February 14, 2006
Mammoth Lakes, CA - (News Release) - The tour buses are finally back. Over 20 Mammoth Lakes businesses, tourism organizations, and the Mayor's office joined hands this month and donated goodies and services to entice large group events back to town again. After several years of decreased large-group business, City Concierge - a local Internet-based tourism company - developed a new strategy, and organized and facilitated a joint town-effort to put out the welcome mat for large group guests in 2006. The first group, Broadcom Corporation, an Irvine, CA, global communications leader, held its employee appreciation event in Mammoth, and Mayor Rick Wood, along with local businesses, made sure these guests knew that the town appreciated them choosing Mammoth for the affair - especially after years of low group event bookings.
"The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area used to have 40 tour buses every weekend, but the past several years, it's been more like four tour buses. Something had to change - we wanted these groups to come back again and again," states Jefferson Lanz, City Concierge's Managing Director and Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Recreation Board Commissioner.
Lanz explained that this new strategy - coordinating the efforts of local businesses and organizations to show large groups, like Broadcom, a big welcome and a great time - is a great way for the tourism-based businesses to encourage these folks to choose our location for tour packages, events, and workshops. The Mayor and Lanz are counting on this continuing effort to keep bringing new commerce from these groups, as well as converting the guests into single-family return visitors.
That opportunity is why Lanz is continuing to reach out to the business community and local organizations in order to collaborate and build tourism partnerships that support this new approach. For the 320 Broadcom guests that attended the first event of 2006, the coordinated welcoming strategy took the form of a "Mammoth Lakes gift bag," with special accommodations and discounts. Furthermore, Mayor Wood wrote a welcoming letter to the group and met with them at their appreciation party. He, too, sees this type of cooperative partnership as a valuable opportunity to increase tourism visitation.
According to Mayor Wood, this is a way for visitors to see that "we're a small town with a lot of big town class, and an even bigger heart."
Those coordination efforts by City Concierge assembled many community participants and their offerings. Entities from the visitor's bureau to the local press, from retailers to restaurants, from lodging to sporting goods providers, and from museums to Internet businesses were involved. Gifts, services, discounts, special lodging and parking, coupons, dining, promo freebies, and smiles were the "gifts" offered to make the Broadcom guests feel welcome and wanted.
The post-event feedback from Broadcom employees has been "thumbs up" to Mammoth and City Concierge, with the trip coordinators reporting a good time had by all.
"This was our second year visiting Mammoth, with last year being the first... and with such a great experience both years, we are already thinking about making it a third year in a row," according to Leticia Navarro, one of the trip leaders.
Maryam Rofougaran, Sr. Director of Engineering, felt that "the combination of natural beauty, great facilities and excellent skiing made our trip to Mammoth exceedingly memorable for our employees and their families. We look forward to the next time we visit."
These families skied, snow shoed, hiked, and built snowmen, and rode boards, snowmobiles, bikes, dog sleds. They shopped, took pictures, and perused galleries and museums. They dined, danced, soaked in spas, and snuggled beside fireplaces. Variety - and the Sierra's scenic beauty - is why this group said selected Mammoth Lakes for their event. Now they say they'll add town hospitality to their list and pass the word on to otthers.