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Mon, June 24

Downtown visitors bureau opens tomorrow

Jason Soifer/The Daily Courier
Paul Radford installs brochure racks at the new Prescott Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau in downtown Prescott Friday morning. Ginny King is opening the CVB Monday.

Jason Soifer/The Daily Courier Paul Radford installs brochure racks at the new Prescott Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau in downtown Prescott Friday morning. Ginny King is opening the CVB Monday.

Come tomorrow, tourists will have a new resource to get information on everything from lodging to day trips.

Ginny King is opening the Prescott Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at 101 S. Cortez St., where she will offer some services that chambers of commerce offer.

King's business calls for restaurants, hotels and everything in between to invest in her CVB starting at $50 a month to have their brochure, map, or menu available to tourists. From there, business owners can pay to have their coupons and frequency cards available in one of the old bank vaults.

Other ways businesses will have to promote themselves includes paying to have their information on the backs of calendars that King will use to post upcoming events.

King said she also plans to do group target marketing and eventually have someone at the CVB to give relocation help.

And King said the opportunity is there because bed tax revenues are slumping, Arizona Office of Tourism grants are down and she sees her CVB as a way to help businesses enhance their profile at a minimal cost for the betterment of the community.

"We can do this privately because we don't see the government funding changing enough to meet tourism and marketing needs," she said.

Despite some similarities to the information and services chambers give, King doesn't see it as a rivalry.

"Nobody's competing here, this is just an augment of Prescott tourism marketing efforts," she said.

King said her intent is to work with the Prescott Area Coalition of Tourism and the chambers.

"We want to be partners," she said.

Dave Maurer, chief executive officer of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and president of PACT, said about a week ago that he believes King's effort is redundant.

"What she has described to me and others at this point is another visitor's center," he said.

Maurer said King has as much right as anyone else to open a business, but he wonders if it's overkill.

"Is this the time to be forming yet another tourism entity when there are a number of them already in town, already doing certain things and for the most working together, so what niche are they going after that's not being addressed? Does a city of this size need two visitors centers within walking proximity of one other, so that was a question I raised with her," he said.

But King said the brochures are where the similarities end because she plans to have her staff share their knowledge of the area and its activities with people and they will help them plan out their visit and make reservations on current and future events.

"It's not just pick up a pamphlet and go on your way," she said. "The intent is really to engage people, find out what their preferences are and ensure they take away a memorable experience."

CVB hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For information, call 778-2929.

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