EATON — Representatives from the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau attended the Preble County Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 14, to have their quarterly meeting and update the commissioners on their efforts.
CVB representatives included Stephanie Garrett, Mike Zimmerman, and Mary Myers.
“We have our new visitors guides out, for 2018. We published 10,000. We distributed them to the AAA Expo, we’re going to have them at the Preble County Expo, and of course the State Fair and interstate rest areas. We’re also going to have an ad for the Show and Shine calendar, and that is the car shows. It will have all of the car shows here locally in it,” Garrett said.
“January we went to the AAA Great Vacation Expo, and that gives you some information on how many people we reached, probably 14,000. We had a lot of interaction this year, a lot of people going on day trips, and that hits us really good.”
She added, currently the Visitors Bureau is working on Preble Roots, which is a collaboration between the Farm Bureau, the Preble County Economic Development Partnership (PCDP), and the Preble County Chamber of Commerce. They put a full page ad into The Register-Herald Preble Proud insert, hoping to get the word out about the program.
“I think it is going to take a while for people to understand what we’re offering. We’re only charging them $25, the reason we’re able to do that is because of a grant. The $25 does not cover any cost other than a little bit for us, and that’s it. The grants cover all of this. We’re publishing 3,000 brochures. We will have a table top banner for our CVB for Preble Roots, that we’ve just ordered,” she said.
Zimmerman added, “I really like the Preble Roots program. I think the popularity of local products is huge, I’m hoping that will pick up in the next year, now that we’re getting stuff out that people can see and now that it is getting marketed. We did have seven who signed on and there wasn’t a lot of marketing towards producers, hopefully seeing [the ad] will get the word out and more will sign up.”
“Are you tracking the website?” Commission President Chris Day asked.
“Yes, the website is doing what it always does. We’re getting a few hundred visitors a month,” Zimmerman said. “Right now the website is almost just a directory. There is not a lot of engaging stuff on it.”
Garrett added, “We are putting a pop-up on it. If you want a brochure, here is the information.”
“That was one way we were able to measure a little better,” Zimmerman said. “Last year we sent out almost 60 brochures in a lot of places. This year we’ve done about five or six, but people aren’t looking to come to Ohio in the winter months.”
National Tourism week will be May 6-12. The Bureau will be putting banners on Main Street, U.S. 127, and inside the Preble County Courthouse.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH