Sat, July 20

Camp Verde guide aims for visitors

Staff photo by Mike Briotta

RON LUCZAK, executive director of the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, displays one of 5,000 new glossy tour guides the group is offering free to visitors and would-be residents.

The local chamber worked for more than a year putting together the guide and wooing local businesses to advertise in its pages. The hard work paid off when Ron Luczak, the chamber's executive director, unpacked the first of some 5,000 glossy guides recently.

"We just got these," Luczak said, cradling one of the first guides off the presses. "The publisher of this guide is Village Profile out of Illinois, which has produced more than 1,000 different community profiles."

The full-color guide lists 16 pages of town attractions, such as food and lodging, residential options, parks and recreation opportunities, health care, and businesses. Its vibrant front cover features the image of Montezuma Castle, and advertising from Cliff Castle Casino is prominently displayed on the back cover.

"This is a really good piece that we could use to promote Camp Verde," Luczak said. "I'm going to put it into two visitors' centers of the Arizona office of tourism, where you get a great influx of visitors."

In addition to those locations in Phoenix and near the Mexico border, Luczak said he's also working on a cross-promotional arrangement with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, which publishes a similar glossy guide.

"We want this in high-visibility places," he explained. "It helps people really see what Camp Verde is all about. A lot of people know very little about Camp Verde, or nothing at all."

The chamber director said the group would mail its new magazine-style guide to anyone wishing to relocate to the Verde Valley or visit the area.

"I hope the response will be really good," he said. "We're going to promote this as much as we can."

According to Luczak, the guides should be cropping up "very shortly" in other areas frequented by visitors, such as local realtors, banks, grocery stores, and the casino.

"A lot of this is still being formulated," he said of the chamber's marketing strategy. "I'm thoroughly excited about it."

Luczak said that planned attractions such as the Out of Africa theme park and Cherry Creek development would be asked to participate in any future edition of the new tour guide. He has also set his sights on a revamped brochure reflecting new and expected businesses in town.

The chamber director noted that Will Wright, the town's new community development director, is set to disseminate the promotional magazine later this week at an Arizona Alliance program in Phoenix, in hopes of attracting businesses to Camp Verde.

Anyone desiring a copy of the tour guide may call the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce at (928) 567-9294 or visit the chamber at the intersection of South Main Street and Hollamon Street in Camp Verde. The chamber is open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends.