Weatherford Democrat

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October 9, 2013

Boosting revenues by boosting tourism

City Council looking for ways to draw more visitors to Weatherford’s attractions, events

(Continued)

Some ideas were weeded out over the last few months. Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer said another public meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28 at the Cotten-Bratton Building to give the public an update on what they have been doing and a final chance to vote for what they would like to see.

Marilyn Carter with the Texas Opry Theater was critical of the city and what it wanted to do, saying it needed to take better care of what it already has.

“We have received no support from the city because we are a for-profit business,” Carter said. “We don’t need to hire a new marketing person. We simply need to get behind what we already have.”

Carter questioned whether the money given to the Chamber of Commerce through hotel and motel tax monies was actually being put to the best use.

“Are ads in tourism magazines really bringing the tourism here to Weatherford?” Carter asked.

City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said the city has been looking into additional marketing and building itself up for the last couple of years. He said there’s more to this than meets the eye.

“Big events like the ones we have and want to have require a lot of money for things like cleanup and overtime paid to workers,” Blaisdell said. “There are costs associated with having these big events that need to be considered.”

Blaisdell suggested doing a better job of marketing and expanding events such as the Red Stegall Wagon Train and the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo and potentially making them multi-day events.

“We need to centralize our marketing and get a tourism bureau going,” Blaisdell said.

In closing the discussion, Blaisdell said the tourism entities were doing a good job but admitted there was room for improvement. He said staff would come back in the future with some marketing models and ideas to improve tourism.

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