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Santa Maria Valley Chamber unveils new marketing campaign

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce has unveiled a new marketing campaign to attract visitors to the area from other parts of the state.

The campaign focuses on food, fun and the local wine country to convince people to come and stay for a day or two.

The aggressive marketing campaign includes a television commercial that will air in local markets outside of the Central Coast area.

“We really recognized that to get the full experience, some of the experiences and assets are outside the boundaries of the City of Santa Maria so we really need to promote all of that”, said Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Glenn Morris at the unveiling of the new marketing campaign Tuesday night at Santa Maria’s Discovery Museum, “the good news for us, all the hotels and motels are in the city, so we’ll be able to keep people here when they come but yet expose them to the whole region.”

The multi-media, digital re-branding of the Santa Maria Valley is aimed at a wider, statewide audience with the initial target of the campaign northern Los Angeles County.

“We felt like that was far enough away that they would be inclined to spend the night”, Morris said Tuesday night, “but it was close enough that they could still make that kind of short term decision to spend a long weekend and join us sooner rather than taking a longer planning window.”

The marketing campaign is expected to cost about $600,000 with the money coming from a new Santa Maria Tourism Marketing Improvement District that collects a two percent assessment on each overnight room rate in the city.

“Its great, the pictures are right on, they look like what we see everyday, we take it for granted, but for people from out of the area, its something special”, said Santa Maria Best Western Big America General Manager Max Tucker.

“We hear every single day at the front desk, where can I get some Santa Maria-style barbeque?” Tucker said, “people want an experience when they come here, we have to always remember that a lot of the visitors that come see us are visiting folks that are here in town and what are they going to do when they are here, they are all going to get together for a meal.”

“The hotels are the ones that are funding the program, so they are the deciders”, Glenn Morris added, “they have to approve everything that we do, the marketing recommendations that we bring in, but as we go out and try to build the story, we certainly are working with other partners.”

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