketing efforts, saying those efforts brought people to the community and increased tax revenues that supported other city projects.
For the past three years, the City of Prescott Tourism Office has worked with Heather Hermen, founder and owner of Front Burner Media, a Sedona-based marketing and public relations firm.
Heiney told the council, “Heather is able to spend time to research advertising and marketing opportunities, negotiate rates and deals and gain additional exposure for Prescott through her connections. As a result, we’ve received better placement in publications, more mentions in print and additional exposure as a destination to visit.”
Heiney cited examples:
- $14.2 million in media value exposure, reaching an estimated 39 million domestically and internationally, including China, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom.
- Increased exposure on the “Visit Prescott” website: in 2017, 93,000 users; based on current figures, more than 125,000 users in 2018.
- Hotel occupancy rates: up 2.8 percent over last year.
- Bed Tax collections: up almost 5 percent over last year.
Heiney emphasized the annual $36,000 contract with Front Burner Media is budgeted from the Bed Tax, which is generated from out-of-town visitors.
Data collected by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce shows that walk-in visitors are up 52 percent, from 1,687 in October 2017 to 2,571 in October 2018.
A 30 percent increase occurred with phone inquiries: 1,131 in 2017; 1,633 in 2018.
Robert Coombs, visitor information center manager for the Chamber, said inquiries and walk-ins from international visitors are up significantly from the past.
Thousands of tourists visit the visitor center in the Chamber office at 117 W. Goodwin in downtown Prescott. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
Photo by Ray Newton