Tourism company touts success

 

March 13, 2019



A company hired by the city of Tucumcari to boost tourism is “turning heads” around the state with its video and soon will launch advertisements that potentially could reach millions of people, the city’s Lodgers Tax Advisory Board learned during its regular meeting Wednesday.

Joanie Griffin, CEO of Sunny505 (formerly Griffin and Associates) of Albuquerque, said during a conference call with board members the state tourism department “loves” the video the marketing company produced for the city’s main tourism site at visittucumcarinm.com and for other purposes.

City Manager Britt Lusk agreed, saying Sunny505’s campaigns and videos are “turning heads” of tourism officials around the state.

Lusk also said a National Park Service official at Five Mile Park last week ran into two people from Arizona drawn to the disc-golf course there because of new Interstate 40 billboards designed by Sunny505.

“It’s my anticipation we’ll see more visitors soon,” Lusk said of the campaigns.

Griffin laid out its campaigns for the spring and early summer:

• An audio ad on the Pandora music-streaming service.

• An email blast in May that can reach 500,000 people.

• A 10-second video in the baggage-claim area at Albuquerque International Sunport that can reach up to 1.1 million people.

• An ad in the New Mexico True Adventure Guide that can reach up to 600,000 readers.

• A Viant digital ad that can lead up to 2.2 million impressions.

Lusk also discussed with Griffin and board members minor tweaks to the Tucumcari tourism website. His only misgiving was the website’s phrase “Where the West Gets Wild,” which might give the wrong impression to families, he said.

The city in April entered into a one-year, $50,000 contract with Griffin and Associates to boost its marketing efforts. Griffin and Associates merged with HK Advertising in Santa Fe in January. Griffin said Sunny505 is a division of HK, and she kept her CEO title with it.


In other business:

• The board approved a request from organizers of Tucumcari Rawhide Days and the New Mexico Music Showcase to make incremental reimbursements for costs associated with the events. The board Wednesday reimbursed $6,362 for costs for various advertisements for Rawhide Days, which will be May 3-4. Vice Chairman Larry Smith said he was amenable to incremental reimbursements if organizers gave reports after the event. Lusk also was supportive of incremental payouts if organizers showed transparency.


• The board reimbursed $2,000 in expenses incurred by the Tucumcari Alumni Association for Rattler Reunion 2018.

• The board elected new officers, including Smith as chairman, Al Patel as vice chairman and Gar Engman as secretary.

• The board heard from Carmen Runyan, director of the Tucumcari-Quay County Chamber of Commerce, about concerns from locals about the $350 fee for vendors at the Rockin’ Route 66 festival, slated for June 27-30. That price point is comparable to similar festivals but eyebrow-raising to small towns such as Tucumcari, Smith said. He said the festival primarily is wooing national brands as vendors, but he would talk to the organizer about possibly setting up an arts-and-crafts area for a lesser fee.

• Smith noted the death of Debra Whittington, who died Feb. 11 after a long illness at age 61. Smith said Whittington, who once operated the Pony Soldier Motel with her husband Mark from 1976 to 2004, served on the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board for years. Smith also was known as a local history writer and Quay County Sun columnist.

• The board scheduled a special meeting for April 17 to set its annual budget, as requested by Lusk.

 
 

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