From a tourism-industry perspective, Wyoming’s winters traditionally present an annual opportunity to revisit campaign messages for the forthcoming year, strengthen existing associations, develop new alliances, and generally prepare for the tourist season to come.
While that is certainly the case this year, our office is going a step further to ensure that this effort to attract and retain visitors is a community-wide endeavor. We want to make sure that our objectives are in line with those of our local entities and attractions, and we continue to make strides toward a collective effort when it comes to promoting Sheridan.
The Sheridan Hospitality Coalition — consisting of Travel & Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and numerous local lodging representatives — just conducted its first meeting, which was unique in the sense that it provided a forum where this group of local hoteliers had direct dialogue with those entities that are charged with community promotion. It was enlightening, to say the least, to learn about the perspective of tourism in Sheridan from the hoteliers’ point of view and also to gain insight into how they are marketing their properties, what feedback they’re receiving from their customers, and how they identify with Sheridan’s tourism potential.
We found that there is strength in our individual efforts, and by working closer to promote the community as a whole — we can better enhance Sheridan’s tourism economy.
This discussion also provided an opportunity to share our model for proactively soliciting meeting and conventions planners — and strategizing with those properties that have convention facilities in terms of trade show attendance, marketing campaigns, etc. By positioning this as a forefront objective for the coming year, we’ll be postured to reinforce the appeal of Sheridan’s independent properties, and further expand the development of this exciting market for the community as a whole.
Tourism continues to be an important part of Sheridan’s economy, and the strides we are making are translating into dollars for the community. To date, we are enjoying an increase of nearly 5 percent in tourism-generated revenue compared with this time last fiscal year. Sheridan is having one of the strongest performing years of any Wyoming community, but we’re in no position to let up now.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming Governor’s Hospitality Conference in Cheyenne to learn more about productive marketing trends in tourism, new technologies available to the industry, and to speak with other tourism bureaus from around the state to achieve a better understanding of what efforts are producing results as a means of better positioning our message for the coming season.
Just as we did with the local lodging properties, we’d like to open a line of communication with the public as well. We want to know what you think about Sheridan’s messaging — what works, what doesn’t, where you’d like to see improvement and your thoughts on how Sheridan can better posture itself for attracting visitors.
Please drop us an email at email@example.com. “Become Bighorn’d,” and let’s work together to make 2014 another great year for tourism in Sheridan.
Shawn Buckley is the executive director at Sheridan Travel & Tourism.