Press Releases

Back to Press Releases
Sunniest city unveils historic promotion

Yuma hotel guests to dine free 'every day the sun doesn't shine"

YUMA, ARIZONA – A lot has changed in Yuma over the last century – but one thing that hasn’t is the reliable sunshine that favors this southwestern town an average of 350 days a year.

In fact, back in the day, Yuma hotels boasted that they offered “free board every day the sun doesn’t shine.”  Now, in honor of Arizona’s Centennial celebration, the whole community will renew the historic offer for twelve months beginning August 1.

“Since Yuma is known as America’s sunniest city, we think that this is a perfect way to shine a light on our climate and celebrate a century of hospitality,” said Susan Sternitzke, executive director of the Yuma Visitors Bureau.  “It’s a natural – literally.”

True to the original promotion, the new “free board” campaign will provide complimentary meals at participating restaurants for registered guests of participating hotels.  An officially sunless day – “Code Gloom” – will be declared by a committee of YVB staff, board members and meteorologists as of 5 p.m. and announced to the public when hotels place a life-size cutout of an umbrella-toting Yuma Mayor Alan Krieger in their lobbies.

Hotels then will validate and date-stamp “free board” certificates which will be good for a complimentary meal at variety of restaurants until 5 p.m. the next day (limit two meals per room).  Certificates will include a few survey questions, and will serve as the bearers’ entry in a grand prize drawing.  YVB is also encouraging other area businesses to come up with their own specials, discounts or giveaways for Yuma’s rare sunless days.

“Sunshine is a big factor in all of our ‘big three’ industries, agriculture, military and tourism,” Sternitzke said.  “Especially with Arizona celebrating its 100th birthday, we think this is a fun way to showcase our rich heritage of hospitality and our everyday spectacular weather.”

Is picking up the tab for a party of thousands of people a big gamble to take in what’s still a recovering economy?  Sternitzke and her members don’t think so.

“Gloom isn’t part of our outlook,” she said. “Sunshine is something you can take to the bank.”

“Yuma’s future is so bright you gotta wear sunglasses,” Sternitzke added, donning the shades-and-trench-coat disguise she used – along with a high-tech aluminum briefcase handcuffed to her wrist – to unveil the shiny new promotion at YVB’s recent annual meeting.

A longtime favorite destination for 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 led the state with an increase of 21.5 percent in hotel occupancy in April of 2011 (compared to April 2010).

For more details about Yuma’s summer special, year-round attractions, special events – and the [seldom] “cloudy with a chance of tacos” forecast, call 800-293-0100 or visit

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 $577 million in 2009 and supported nearly 6,000 jobs. Travel spending in the county also generated more than $36 million in state and local taxes.


Media contact:  Ann Walker, 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell),
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.

Visit Yuma team 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 Linda Morgan at 928-376-0100 (office), email Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.

'Anytime' releases:

Around & about - a quick Yuma overview

Brilliant! Yuma wears 'sunniest' label with pride

Last link in river restoration under way


Background info:

Fast Facts About YVB

 Fast Facts About Yuma 

Yuma history - narrative

Yuma historic timeline


Research and statistics

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018 Executive Summary

Sign Up For Our Email Newsletter: