Darlene Geib remembers when the idea of a destination-marketing fee was first introduced.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
David Wood, general manager of the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and spokesperson with the Moose Jaw Destination Marketing Fund, announces the establishment of the fund in Crescent Park on July 22, 2014.
“Approximately eight to 10 years ago we tried to get this fund up and running, but there just wasn’t the interest or the stability of different venues that were interested so we let it go about three years ago,” she said.
However, Moose Jaw saw some major events come to the city and interest was sparked to sponsor and support those events.
“That’s where it was brought forward to us again, possibly developing and getting a destination marketing fund up and running would be a positive factor to these and that’s basically where it spun off,” said Geib. “We kept going with it and here we are today to finally announce that it is up and running.”
On Tuesday afternoon in Crescent Park, the newly created Moose Jaw Destination Marketing Fund held a press conference to announce the establishment of the fund.
“It’s been going very well. We’ve had a lot of support. We had five member properties come on board very, very quickly,” said David Wood, general manager of the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and spokesperson of the Moose Jaw Marketing Fund.
“I’m confident that now we’re a corporate entity and we have a real agenda, that there’ll be other corporate interest as well.”
The properties that are part of the fund so far are Comfort Inn, Grant Hall, Heritage Inn, Mosaic Place and Temple Gardens Mineral Spa. Participating hotels will contribute one per cent of monthly room revenues to the fund and Mosaic Place will contribute from convention fees.
The goal is to get as many businesses as possible contributing to the fund.
“Bringing more people to the city will benefit every business here but we will always target the member properties,” said Wood. “Those efforts will be a lot more effective if we have every single accommodation provider in town joining in. We’d have a larger fund. We’d have much more tools in our shed to bring people to the city.”
The fund will also launch a web portal that is expected to launch by late fall or early winter. The website will include a section for potential event organizers to submit requests for proposals.
“You can request a proposal to request an event in Regina. You can do it now from your cellphone, but you can’t request it in Moose Jaw and I’d like you to be able to request it in Moose Jaw,” said Wood.
The fund also has a contract with WOW Factor Media as well.
“Every single month we’ll allocate a certain amount for this, that or the other marketing initiative,” said Wood. “We’ll also keep aside a contingency fund as well for targets of opportunity that just come along in very short notice.”
The fund is intended to promote more people to Moose Jaw. It seeks to promote Moose Jaw as a place for leisure, conferences, conventions or sporting events, as a few examples.
“We established in March and this is the next step in that is developing a name and face for the brand,” said Doug Campbell, business development director at Mosaic Place.
“I think if people looked at any other centre in Western Canada that develops these, it only benefits the economy as a whole quite simply because you’re able to attract different types of events, conventions, conferences and overall projects as a whole that benefit the community.”
Follow LIsa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.