Tue, May 21

Willing to Stay and Play in Camp Verde

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

Ron Luczak (right), Merilee Fowler (left), and Cecy Gilbert (center), look at one of the new Stay and Play posters inside the Comfort Inn. Fowler, who is president of the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce and also manager of the Comfort Inn, was one of the first to put up a promotional poster in the lobby.

Chamber Director Ron Luczak said 18 local businesses received the posters. They went to restaurants and motels/hotels, primarily those in high visibility areas, he explained, and a few to Montezuma Castle, Fort Verde and Town Hall.

"It’s trying to promote the activities we have here in town," he said.

Former Chamber Tourism Committee Chair Cecy Gilbert said that their group began brainstorming some time ago in order to decide where and how they could get the most "bang for the buck" to promote the area. According to Luczak, Gilbert and the tourism committee were pro-active in getting the marketing ploy started.

"Rather than advertising to the world, we thought we should take advantage of people visiting here and get them to stay," she said.

She said they decided to take advantage of space at local businesses in order to advertise, especially those near the Interstate 17-Arizona 260 junction.

In time, Luczak is hopeful to widen the distribution beyond Camp Verde. He said there is already one on display at Lupton, Ariz., at a welcome center that has about 50,000 tourists going through it annually. He explained that the Lupton site is along Interstate 40 as you enter Arizona from the east.

Staff members from the Cliff Castle Casino designed the marketing piece and providing 24 posters in various sizes.

"J. P. LaFors and his marketing team did an excellent job," noted Luczak.

In February or March, the chamber will take the promotion effort one step further. The chamber administration will conduct a training seminar for front-line service employees to assist them in their knowledge of Camp Verde things to see and do.