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					Yosemite Gateway Partners
Quarterly Newsletter

c/o Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389




   Yosemite Gateway Partners
   Quarterly Newsletter      Don’t forget our next Quarterly Gateway Partners Meeting:
   Volume 3, Issue 3 | September 2008   Thursday, October 9, 10am-2pm in the Mountain Room!


                                                                         EVENTS
                                                                         Thurs-Fri, October 3-4
                                                                         • Sierra Business Council /
                                                                           Sierra Nevada Conservancy
                                                                           conference (see pg. 2 for
                                                                           details)
                                                                          Mammoth Lakes, CA
                                                                         Thursday, October 9
                                                                         • Yosemite Gateways
                                                                           Partners Meeting
                                                                           10:00 am - 2:00 pm
                                                                          Yosemite Lodge – Mountain
                                                                          Room
                                                                         Sat-Sun, Oct 11-12:
                                                                         • Sierra Art Trails
                                                                          1:00-5:00 pm
                                                                          Mariposa and Madera Counties
                                                                          www.sierraarttrails.org
                                                                         Weds, Oct 29 and Dec 3:
                                                                         • NPS Open House
                                                                          1:00-5:00 pm
                                                                          Yosemite Valley Auditorium


                                                                         Check the Gateway Partners
                                                                         website for more community
                                                                         events. Send us your entries
                                                                         for the next newsletter.
Yosemite Gateway Partners
    New Faces...
                                                                                                               Quarterly Newsletter
                                                                                                                Volume 3, Issue 3 | 09/2008

                                                                                                               Following each Gateway Partners

Jeffrey Hentz Named Executive Director of                                                                      quarterly meeting this newsletter is
                                                                                                               compiled to highlight what was

Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau                                                                        covered, as well as other submissions
                                                                                                               or items of interest from the
                                                                                                               Partners. If you have any suggestions,
Jeffrey Hentz has been named to the new post          Jeff has an extensive career in developing
                                                                                                               comments or submissions you would
of Executive Director for the Yosemite/Maripo-        marketing strategies & international /domestic
                                                                                                               like included in the next issue, please
sa County Tourism Bureau (YMCTB). Hentz               leisure, corporate, convention, incentive and            send them to jen_nersesian@nps.gov.
will be responsible for the strategic direction of    multiple vertical group market channels. He              If you would like to volunteer to
the Bureau and developing the county’s tour-          joins the YMCTB from Dolly Parton’s Dixie                work on the newsletter, that would
ism marketing efforts as the destination looks        Stampede where he recently served as market-             be welcomed as well. Thanks to all
to capitalize on increased global opportunities.      ing & sales executive director. Hentz has also           Partners who submitted information
With over 20 years of travel industry manage-         held senior marketing/sales positions with               for this issue.
ment experience in tourism marketing, sales,          Ocean Club Cruises, Westgate Resorts, the re-
advertising, operations and product / destina-        sort and cruise division of Ocean Development
tion brand development, Hentz will look to            Group, Premier Cruise Lines (a.k.a. official
establish the destination brand and develop           cruise line of Disney World), United Airlines
multiple sales distribution partnerships to           Vacations & Apple Vacations Chicago.
increase visitation to the county.

Dan Cunning Takes the Helm at the Yosemite/
Sierra Visitors Bureau in Madera County
By Dan Cunning, Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
                                Twenty years         Years later and after many dollars spent on        upon an article about a vacancy with the
                                ago my wife,         old and broken boats, Judy and I came to our       Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau. With
                                Judy, and            senses and decided to finally build our dream      nothing to lose and a longing to be home
                                I made the           home on property we had in North Fork              full time, contact was quickly made to
                                decision to          amidst the beautiful Sierras. After two years      explore the possibilities of a new position.
                                leave our home       and mountains of blasted granite, we were
                                in Yosemite          ready to relocate to an area we should have        Today I’m home and working with the
                                Lakes Park and       never left in the first place. The only problem    wonderful tourism products of Madera
                                venture off to a     was the fact that I was employed as the head       County. I once again experience the amaz-
                                different locale     of a very successful Convention & Visitors         ing beauty and serenity of the Sierras, an
                                and a change         Bureau with few problems and a solid future.       experience I deeply missed for too long.
                                in climate. We       When our home was completed Judy made              Madera County I’m home - and together
initially headed south to Palm Springs where         the move and I was to occasionally commute.        we are going to showcase our area sharing
we spent many years and eventually moved on          This I did for over a year, creating a difficult   all the magnificent wonders our county has
to the blistering heat of Lake Havasu, Arizona,      situation.                                         to offer and the great opportunities for a
the home of the London Bridge.                       One day while reading the daily news I came        unique and very special visitor’s experience.


                    Don’t forget our next Quarterly Gateway Partners Meeting:
                      Thursday, October 9, 10am-2pm in the Mountain Room!
Yosemite Gateway Partners
Volume 3, Issue 3 | September 2008


GATEWAY NOTES
                                                ...and Goodbyes
GOALS & PROJECTS

                                              Yosemite Superintendent Announces
The Gateway Partners are at a cross-
roads. Not only is it our five-year
anniversary this October, but soon Mike
and possibly Kevin, the park leaders
who have been with this group since its       Retirement         After 6 years in Yosemite and 36 years with the
                                                                 National Park Service that time will come for
inception, will be moving on. For these
reasons, at our last quarterly meeting        Some changes are about to take place in the         me in January. I am very proud of all that we
the group decided to devote one hour of       park: Mike Tollefson, Yosemite superintendent,      have accomplished together; Yosemite is a better
the October meeting to a discussion that
                                              has announced his plans to retire effective Janu-   place for the visitor and the resource is more
helps flesh out our goals as an organiza-
tion and identify the projects we want        ary 2009. He will still be a part of our Yosemite   protected. I am confident of your commitment
to focus on next year. Some of the leg        community though, as he has accepted a new          to protecting Yosemite’s future and know that
work for this was previously handled in       position as the President of the Yosemite Fund.     the next superintendent will receive the same
a 2006 workshop, where many potential
projetcs were identified. At the upcom-
                                                                                                  support that you have given to me.
ing meeting we will revisit those proj-       The National Park Service is firmly committed
ects, and see what needs to be added          to continuing to grow the partnership we have       But I am not going far away. It is with great
and which ones we want to focus on for        all developed over the past few years. When the     excitement that I move on to a new chapter of
2009. Come be a part of the discussion!
                                              hiring takes place for the next Superintendent      my life. Beginning in January I will serve as
                                              it will be with a deliberate eye towards someone    President of The Yosemite Fund. I am very ex-
WEBSITE
Have you checked out the Gateway              who shares this philosophy of collaboration.        cited to continue the connection with Yosemite.
Partners website lately, designed to                                                              My overarching goal will be to build on The
help foster communication and dialogue        From Mike:                                          Yosemite Fund’s successes of the last 20 years.
among the Partners? You can find it at        “It has been a pleasure and a highlight of my       I feel uniquely positioned to continue to sup-
YosemiteGateways.sharepointsite.net           life to be superintendent of Yosemite National      port Yosemite’s special projects and initiatives
If you haven’t signed up yet, email           Park and work with all the dedicated employees      through private funding and resources. I am
Miguel Maldonado at
miguel@numinosity.net for a login and
                                              and partners that pull together to make Yosem-      excited to help those that care about Yosemite
password.                                     ite the unique and special place that so many       feel good about contributing to Yosemite’s
                                              love. At some point it is time to move on.          future.”
2008 SIERRA SOLUTIONS
Tools for Sustainable Communities,
Economies and the Environment
October 3-4, 2008 | Mammoth Lakes, CA
                                             Badger Pass ski-and-ride packages
Be inspired to help form the future.         By Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce                 Shuttle service will entice those individuals that
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy and                                                                 would like to visit Yosemite in the winter, but
the Sierra Business Council invite your      This winter the Oakhurst Area Chamber of             are not comfortable driving mountain roads in
participation at this year’s conference in   Commerce, the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau,       winter conditions. The benefit to our region is
Mammoth Lakes, CA.                           Delaware North Corp. and Yosemite National           obvious – more visitors!
Sierra Solutions will highlight solution-    Park, along with Yosemite Sightseeing Tours,
based tools, processes and opportunities     Crossroad Tours, and the hotels and B & B’s          Tickets for the ski packages (with or without
for ensuring sustainable and vibrant         in Eastern Madera County, will all join forces       shuttle services) will be available to purchase
Sierra communities, landscapes and lo-       to promote skiing at Badger Pass in Yosemite.        on the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce
cal economies.
                                             The promotion will include “Park and Ride” ski       website. Television commercials will run on a
Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to      packages as well as “Stay and Play” packages that    number of channels in the Central Valley in
network with community and business
                                             include lodging.                                     January and February to promote the program.
leaders working to improve the environ-
mental, economic and social well-being
of the Sierra Nevada Region.                 An aggressive marketing campaign is being            This program would not have been possible
                                             launched that focuses on the Central Valley to       without the collaboration between the Chamber,
For more information, visit
                                             attract new skiers to Badger Pass. Delaware          the Visitors Bureau, the Park Service, and DNC.
www.sierranevada.ca.gov/                                                                          We are very excited to be working as a team for
                                             North has put together several great packages
conference.html                                                                                   the betterment of all who rely on tourism and
                                             for Badger pass skiing. They have everything for
Did you know... that the Yosemite            the beginner (including equipment rentals and        the draw of Yosemite National Park.
Gateway Partners first began at this very
                                             lessons), to packages for families, and the more
conference in Mammoth in October 2003                                                             Stay tuned as we roll out more details of the
                                             advanced skier.
                                                                                                  program ....
Oakhurst Downtown                                                                                        PARk UPDATES
Redevelopment                                                                                            ANNOUNCING PUBLIC SCOPING ON
                                                     They are also working on an idea for the empty      THE TENAYA LAkE AREA PLAN
By Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce                                                                     Tenaya is the largest lake in Yosemite’s
                                                     lot at the intersection of Highways 41 and 49       front-country, and because of its
Civic Circle project will lead to a more             and if they are successful in their endeavors,      remarkable scenic qualities and its
visitor-friendly, walkable, and visually             the same developers will help with that as well.    proximity to Tioga Road, it is one of
                                                                                                         the most popular destinations for
pleasing town center                                 More details will be forthcoming as they con-
                                                                                                         summer visitors in Yosemite. Problems
                                                     tinue to work with the property owners.             associated with visitor use, visitor
Oakhurst is currently working on plans to            The team members and developers are also            safety, and resource impacts have
                                                     working on the south parcel of the two empty        been occurring for decades.
develop a new town center on the east side of
Highway 41, in an area being referred to as                                                              Solutions for the Tenaya Lake plan
Civic Circle. The project looks at making this                                                           may include ecological restoration,
a key area of downtown for locals and visitors                                                           picnic area improvements, trailhead
                                                                                                         and parking improvements, comfort
alike. It will look at the Fresno River as a focal                                                       stations, and trails. In addition, an
point instead of a back wall, and will include a                                                         environmental assessment will be
pedestrian-friendly area with shops, museums,                                                            completed as part of this plan.
a new visitor center, and transit options.                                                               Public scoping will remain open for 45
                                                                                                         days, from September 4 to October 18,
“Things are really starting to move,” says Kathy                                                         2008, during which, comments with
                                                     Artist rendering of the new Oakhurst downtown       issues, ideas, and suggestions for the
McCorry, Executive Director of the Oakhurst
                                                                                                         Tenaya Lake Area Plan may be submit-
Area Chamber of Commerce. “There is a new            lots at the Vons Center, where Central Valley       ted. The public will have a second
player that joined the team. A local developer       Community Bank will have their new bank             formal comment period when the draft
has partnered with Mr. Pashayan [a major             building. This parcel will be developed first,      environmental assessment is ready for
                                                                                                         review. More information is available
landowner in the area] to develop the property       since the major tenants (like Central Valley        on the park’s website at:
where the Midway used to be. We have many            Community Bank) are already lined up.               http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/
areas of agreement in our vision for the future                                                          tenaya.htm.
of Oakhurst and Highway 41.”                         It is the goal of the Chamber and the Econom-
                                                                                                         BE HAPY!
                                                     ic Development Committee to work with the           Come join the Habitat Protectors of
The Eastern Madera County Foundation and             property owners of these empty lots, to develop     Yosemite (HaPY) program. Programs
                                                     and/or beautify them by the year 2012, when         run on Fridays from May 2 - October
the County have applied for two grants that
                                                                                                         31. Work with park staff to remove
will allow them to research the feasibility of the   Oakhurst turns 100 years old. It is an ambi-        invasive plants and learn basic
project. The grants will provide them with the       tious goal, but they are dedicated to the cause.    ecological principles. All volunteers are
opportunity to reach out to the community for        If you have any questions or would like more        required to wear pants and closed-toe
                                                                                                         shoes. Long sleeves, sunscreen, water,
their thoughts and ideas.                            information, contact the Oakhurst Area Cham-        and snacks are recommended. Meet in
                                                     ber office at 559-683-7766.                         front of Yosemite Valley Visitor Center
                                                                                                         at 9am. Bring a lunch and join us!

                                                                                                         WANT TO CLIMB HALF DOME THIS
                           Ridership Up                                                                  SEASON?
                                                                                                         Cables come down October 15th, so
                                                                                                         the last day to hike will be the 14th.
By Dick Whittington, YARTS transit manager           and a 25% increase in August. July ended up
                                                     being the highest monthly rider count in the
I had been saying that I was ready for some          history of the service. The Telegraph Fire did
good news for a change and we got it in the          some harm to the August numbers, but the
2007-2008 fiscal year. Despite the Ferguson          results were still excellent.
Rockslide detour, despite having to use the
smaller buses, despite the construction in the       The rest of the good news, of course, is that the
park, which made it impossible for us to hold        detour now carries our full-sized buses and the
to our schedule, WE SET A RECORD for                 construction at the narrows is no longer creat-
ridership during the fiscal year and beat the        ing 30-minute delays.
previous year by over 20%.
                                                     We are anxiously waiting for the September
Since then, the new fiscal year started off with     ridership numbers to confirm the trend started
a bang. We recorded a 35% increase in July           in the first two months of the year.

				
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