MONTROSE – The problem with promoting the Montrose Pavilion as a convention site is that it has no lodging nearby. That’s just one thing the Montrose City Council learned from a quarterly report by the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism Tuesday night.
During the presentation by Director of Marketing Jenni Sopsic and CEO Ken Brengle, Councilmember Thomas Smits said the Pavilion “drains the city from a half million to three-quarters of a million dollars each year” and wanted to know what the MACT is doing to promote it.
The Pavilion is difficult to sell as a convention destination, Sopsic said.
“The drawback is that there’s no lodging and no dining facility and we don’t have substantial public transportation,” she said. “It’s a deterrent because there is not a lodging property attached to it. It would be great if it was downtown.”
On the upside, Sopsic said that the MACT’s “Look Deeper” brand, which began two years ago with Black Canyon as visual focal point, is new-and-improved.
“We are now freshening it up with new twists in our new Adventure Guide, which will be out in about two weeks,” she said.
Brengle said the Adventure Guide will include all area attractions, listings of all hotels and restaurants, details about Black Canyon and public lands in this area, event info and more.
Promoting Montrose as a destination has benefited from the Montrose airport’s new in-house ads, with an 18-foot display by baggage pickup, she said, as well as the new web portal.
“We’ve had over 20,000 leads for visitor guides and have 42,000 names in our database,” she said, and all were emailed the recent MACT newsletter.
The MACT has expanded and focused advertising in local media as well, Sopsic said and provides training for its business members, including Leadership Montrose, held every third Friday of the month, due to begin in September and ending with graduation in June. The training costs $500 but that includes a trip to Denver, Brengle said, and half-price scholarships are available for small businesses that need them.
The organization also holds Business Assistance Seminars on the second Thursday of the month at the MACT office at 1519 East Main Street. Cash flow will be the topic of the next seminar, on May 12. Call 249-5000 to learn more about any MACT classes or programs, or visit www.montroseact.com.
Another local success was the introduction of Montrose Bucks last December, which gives shoppers discounts in local stores. Brengle said the program brought $89,640 back to the community.
But he was most excited about Montrose Cards, new program soon to be implemented for discount cards for local purchases that will be given free to all Montrose residents. Brengle said Montrose is one of 20 chambers to introduce a local card system, and he’s expecting to receive 10,000 cards any day.
“Our goal is 50,000 cards to go to the whole area, from Gunnison to Telluride,” he said.
Residents can register for the card online and get specials sent to their email. Weekly restaurant specials would be one example, Brengle said.
“The first four months is a trial period and after that we will pay 99 cents per member, which we will pay with chamber funds,” he said.
Brengle said another new program is to recognize a local nonprofit each month at its Good Morning Montrose meetings and recently cited the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club.
But like the businesses is represents, the MACT is also struggling, Brengle said.
“Tourism is down, and the comparisons [among chambers] is almost who’s down more,” he said.