Do they love to hike? Bike ride? Ski? Eat out? Shop? Gamble?
The authority’s new president and CEO Christopher Baum wants to know.
“It’s a call to action,” Baum said. “We want people thinking about what they love to do.”
The new marketing campaign, called “What’s Your Passion?” is designed to inform potential visitors, mainly targeting northern California with radio and magazine advertisements, about what the Reno-Tahoe area has to offer. It also gets them thinking about the variety of amenities the areas offers, both indoor and outdoor.
The $1.6 million will be spent “to speak to an audience that historically isn’t great for us but has a lot of untapped potential,” Baum said.
“We don’t have any time to waste,” Baum said. “We’re already in 2012. We don’t have much of a message out there now.”
Baum, who arrived in Reno from Detroit in January, said the campaign is designed to run in two waves. The first is funded by four partners. The RSCVA kicked in $250,000 to fund multi-platform media messaging for the first wave that will run through the fall, he said. The second campaign will begin in March 2013.
Part of the campaign will include billboards in the Reno-Sparks area, new radio spots, magazine ads and other special marketing through partnering resorts.
Partner properties are lending support through the creation of “Passion Packages” that provide an easy way for visitors to purchase multiple activities along with their room. All radio, billboard and magazine advertisements direct prospects to go to VisitRenoTahoe.com, where information about the region and specifics about the four partner resorts and their special packages are prominently featured.
“I think it has a lot of potential for a lot of years,” Baum said. “Very few resort areas can offer the wide array of (offerings Reno-Tahoe has). We can accommodate a lot more interest. We’ve got to really play that up. We really deserve to be seen and heard, we think it’s so good.”
Although the Reno-Tahoe marketing plans have always including gaming, national gaming has boomed in recent years.
“Gaming will always be a big part of our DNA, we just can’t rely on gaming to get people here, we’ve got to sweeten the pot to remind them of all the cool things they can do when they get here. If we’re a small Las Vegas, we’re going to lose,” Baum said.
Although millions will be spent to try to draw more visitors to the region, Baum said he isn’t yet concerned about tracking whether or not the campaign will realize any payback. He’s not really a numbers man, he said.
“I haven’t really even thought about the numbers,” Baum said. “We’ve got to get the word out there.
“I’m not a big believer in numbers,” he continued. “We have to really shake things up. I’m not a big believer in trying to micro-manage numbers. We just know the overall volume of business is going to increase, but at this point we’re just getting the campaign out.”