PRESCOTT, AZ (May 8, 2017) – The City of Prescott continues to enjoy strong growth in travel and tourism statistics year over year, and was recently named one of the Coolest Downtowns from travel website Expedia.com.
Just last week, Expedia rated Prescott as one of the Coolest Downtowns in North America. According to Expedia, the criteria for the Coolest Downtown includes one-of-a-kind dining options, local arts venues, unique shopping experiences, fascinating historical sites, and access to urban green space.
“Prescott’s downtown has long been the centerpiece of our city,” said Prescott Mayor Harry Oberg. “Our history as a territorial capital of Arizona in the 1860s, and the fact we remain the Yavapai County Seat makes our downtown vibrant and active.”
The downtown is filled with unique shops, art galleries, historic hotels, even the restored Elk’s Theater with an active show schedule. Combine that with the historic and infamous Whiskey Row, the iconic Courthouse Plaza, some amazing architecture, great restaurants and bars, it’s easy to see why.
This designation follows up a March Top 13 Happiest and Healthiest Cities ranking by Time Magazine, and Sunset Magazine listing Prescott as the Best Place To Live in the Southwest.
More and more visitors are enjoying Prescott’s mild climate, amazing outdoor recreation, Western history, arts, culture and nightlife.
The City’s Bed Tax revenues, generated by hotel taxes, is up again in Fiscal Year 2017 by 5.8% year over year, according to the State of Arizona, who generates the statistics. Sales tax revenue is on the rise in Prescott, indicating strong consumer spending.
A recent study commissioned by the City, shows that the majority of the consumer spending in the City comes from visitors to the area. Preliminary indications from a study by the Buxton Company of Dallas, show that 45% of the City’s consumer credit card expenditures are from visitors, 16% are from people visiting for the day, and 39% was from residents. Of the overall spending (visitors and residents combined), 40% is on restaurants, and 15% on hotels, followed by specialty retail in third place, at 12%.
“It’s clear that Prescott has a vibrant tourism-based economy,” said City Manager Michael Lamar. “All of these indicators show a vibrant tourism industry in the City, and make up a healthy portion of the City’s general fund revenues.”
The City Manager also took the opportunity to announce continued optimization of the City’s Tourism Office. “We are forming an office that is nimble enough to meet the changes in Destination Marketing in Arizona and internationally, while meeting the needs of our hospitality stakeholders in Prescott, ” said Mr. Lamar. “We believe this new configuration will leverage the skills of existing staff members, combined with talented consultants who are keeping Prescott top of mind with travelers from Phoenix to Europe.”
The Tourism office will be configured as follows, led by the Community Outreach Manager, John Heiney, who has extensive experience in media relations, communications, advertising, and social media, as well as economic development and tourism. Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator Wendy Bridges, who has 10 years of experience with the City of Prescott in the Tourism and Economic Development offices, will be joined by a new Sales and Marketing Coordinator position, to assist with sales lead generation and service, along with traditional marketing. The team is rounded out with Heather Hermen, of Frontburner Media, who handles advertising, social media and media relations for Prescott, along with other successful Arizona destinations.
The Tourism Office will also work closely with other City Departments like Recreation Services, and the Prescott Municipal Airport, to coordinate messaging.