The Claremore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau presented its 2013 fiscal report Monday to the Claremore City Council.
“We are the welcoming committee and the tourism arm of the community. We are doing business as Visit Claremore,” said Tanya Andrews, Visit Claremore executive director.
There is a 5 percent lodging tax used to fund the nonprofit organization, according to Andrews.
“Tax revenues were up by 10 percent last year,”Andrews said. People are traveling again and we saw an increase.”
The lodging tax and RV park revenues were up and expenses were down. The organization cut about $15,000 of expenses to assist the program in fulfilling advertising commitments, according to Andrews.
“Event recruitment is one thing we strive to do well,” said Andrews.
The Claremore Expo staff worked with the organization to bring new events, such as the Route 66 Richest’s Noodling Showdown and the NAIA Baseball Tournament.
Annual events include the Bluegrass and Chili Festival, Rogers County Fair and RSU Athletics, according to Andrews.
The organization is focused on helping event coordinators increase attendance and this year, four major events reflected the city’s efforts.
Promotions including press releases, RSU Public TV, radio public announcements, social media, websites and E-News Blast are some of the tools used, according to Andrews. About $55,000 was spent in print advertising and half of the expense was paid through business partnerships, Andrews said.
Local businesses and attractions pay for yearly travel guides and the publications are printed locally.
“We like to keep our business local,” Andrews said.
One of the many advertising efforts the organization is championing this year includes a new tourism sign to be installed at the Will Rogers Turnpike location.
Other efforts to bring more visitors to Claremore include: capitalizing on Route 66, the state’s biggest attraction, according to Andrews.
“Planning continues into the next two years to bring continued tourism growth into the city,” she said.
One event the organization is currently bidding on to bring to the community is the Oklahoma Harley Owners’ Group. If successful, the event could bring about 1,200 guests to the community, according to Andrews.
“Tourism is the purest form of economic development,” Andrews said.