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cvb minn 2009 09 16


                                    CITY OF PISMO BEACH
                                  Conference & Visitor Bureau
                                         Board Meeting
                              Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 3 p.m.
                                    City Council Chambers
                                         760 Mattie Rd.
                                    Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Chair Scott called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m.

Boardmembers Present:                 Chair Joseph Scott, Vice Chair Chet Hogoboom,
                                      Gary Baker (arrived 3:20), Jay Jamison

Boardmembers Absent:                  Shaun Brewer, excused

Councilmembers Present:               Liaison Ed Waage, Ted Ehring

Chamber of Commerce:                  Rebecca McMurry, Chamber CEO

Staff Present:                        Suzen Brasile, CVB Executive Director
                                      Renee Fortier, CVB Administrative Assistant
                                      George Edes, City Finance Director
                                      Dave Fleishman, City Attorney

Public:                               John Sorgenfrei, TJA Advertising
                                      Rick Turton, Pacific Leisure Marketing
                                      Gordon Jackson, GM Mission Inn of Pismo Beach
                                      Erin Downs, Coastal Vacation Rentals
                                      Eric Mund, GM Pismo Lighthouse Suites
                                      Karen Fife, GM Shore Cliff Lodge
                                      Erica Renkert, GM Shelter Cove Lodge
                                      Dianna Votaw, Pacifica Hotel Company
                                      Curtis Reinhardt, Event Planner
                                      Effie McDermott, Friends of Price House

Boardmember Jamison said this is the best time of year, weather wise. He congratulated the Board for
their LBID budget presentation to the City Council last evening.

Vice Chair Hogoboom said the warm temperature is nice, as the hotel business can use good weather,
although the Sea Venture Resort is behind last year’s pace.

Chair Scott announced the LBID budget was approved by the City Council. He thanked the CVB Board,
Mr. Sorgenfrei, Mr. Turton, Ms. Brasile, Ms. Fortier, and the hoteliers for their efforts. He noted the State
Office of Tourism is now live on Face Book and Tweeter. He said Expedia’s link is now on the Prime
Outlet website. They hope to have hotel bookings on the site soon. He said Pismo Beach was
represented at the Cal Poly Week of Welcome.

Ms. McMurry announced the upcoming Clam Festival for October 17 & 18. This year’s theme is Seaside
Fantasies. They are looking for parade entries. The parade will begin at 10am on Saturday.
She noted Pismo Coast Village RV Resort won the grand prize last year and Councilmember Waage will
be in the parade with the City Council. Posters will be distributed next week. The Board thanked her for
the information.

Mr. Reinhardt announced the Central Coast Railroad Festival, scheduled for October 8 –12, with
locations throughout the county. He said he previously has worked with the City Parks & Recreation
team. Locations for the event include Amtrak station, the historical freight house in SLO, the Grover
Exploration Station, and the Price House. He added there will be lot of activities, with 5,000 – 10,000
people attending, perhaps many from out of town. He said Amtrak is a sponsor and the SLO County VCB
is helping as well. There will be a promotional ad in Sunset Magazine and editorial in the San Francisco
Chronicle. He invited the CVB Board to come out to see this year’s event, and then possibly help fund the
event next year. The Board thanked him for the invitation and information.

Motion: Vice Chair Hogoboom made a motion to approve the August 5, 2009 minutes, seconded by
Boardmember Jamison, 4-0-1, Boardmember Brewer absent.


Mr. Fleishman said he wanted to briefly discuss the Brown Act, a refresher in light of the LBID. He said
the LBID is not a tax; it’s an assessment fee and is not a separate entity or district. He welcomed
questions. He noted the CVB Board was elected by the City Council as an Advisory Committee. That’s a
way of differentiating between the separate body that would be covered by the Brown Act if it were a
separate district like an airport district or cemetery district and so on and the CVB, which is the Advisory
Board. It is subject by the Brown Act and all the requirements. No serial meetings are allowed and the
Board should refrain from meeting together outside the CVB.

Boardmember Jamison said his concern is attending any of the steering committee meetings or any
meetings continuing on with the lodging community, noting three of the CVB Boardmembers are involved
with the lodging community. The fact that the three could be a quorum on this group, would go to those
committee meetings as individual property operators, we worry about that and we talked among
ourselves that maybe one of us would go. That led to some discussion in a past CVB meeting. I think
we’re all aware that the Brown Act governs our activities within that. How do you recommend we handle
this if we want to participate in any other outside meetings, whether it’s a lodging association or whatever
might be created where they get together and discuss their own strategy on how they want to see how
some of these funds are dealt with.

Mr. Fleishman said the most simple advice I have is don’t sit together. The Brown Act is concerned with
discussions internally among Board members on the CVB regarding CVB agenda items. There’s nothing
under the Brown Act that prohibits the Board from getting together at a meeting of another board or
agency provided that you don’t talk amongst yourself about CVB business. So not sitting together is the
easiest way to avoid that. Then you avoid also the appearance that you are somehow having that
problem. In another city I represent three members of a board went out to dinner together and were
discussing this sporting event they had just come from. A member of the community saw that and
commented that it was a violation of the Brown Act. No, it’s not a violation of the Brown Act … the fact
that you have something in common other than your CVB membership, that you may have lodging
interests that are independent from your role on the CVB. You can protect those interests. It is just better
to stay away from each other so that it doesn’t appear you are discussing CVB business.

Boardmember Baker asked when he goes to cut his check this month, which includes the LBID, will it
be one check for both totals. Mr. Fleishman said that’s the intent.
Councilmember Waage said the only things Boardmembers can’t talk about are things that can come
before this body. He asked Mr. Fleishman if he would clarify.

Mr. Fleishman said, for example there was a development project downtown that had nothing to do with
lodging, it was a private condo but not a vacation rental and it was going to somehow impact your lodging
interests and you would not be asked in any capacity as CVB members to chime in. That would be
something outside your subject matter jurisdiction. It’s not something you would ever be asked to provide
a recommendation to the City Council about. That would be something that three of you could get
together to discuss. But for example, with the City Council, their jurisdiction is much more broad and
therefore, they have to be much more careful as Councilmembers because its much more likely that
something like that would bubble up to the Council, whether through an appeal with the Planning
Commission or a direct General Plan Amendment to the City Council. So the test you look at if this
something that in the wildest possibility would you, as Boardmembers, be asked to chime in on as a CVB
member. If not, you are safe to discuss it.

Boardmember Jamison said to clarify; we don’t know what their agenda might be.

Ms. McMurry passed the reports to the Board and staff saying there are interesting numbers for the VIC
August report, the year over year was up 7% up and emails up 5%. Walk-ins were down 11%. She said
the VIC is now closed on Sundays. The drop is probably a result from that. She noted the VIK has
increased 12 days in August with a 1,300-visitor increase, 363 international visitors in August. She said
the parking office next door has been given a supply of guides and information, as some visitors will go
into that office when the VIC is closed on Sundays.

Mr. Sorgenfrei thanked the Board for their support at the City Council meeting, regarding the LBID
budget and TJA amended contract. He said an update is underway. He said the LBID promotions will be
different but complimentary to our city budget.

Chair Scott asked about social marketing with regard to an overlay.

Mr. Sorgenfrei said yes, with more direction from the Board. He wants this to flow together as well as not
abandoning the Classic California image. He wants to incorporate the stakeholders with LBID advertising.
He said it’s a crucial effort by the lodging industry to promote “getaway packages” with a call to action. He
wants to include special events and a webpage to go for event packages, and a “Food & Wine” package.
He wants to organize sub-committees.

Boardmember Baker requested enlarging the current web calendar including events outside Pismo

Mr. Sorgenfrei wants to invite Becky Gray of SLO Vintners to attend the next CVB meeting as this group
is key for co-op’s. Various vintners want to join in on events and promotions and packages.

Chair Scott asked if a sub-committee is needed. Mr. Sorgenfrei said he can “round them up”, perhaps
Mr. Gordon Jackson and Boardmember Baker.

Boardmember Baker recommends communication from Ms. Brasile to the hotels for packages, possibly
a separate website page.

Mr. Sorgenfrei suggests a homepage click here page for value packages, possibly a separate landing
page for packages, like a romance package and adventure package. He wants the Chamber involved,
Boardmember Baker suggests sending notices hotels to receive “Getaway Packages” with a materials
due date.

Boardmember Jamison said the hotels are already players and we’d like them to help sell the

Mr. Sorgenfrei will produce an e-newsletter regarding the LBID to be sent to all lodging properties. He
will create a private page for stakeholders, to include the current media program, submissions of
packages, and to help with “piggyback” ads. He noted upcoming ads; remnant ads for December issues
of national publications, full pages for Los Angeles West magazine, Conde Nast, Golf Digest, and Wired.
He discussed ads in a Phoenix publication at half-price.

Boardmember Baker said Phoenix has good golfing weather during December.

Mr. Turton said he will continue to cover the digital marketing report – he believes the packages page
will become in the top five visiting page. He reported 72,000 web visitors during the month of August. He
noted the cancelation of the website. He said the tides view page is also
imbedded in other sites. He reported the web stats and has discussed mobile coupons with Chair Scott.
One would simply bring their cell phone to Prime Outlets and show the coupon.

Chair Scott is already doing this with Cal Poly, somewhat a direct mail piece.

Mr. Turton said the Central Coast page views on the main navigation link are up from last August all
unique visitors. He said the social reports are new things and the videos on these are at no to us, 16
videos to date, the largest one being the Amp Surf at 5,000 views so far. He made posts on various sites.

Mr. Turton said he has been Facebook monitoring and blocking Face Book; friends only, not fans.

Mr. Sorgenfrei said we would air on the side of conservative as we are using public funds. We don’t
want anything demeaning to the city.

Ms. Brasile deferred the request to SLO VCB Executive Director John Summer. Mr. Summer said he
has now been on the job for six weeks and meeting with people to listen how they feel about funding and
what support they need through the county. He said there are major operation changes at the VCB. He
said in the past, there were various styles for funding. The lodging industry has asked why they have to
pay both membership and LBID fees. He said the SLO City Council approved the membership proposal.
He noted Pismo Beach is the last to fund. He wants to present the proposal to the CVB Board. He said it
is a fair share formula based on the lodging properties. Today’s proposal is an all-inclusive membership.
The former proposal was at $70,000. He said now they will not charge the lodging an individual
membership by using the BID and the LBID fees.

Chair Scott said now that the lodging does not pay dues, is the VCB asking the destinations to use the
LBID funding to fund the VCB.

Mr. Summer said funding would come from the LBID or other sources.

Boardmember Baker based the budget last evening on a 10-month period; the next budgeting period
will be 12- month period. He said the position now is to recommend the City Council to fund.

Chair Scott asked Mr. Summer who funded in Pismo Beach.

Mr. Summer said figures for total members have increase by 20%.
Boardmember Baker said according to the new figures, current VCB membership cost $12 per room per
month, now it could cost the city $35 per room, based on the original proposal of $70,000.

Vice Chair Hogoboom asked how much money is the newest proposal.

Mr. Summer answered the proposal is now $90,000.

Chair Scott asked for the last proposal figure. Mr. Summer answered it was previously the amount of

Boardmember Jamison said Mr. Summer might want to present this proposal to the City Council; they
will probably want the CVB’s advice.

Vice Chair Hogoboom said many have been involved with SLO VCB and asked what is coming to the
table differently.

Mr. Summer said VCB operations are 180 degrees turned around with fresh ideas. They want to do
things bigger and better. They have to deal with destinations with far more funding.

Boardmember Jamison asked about a return on investments. He suggests a list of marketing specifics
might sell the proposal better, as well as complimentary ads.

Mr. Sorgenfrei said enhancement to our advertising is important.

Vice Chair Hogoboom said feedback from the lodging association is important.

Councilmember Waage noted the City Council relies on advice from the CVB on how to spend the
money. The CVB will need to buy into this before the City Council will. He said TOT and LBID is the
funding arm and it is too premature to spend LBID funds, as we have just started collecting. Hotels, RV’s
and vacation rentals are the major stakeholders.

Boardmember Baker asked why would that be interesting from $70,000 to $92,000.

Mr. Summer said these are the figures used in the formula.

Chair Scott asked about Paso Robles funding cost.

Mr. Summer said Paso does not have the bounty of rooms that Pismo Beach has, they will fund less.

Mr. Sorgenfrei said as the marketing person, the CVB should support the SLO County VCB but our
budget is 1%. SLO is 2% and we missed the summer collections. We also have to take out lots of funding
due to costs, etc. now – not competitive with spending almost $100,000. He asked the CVB Board to
form some kind of opinion before Mr. Summer goes to the City Council. Chair Scott stated he feels
troubled right now with spending $92,000.

Boardmember Baker asked why the VCB is not staying with lodging membership at this time.

Mr. Summer said this figure comes from duplicating with the proposal of other communities and it is
more important to have Pismo participate.

Boardmember Baker noted the CVB has asked previously for a marketing menu from the VCB, as we
want to partner on this level and would not increase membership and not ask for big dollar amounts like
Boardmember Jamison suggests looking at it as a transition period as a full partnership with Pismo

Mr. Jackson asked for the total budget and marketing plans and how their budget will work.

Vice Chair Hogoboom requested placing this on the agenda again and asked Mr. Summer to bring
these requested figures back to the Board.

Chair Scott said lodging membership will probably be more consistent.

Mr. Summer again said the memberships would be all inclusive but this proposal might not work for

Chair Scott asked him to comeback to the next CVB Meeting with the requested information.

Ms. Brasile introduced SLO Airport Business Development Manager, Phil D’acri. Mr. D’Arci said some
really neat marketing ideas are happening at the airport. He introduced new General Manager Richard

Chair Scott asked what they call their visitors from out of the market.

Mr. D’Arci said they call them enplanements. He said they want to bring more business into the county
by way of more service at the airport. He believes 40% of business comes from out of the area. He said
advertising placement promoting Pismo Beach would be on the wall across from the information booth, in
a 6’ by 8’ area, Item #2 is located by the baggage area that would consist of the digital screen, and Item
#3 is outside the terminal, these are display banners on light poles; a great place to for incoming traffic.
He said the proposal cost is $7,500.

Mr. Sorgenfrei said he met with Ms. Brasile and Mr. D’Acri to view the placement locations. He liked the
placements and believes this proposal is a win-win situation. He said the SLO airport loss of service
ended up on CBS Good Morning America. He said it helped get some service back. He said this effort
will give Pismo exposure at the airport and will help the airport to promote itself.

Mr. D’Arci commented on the SkyWest magazine the CVB passed to the Board and said this ad was a
collaborate effort and the SLO County VCB took the lead on this.

Ms. Brasile said video screen funds for this proposal were rolled over from the last budget.

Vice Chair Hogoboom likes supporting the local airport.

Boardmember Jamison said there might be future impacts.

Mr. Sorgenfrei thinks this Board would share advertising with the VCB, as we did the creative on the
SkyWest ad, adding co-operating is very important.

Motion: Boardmember Jamison moved to approve $7,500 to support the SLO Airport proposal; Vice
Chair Hogoboom seconded the motion, 4-0-1, Boardmember Brewer absent.

Ms. Brasile announced several headlines in recent publications – Beach Combing in the Los Angeles
Times, Pismo Pigeons Get a Reprieve and Billabong Helps Surfers. She announced tonight’s SLO
Chamber mixer and the CWC Anniversary event next Tuesday and just shy of the 1 millionth visitor at the
center. She said she received compliments on the September Sunset Magazine ad.
She noted the ads in the SLO Guide and Coastal Living. An article and image of a Pelican on the Pismo
Beach pier was in a New Zealand newspaper. It was seen and brought back by a CWC Ambassador
visiting New Zealand.

Ms. Brasile announced the upcoming BIG concert at Dinosaur Caves Park on September 27. She noted
the CVB is working with the VCB on the UK Super FAM. The group will stay at the Sea Crest Resort and
dine at Marisol’s Restaurant. She announced the upcoming Coastal Clean-up on September 19. She
thanked the CVB Board, Mr. Sorgenfrei, and Councilmember Waage for the LBID presentation and
approval. She shared the Amp Surf photo with the Board, given to the CVB by Co-founder Dana

Boardmember Baker noted the Jazz Festival has the incorrect dates on the website calendar.

Boardmember Baker said volume is at last year’s level.

Chair Scott said September numbers so far look flat and October numbers do not look pretty at Prime

Councilmember Waage thanked the CVB Board, Mr. Sorgenfrei and Mr. Turton for the in depth
explanation of the LBID budget. He thanked Chair Scott for filling in for Ms. Brasile in her absence. He
read a thank you note from the Operation Surf rep for the support and he thanked the Sea Venture
Resort for their participation.

Ms. Brasile announced the next CVB meeting will be October 21st. She said the November meeting has
been changed from November 18th to the 19th due to her attending NTA.

Adjournment: 5:30 P.M.

Minutes by Renee Fortier

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