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Yuma marks 365 consecutive days of sunshine
YUMA, ARIZONA - It's a wrap ... but not the kind you eat. The Arizona city that celebrated the state's 100th birthday by promising free food "every day the sun doesn't shine" ended its year-long promotion without giving away so much as a taco.
That's not because they're tight, but rather, amazingly bright: Yuma saw the sun each and every day from August 1, 2011, through yesterday, July 31, 2012. That makes the final score for the promo Sunshine 365, Gloom (and hungry hotel guests) a big fat zero.
"In some ways, we're a little disappointed we didn't give away any any free meals, because we're in the hospitality business and like to make people happy," said Linda Jordan, executive director of Yuma Visitors Bureau, the campaign's organizer. "But as we got closer and closer to the end, we got really excited about making it a whole year without a single sunless day.
"There's no bad news either way," Jordan added, "No free food means no gloomy days. It's a big win no matter what."
Recognized by Guinness World Records as the sunniest place on earth, Yuma reached back into its hospitality history for its Centennial offer, renewing the offer of "free board every day the sun doesn't shine" that was captured in vintage photos of Yuma's frontier hotels.
An officially sunless day - "Code Gloom" - was to be declared by 5 p.m. and announced to the public by placing life-sized cutouts of Yuma Mayor Alan Krieger in hotel lobbies. Now it looks like the city will have to find a new use for the never-used, umbrella-toting replicas -- maybe as sunshades.
Yuma is celebrating a full year of sunny days with a "Yuma's Sunbelievable" photo contest, open to all comers through Aug. 27. The topic, not surprisingly, is how Yuma's sunshine lights up your life ... from favorite sunny activities to favorite places to soak up the rays -- even your work if it depends on Yuma having lots of sun. The (sunny) sky is the limit - if it showcases Yuma's beamy weather, it's a contender.
"We're looking for photos that illuminate the positive impacts of the sun here, from recreation to agriculture to the perfect flying weather that's so important to our military," Jordan said. "We're wide open to all your brightest ideas, photographically speaking -- something that's unique, visually appealing and, of course, sunny."
The prize image will be used in a future marketing campaign and the winning photographer will receive a special "Yuma's Sunbelievable" basket of goodies. To enter, email your photo by Aug. 27 to firstname.lastname@example.org. By submitting your photo, you give YVB the right to use it for marketing and advertising purposes. Selected photos will be showcased on YVB's Facebook page and website. YVB will credit photographers online and in social media, and if your photo is chosen as the winner, will also distribute your credited image to the media with a press release.
And speaking of bright ideas, Yuma's "free board every day the sun doesn't shine" campaign recently won a Governor's Tourism Award as Arizona's most innovative promotion of 2011-12.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $603 million in 2011, supported 6,330 jobs and generated almost $40 million in state and local tax revenues.
A longtime favorite with sun-seeking snowbirds, Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,000 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. For more details about Yuma's year-round attractions, special events - and the rarely "cloudy with a chance of tacos" forecast - visit www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
Ann Walker, 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell), email@example.com
Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071, www.visityuma.com
The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.
Media Relations Specialist Ann Walker can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment. We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."
You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.
YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.
For more information, contact Ann Walker at 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.