Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce 2008 ITC Grant Request
ELEMENT 1: PARTNERSHIP ADVERTISING
Our Visitor Center reports that approximately 30% of our visitors this year have been from
Canada. Due to the value of the dollar being more in favor of Canadians, we have seen an
increase in their visits to Sandpoint. Schweitzer reports that their Canadian visitors doubled for
their 2008 season. This summer we also plan to host at least two Canadian writes from Calgary.
This is a strong indication that we should be looking more toward a concentrated North Idaho
Branding campaign into Alberta & British Columbia. As the gateway to Canada from North
Idaho, we need to be partnering with our North Idaho neighbors to develop a North Idaho
campaign for the Canadian market.
Partners: $10000 (potentially NITA, Cd’A, DSBA among others)
ITC Request: $5000
As a destination community, we are fortunate to have year round activities available in town and
up at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. We have forged several important partner relationships as
Schweitzer Mountain Resort Downtown Sandpoint Business
The Festival at Sandpoint Association
Lakedance International Film International Selkirk Loop
Some facts about Schweitzer Mountain Resort:
Idaho’s largest ski resort by acreage (2900 acres)
Ranks #3 in Idaho by visitation – behind Sun Valley and Bogus Basin.
Ranked #1 Resort in the Pacific Northwest by OnTheSnow.com
For 2007-08, Schweitzer was the only resort in Idaho to be ranked in the Top 25 resorts
in North America by Skiing Magazine readers, as well as #3 for tree skiing.
2007-2008 Season Stats:
Over 8000 season passes sold
Over 230,000 visitors, (a near 16% increase over the previous season)
The second busiest season on record.
Destination visitors (outside ID or WA) grew to 30% of lodging occupancy, up from 27%
the previous year
increased occupancy, higher revenue per visitor and strong positive economic impacts to
Key to sustained success is the concept of getting new people to the resort and retaining
them. Throughout winter, the resort surveys guests as to their likes/dislikes and guest
experience. This winter, over 3500 guest surveys were collected through Palm Pilot surveys
on chairlifts and in key areas around the resort. Here’s what they found:
21% of Schweitzer’s guests were first-time visitors to the resort (25% last year)
95% of Schweitzer’s guests were classified as “net promoters” of the resort (meaning that
they would recommend the resort to a friend or family member)
To put this number in perspective, during the winter of 2006-2007, the resort scored
82% in this area and was #2 in North America out of over 90 destinations including the
largest and most well known in the world.
On a scale of 1-10, the resort has averaged an incredible 9.7 on the question of whether a
guest plans to return.
As Schweitzer continues to grow as a destination, the natural tie to Sandpoint and the
surrounding communities becomes even more critical. Destination visitors demand
shopping, dining and other varied options that Schweitzer cannot provide alone. Also,
Schweitzer has an extremely limited pool of available beds at the resort. In total, the
resort has approximately 350 “pillows” – a number in high demand and often sold out.
Therefore, lodging options within the surrounding area become even more critical to
Partnership Plan with Schweitzer:
Sandpoint Magazine*: GSCOC/VS SMR
Summer: $1200 $1200
Winter: $1030 $1030
Coeur d’Alene Magazine: GSCOC/VS SMR
Summer: $1125 $1125
Winter: $1100 $1100
National Publications GSCOC/VS SMR
Ski Magazine $10000 $35000
Skiing Magazine $10000 $35000
Other publication $5000 $5000
Radio Advertising Regional destination markets (Seattle, Canada, etc)
*Sandpoint Magazine has a controlled distribution of 30,000 copies to
regional visitor centers in Spokane; Liberty Lake and Newport, in
Washington; and in Idaho at Hutter Center on I-90; Farragut State Park;
Gateway Visitor Center in Bonners Ferry; Priest River; and Sandpoint Visitor
Center. It's distributed to all Sandpoint-area hotel, motel and bed &
breakfast providers; used by realtors and major employers; and distributed
at more than 270 retail locations in Idaho and Washington.
Schweitzer also is planning to organize some FAM trips from the resort into town and is
requesting funds for transportation as follows:
FAMs GSCOC/VS SMR
Total request: $36,255 $147,955
3. OTHER PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
A. Festival at Sandpoint: Since 1983, the non-profit Festival at Sandpoint has hosted
its internationally renowned summer concert series in a casual and relaxed atmosphere at
Memorial Field, in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Festival is audience friendly. It is a customized
concert experience without equal. You can feast on fabulous food and beverages on
"Festival Street," or bring your own picnic basket and cooler from home.
Mission Statement & objectives
The Festival at Sandpoint exists to make Exceptional musicians and great
performances accessible to the community and the surrounding region. The
Festival strives to present its concerts in an intimate setting which celebrates the
natural beauty, and charm of our small city, thereby making Sandpoint a better
place to visit.
C. DSBA/Downtown Events: The Downtown Sandpoint Business Association is
known for its many fun & cultural events, all with the intent of delivering tourism and
visitors from the region to our community. We would like to commit to a sponsorship for
three events: Wooden Boat Festival, Madcap Mardi Gras, and Lost in the 50’s, all multi-
day events that continue to bring in visitors who not only spend money in our
community, but raise our bed tax collection as well. In addition, through partnerships
with the Pend Oreille Arts Council and the Panida Theatre we can expand our advertising
reach to further position Sandpoint as a cultural tourism destination.
D. Schweitzer Lakedance International Film Festival: Launched in 2006 with an
incredible volunteer effort, the weeklong Lakedance is already the largest film festival in
Inland Northwest, with a juried selection of more than 50 films from among more than
200 submitted by independent filmmakers from around the region, nationally and
internationally. Schweitzer has recently signed on for the second year as the event’s title
sponsor. The multi-day festival includes a variety of filmmaking seminars and
educational events. Organizers expect at least double the entries and attendance in 2008.
This event has great promise to expand and supplementing their marketing efforts will
leverage hundreds of hours of volunteer time put in by the group. It also falls in a fall
shoulder season and we want to build it into a prime attraction that will attract
filmmakers and filmgoers that will fill hotel rooms during an otherwise slow season.
E. International Selkirk Loop: We would also like to partner with the ISL on the
following targeted publications: Sunset Northwest Travel Planner April 09 issue, RV
Life March & September issues, Honda Red Rider & Harley Davidson magazines, Road
Cycling Magazine, Audubon Magazine, and AAA Journeys.
Total request: $15,500 Partner Match: $32,615
TOTALS: ITC Request: Partner Match:
ELEMENT TOTAL: $51,755
ELEMENT 2: VISIT SANDPOINT INTEGRATED
In addition to the partnership advertising, we would also like to continue to brand Sandpoint and
the Greater Sandpoint region as a fun, relaxing, beautiful destination with something going on
365 days a year. We want to focus not only on our abundant outdoor activities, but also our art
and cultural offerings.
We want to show potential visitors the world-class dining and unique retail selections we have in
our community. The Greater Sandpoint area has experienced tremendous growth in vacation
rentals in the past year, and even more projects are on the horizon. It is imperative that we
continue to advertise the Greater Sandpoint region to be top of mind now and in the future when
potential visitors are planning their travel.
This year we began regular insertion to Northwest Travel, successfully partnering with our Visit
Sandpoint membership on a 60/40 split, 60% of the cost offset by the GSCOC/VS and 40% paid
for by partnership advertising. Partner members include Silverwood, Festival at Sandpoint, Coit
House Bed & Breakfast, Three Glasses Wine Bar & Restaurant, Stage Right Cellars, Century 21
on the Lake Agent TJ Eigler, Lake Pend Oreille Cruises, The Seasons at Sandpoint, and
Schweitzer Mountain Resort, to name a few.
1. PRINT OPPORTUNITIES:
Northwest Travel: Total investment: $13800
ITC request: $8280 Match from partners: $5520
We also found great success in running advertisements in Spokane Sizzle and Idaho
Cuisine Magazines, again experiencing success in obtaining partner match for both
Spokane Sizzle/Idaho Cuisine: Total investment: $5000
ITC request: $3000 Match from our partners: $2000
Additional advertising opportunities including Horizon Air Magazine October Issue, the
fall NPR campaign, FYI North Idaho, ITC sponsored co-operative advertising
opportunities and others are important to us to further leverage our position as a
destination for overnight tourism opportunities. We request an additional $8400 to take
advantage of such opportunities, to include a reverse matching availability to partner with
our members on their advertising. We plan to obtain partnership match at 40% of that
Additional advertising: Total investment: $14000
ITC request: $8400 Partner match: $5600
We would like to invest in regular insertions into the Inlander, a weekly publication that
targets Eastern Washington, North Idaho and down into the Palouse. We feel that this is
a very strong drive market opportunity and that frequent, regular ROP advertisements
during shoulder seasons in conjunction with major local events will further develop the
Greater Sandpoint area as a drive-to multi-stay destination.
Inlander: Total Investment: $8200
ITC request: $5000 Match from our partners: $3200
2. RADIO CAMPAIGN:
We also would like to include a radio campaign in partnership with the advertising in the
Inlander. This year we developed a branded radio spot that can be used for these kinds of
promotions. We think we can leverage our advertising dollars better when we run a radio
& print campaign in compliment to one another. Estimated cost for this program would
be approximately $25,000 to run radio spots during the same time we are running print
ads. We also anticipate being able to achieve a 40% match from our advertising partners
as well. This budget will allow for coverage into Spokane as well as the tri-cities as we
see an opportunity to increase our weekend/extended stay travelers from within our
region. We will also couple promotions/give-aways in the campaigns through in kind
donations of lodging, shopping, dining and activities to further enhance our image and
track our response. This also incorporates funds for the NPR campaign we run
successfully each year.
Radio: Total Investment: $25000
ITC Request: $15000 Partner match: $10000
TOTALS: ITC GSCOC/VS Match
ELEMENT TOTAL: $39,680
ELEMENT 3: INTERNET
Our statistics show that our website has received increased traffic over the past several years,
though we consistently only cover the ongoing maintenance of the site. The site was launched in
2005, and has not had any significant upgrades since then.
User feedback suggests several opportunities for improvement to our website, including:
adding animation or flash graphics
a global dining navigation button site-wide
updating and upgrading the attractions and activities content
upgrading our maps page
In addition, the Visitor Center receives an increasing number of requests for conventions and
group tours. We would like to own that information for our community by having a convention
and group section included on our site which will house facility & lodging accommodations, as
well as appropriate contacts for interested parties.
Lastly, we would be remiss by not including a request for ongoing hosting of the site,
maintenance and calendar management. Below you will find statistics that justify the need for
improving our website to keep pace with the increase in users accessing the website for travel
It is important to note that the Chamber of Commerce invested in software called Contribute so
that staff on site can manage and update some content without paying a fee to Keokee Creative.
This will offset additional maintenance costs in the future.
Industry / Visit Sandpoint stats
The 2007 National Travel Monitor study found that in 2007, 66 percent of leisure travelers used
the Internet regularly for travel planning, increase of 7 percentage points over 2005.
In 2007 the VisitSandpoint.info website had 27,177 visitors, who collectively made 63,110 visits
and 145,148 page views.
“The 2007 National Travel Monitor — an annual study conducted by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, a travel
marketing firm, and Yankelovich Inc., a marketing research company — surveyed 2,800 business and leisure travelers. It found
that in the first part of 2007, 66 percent of leisure travelers used the Internet regularly for travel planning, while in 2005, 59
percent used it, an increase of 7 percentage points. From 2002 through 2004, the percentage grew 10 points, from 53 to 63.”
We would like to expand our reach through online contests and pay per click promotions where
we can increase our reach as well as accurately measure the ROI for the investment. In order for
us to put our best foot forward on these elements, we need to make significant updates to our
website to keep pace with current trends.
1. Upgrades and additions
A. Animate or create a Flash movie to rotate and change main photos on the home page, to
enliven page and get more variety in the photography.
Animation of photos only: 5 hours = $375
Flash animation with title/graphic effects atop photos: 20 hours = $1500
B. Add Dining button site wide, to global navigation.
Add Dining, 1.5 hours = $112.50.
C. Review, refresh and augment the Attractions and Activities content. Edit and rewrite
four seasons pages, one attractions pages. Create jump menu to show attractions by category
Refresh photography, possibly add maps.
2 hours/page, 10 hours = $750
D. Add page/section for tour groups. Design page, create content, integrate into global
5 hours = $375
E. Upgrade the Maps page to employ embedded Google maps; also create or link to a
Google Earth clip of area.
6 hours = $450
F. Create sitemap page, html and xml; submit xml page to Google.
2 hours = 150
G. Upgrade and refresh the slide show
NO CHARGE, this will be accomplished in current year with photography from
H. Add video clip(s). Utilize YouTube or open source video player, add video clip. Clip to
be acquired from third party (cost of clip not included here).
3 hours = $225
I. Solicit “record your impressions” from site visitors, with guest book, forum or blog
License software: $150.
Install, configure, html integration: 6 hours = $450
J. Add site wide “Send this page to friend” link on all pages
3 hours = $225
K. Add site wide search feature (to search html pages, not business dB)
3 hours = $225
ITC Request: $4612.50 Keokee in-kind match: $498
2. Ongoing annual maintenance & hosting costs
A. Hosting, $20 per month x 12 months = $240. Annual budget $240
B. Monthly maintenance to rotate graphics, teasers on home page, make misc. changes,
1 hour/month = 12 hours. Site enhancements to rotate summer/winter design schemes, 4
hours. Subtotal maintenance 16 hours = $1200. Annual budget $1200
C. License events calendars from SandpointOnline.com to be wholly contained within
VisitSandpoint.info and updated weekly for five calendars: Current Happenings, Civic
Calendar; Year Calendar; Sports Calendar; Movies & Show Times, $125 per month =
$1,500. Annual budget $1500
ITC Request: $2940
ITC request: $7552.50 Potential match: $498 minimum
3. Search Marketing & Online Promotions
A. Launch monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter for visitors*, to include
upcoming events, promotion of attractions, lodging or dining deals. Editions archives and
available on site.
One-time design of template, 5 hours = $375
Write, lay out, produce individual newsletter; administer mailing. 4 hours = $300;
Monthly = $2700/year
Subtotal: Monthly = $3075/year
* Similar time/cost to produce an e-newsletter directed to tour group organizers. Tour
group newsletter, however, could employ the same template.
C. Search Marketing: Pay-Per-Click. We would establish pay-per-click accounts in
Google, Yahoo, MSN, for Idaho terms.
Research, set up accounts; write text ads for PPC; monitor, test and adjust ads. 8 hours =
Monthly review of stats, monitor budget and performance, adjust ads and bids. 1
hour/month, 12 hours annually = $900.
Budget for ad spend: $500/month = $6000
E. Contest or promotion. Create monthly giveaways for winter, or include shoulder
seasons, October-May. We’ve done this before with good success; see press release from
the contest in 2002-2003; (that contest was staged by DSBA with minor participation by
the Chamber). If done on a similar model, the cost to set up landing pages, create contest
collateral and do promotion would be $5000, depending on how much of the monthly
tasks Chamber staff might handle.
Total Cost for Search Marketing & Online Promos: $13,975
Keokee Creative can offer an in-kind match of $2060
ITC Request: $21,528 Keokee match: $2558
ELEMENT TOTAL: $21,528
ELEMENT 4: VISITOR GUIDE PUBLICATION &
Our Annual Visitor Guide continues to be a very popular piece that we use to promote the area at
trade shows, in our visitor and relocation packets, through distribution in our Visitor Center and
a rack service, and through area member business partners. We consistently run out just before
we print the new guide each year.
In the '07 grant, we received funds to print one issue of the guide. It would be our intent to do
the same in this grant year, printing the guide in late '08 for an early '09 distribution. We intend
to print approximately 100,000 copies of the guide. 30,000 copies are inserted into Sandpoint
Magazine annually. Design and printing costs are projected to be approximately $18,000, with
another $8,000 for images, and another $8,000 for distribution. This year the guide had a
complete overhaul in content, but not in look & feel. Content was streamlined to be more user-
friendly and consistent in its formatting. We were able to update some photos but would like to
be able to refresh all photos for the next printing. We will not do a redesign for the guide again
this year as we feel that it has its own brand.
Costs for distribution of the guide are directly related to charges incurred by use of rack service
and mail to some points of Canada and sites not covered in the rack service contract. In addition,
distribution is so wide and popularity of the guide is so high that we consistently run out each
year prior to the next printing.
Design/printing costs: $18,000 (100,000qty/inc. insertion into Sandpoint Mag)
ITC Request: $26000 DSBA/Partner match: $9600
ELEMENT TOTAL: $26,000
Element 5: PRESS RELATIONS
We were quite successful with many of our media relations efforts this year. Sandpoint
continues to receive national and regional media attention. We have been working with a PR
firm to pitch story ideas to travel writers, and invite them on a FAM trip to experience the
Greater Sandpoint area firsthand. This strategy has landed us media coverage in such
The Chicago Sun Times
National Geographic Adventure (June/July 08)
Sunset Magazine and others.
We were granted $6000 in PR funds for the 2007-08 grant year. Not all funds have been spent to
date, but what we have spent so far has netted us nearly $140,000 in advertising equivalency.
See the chart below:
Publication Date Story title rate
Smart Meetings Magazine 1-May-07 Git Along Little Doggies: Dude Range Meetings $2,096.50
Empire Builder Magazine 2007 Top Stop: Idaho's only Empire Builder Stop $4,400.00
Portland Family Magazine 1-Apr-07 4 Summer Fun Destinations $2,242.00
Sports Guide Magazine Summer 2007 Sandpoint Idaho: Best Small Town in the West? $1,475.00
Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 1-Aug-07 Your Own Private Idaho $11,680.00
Chicago Sun-Times (13th
Largest daily in the U.S.) 26-Aug-07 Sunset' Spectacular: Ross Hall and Sandpoint $89,321.00
About.com 1-Oct Silverwood Theme Park for Visitors
Idaho State Journal 16-Sep-07 Welcome to Silverwood $1,556.64
SkyWest Magazine Nov-Dec 07 (Cover story) Artist Haven: Sandpoint, Idaho $24,600.00
Community Magazine Jan-Feb 08 Sandpoint: Huckleberry Heaven $12,000.00
On the Road Again: Exploring the Idaho
Community Magazine March-Apr 08 Panhandle $12,000.00
Summer 2008, we will host an editor from:
Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine
a writer from AAA Washington Magazine to name a few.
It is our intent to continue our press relations efforts to include the following:
1. Use the services of a PR firm to work with media to increase tourism to Sandpoint,
particularly in shoulder seasons. It is our intent to expand our PR efforts to some of the writers
and publications that focus on some of the less traditional tourism markets and gain interest from
those who write for culinary, art, and agri-tourism markets.
We will support and partner with the Idaho Panhandle PR cooperative effort, made up of several
northern Idaho businesses:
Silverwood Theme Park
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Seasons at Sandpoint
Our role as the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce would be to work with our local
businesses to coordinate lodging and dining arrangements (in the form of match) for writers and
media as required. In part due to our partnership with the Idaho Panhandle PR cooperative, we
plan to maximize joint marketing efforts with other chambers in the region, targeting ski, golf,
and other attractions that can be packaged for the area to entice travelers to visit the panhandle
and extend their stay because there is so much to see and do.
We have several partners who are willing to host our FAM guests and provide match in terms of
meals, activities, and lodging to help promote Sandpoint as a “must see” destination.
Cost: $8000 ($4000 for FAM tour transportation costs and $4000 for PR agency)
In-kind match to be provided by lodging and activities’ partners.
2. We would like to work with our local business partners and with our PR agency personnel to
continue to enhance our presence with travel writers. It would be our intent to participate in
media trade show functions this upcoming year, such as the Travel Media Source.
Cost: $2000 (plus $2000 cash match from a participating partner)
ELEMENT TOTAL: $10,000
TOTAL GRANT REQUEST: $148,963
POTENTIAL MATCH: $221,048
TOTAL EXPENSE: $370,011