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Yuma Visitors Bureau earns Governor's Tourism Award for Most Innovative Promotion of Past Year
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - A year-long promotion that offered Yuma visitors free food "every day the sun doesn't shine" earned a Governor's Tourism Awards Thursday evening as the most innovative promotion in the state during 2011-12.
The awards, given each year since 1993 to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Arizona tourism industry, were presented at a gala dinner during the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism. The Innovative Promotions Award is presented to the organization that best demonstrates outstanding quality, creativity or technology in planning and carrying out a promotional program.
Yuma's bright idea reached back to a historic photo of a Yuma hotel boasting "free board every day the sun doesn't shine" -- and renewed the offer for 12 months bridging Arizona's Centennial, from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. Free meals (and other offers) for guests in participating hotels were to be signaled by the appearance in the lobby of a life-sized cutout of an umbrella-toting Yuma Mayor Alan Krieger on any day declared officially sunless [Score as of today? Sunshine 348, Gloom 0).
The promotion's aim was to draw attention to Yuma's Guinness World Record status as the sunniest place on earth, with bright skies prevailing a mean of 4,055 hours of a possible 4,456 hours every year, or 91 percent of the time. The promotion's historic roots also saluted "a century of hospitality" in one of Arizona's oldest communities.
"This award should be an inspiration to other small cities because it demonstrates a great idea is more important than a huge budget," said Linda Jordan, YVB executive director, who accepted the award on behalf of the YVB staff, along with her immediate predecessor Susan Sternitzke and former YVB employee Kristan Sheppeard. "It was imagination that turned a simple idea into a promotion that grabbed attention around the world, all on a modest budget.
"It's a great honor to have our staff's creativity and hard work recognized by professional colleagues across the state," Jordan added. "Putting Yuma in the spotlight is what we're all about."
Winners of the Governor's Tourism Awards in all categories were evaluated by a panel of judges from within the industry based on exceptional efforts, innovation, uniqueness, effective use of resources, measurable results based on stated objectives, and contribution to Arizona tourism.
The Yuma Visitors Bureau also scored a Governor's Tourism Award last year, when Yuma Lettuce Days was recognized as the year's best special event held in an "urban" area (population 75,000 or more), a category that previously honored such events as the NBA All-Star Game, Cactus League Baseball and the Fiesta Bowl Festival of College Football. In 2009, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area earned a Governor's Tourism Award in the category of Arizona Preservation for the varied redevelopment projects in its master plan.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Though Arizona's official "birthday" has passed, our bold Centennial offer still stands: guests at participating Yuma hotels eat free every day the sun doesn't shine - through July 31 of this year! Get more info & download a visitors guide at visityuma.com.
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), firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071
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 email@example.com. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.