Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce members unveiled a new destination marketing campaign, to the tune of $72,000, that aims to bring more overnight visitors to the city during between September and mid-June.
“We’ve assembled a great group of people over the last year, stronger than I’ve ever seen,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Court Carrier said. “I’m excited to work with them to make some progress on this new eventuality to bring Cannon Beach more business during the shoulder and the off-season.”
The marketing contract that the chamber signed with the city includes larger ads on more platforms, attracting business conferences and meetings, and hiring a marketing specialist.
The plan will use 70 percent of funds from the recently added 1 percent transient room tax, designated for tourism development and promotion. At the Feb. 2 meeting of the Cannon Beach City Council, Carrier and Chamber of Commerce President Steve Sinkler presented marketing and spending plans for the fiscal year.
Sinkler said the chamber has set aside $20,000 on destination advertising such as larger ads across more platforms; $15,000 for marketing to conferences and meetings; $13,000 for “more robust” web content with images and up-to-date information; and $6,000 for a branding guide for businesses with consistent colors, words and imagery.
The chamber also plans to spend $5,800 on expand Cannon Beach’s social media presence to Instagram and eventually Pinterest, $5,000 on familiarization trips for travel writers, and $3,900 on email marketing. There is a $2,800 reserve for future opportunities that may come up, Sinkler said.
In addition to marketing, the chamber will spend money on staffing and facilities. The chamber is recruiting a destination marketing specialist and expects the full-time position, which includes benefits and “comparable” pay, to be filled within the next 45 days. The specialist would help promote meetings and conferences.
The chamber plans to add new resources to the Visitor’s Center, such as streaming video and a self-service kiosk for guests to eliminate waiting times. The Visitors’ Center currently has an improved lobby and accolades wall, Carrier said.
“We’ve done a great job of bringing leisure travelers to Cannon Beach,” Carrier said, “but the primary time that business travelers hold their meetings and conferences for both associations and corporations is during the fall through the spring.”
The goal is to drive people to the chamber’s website “with the expectation that they’ll come to visit Cannon Beach,” Sinkler said.
On Monday, the chamber will hold a meeting to discuss how to reach marketing goals and objectives. The city will receive its first quarter disbursement of the room tax funds on Feb. 15, Carrier said.
The council voted unanimously to authorize City Manager Brant Kucera to sign three professional services agreements for the city’s parks facility master plan, water facility master plan and wastewater facility master plan.
The city will work with Civil West Engineering Services on its wastewater facility master plan and water facility master plan, both of which are expected to be complete in December 2016. The city will consult with engineers from OTAK for its parks facility master plan, expected to be complete in May 2017.
Cannon Beach has never had a parks master plan, Public Works Director Dan Grassick said, adding that the 2001 water master plan draft was never finalized and the last wastewater master plan was in the late 1990s.
“This will bring all of that current,” he said.
City Councilor Melissa Cadwallader said that while “a parks master plan is very needed and important,” she did not want residents to confuse citizen surveys for the parks plan with citizen surveys for the city’s strategic plan.
The city received a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant of about $161,000 for the acquisition of a property that adjoins the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve, City Manager Brant Kucera said. The grant pays for the survey, appraisal, and stream remediation. The city will apply for additional funds to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. The acquisition will add about 31 acres to the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve, Kucera said.
There are three open positions for the Emergency Preparedness Committee and no applicants, Mayor Sam Steidel said, and one open position for the Planning Commission.