Sep 282011

By Naomi Hatch–

Members of the Snowflake-Taylor Tourism Committee (STT) are working to encourage tourism in the community, and held a retreat recently to evaluate their progress and map out future goals.

Approximately 10 years ago, Dean Porter got a small group of people together to encourage tourism in the community. Porter, Snowflake-Taylor Chamber of Commerce President Phyllis McCall, a representative of the Comfort Inn and a representative of the Silver Creek Herald spent more than a year attempting to bring tourism to the area.

While serving as chamber president, Bob Moffett made an effort to organize a tourism group, but it wasn’t until mid-2008 when Porter got a large group of people with a variety of interests together to brainstorm that tourism really took off in the community.

Porter, who was a member of the Snowflake Town Council, requested that money from Snowflake’s bed tax fund be used to bring tourism to the area. Greg Hudson, then executive director of the chamber, made a presentation to the council that showed that one of the things the chamber was doing was encouraging tourism.

The council approved using a portion of the bed tax to fund the efforts of the Tourism Committee, which would be an arm of the chamber of commerce.

Over time, a board of directors was elected, with Jason Whiting serving as president. Smaller specialized committees were organized, led by chairmen who served as board members and reported back to the board.

The STT held a retreat in May 2010 to decide what the community already had, what they would like to see in the future and things that they could focus on at that time to help tourism. They came up with historic home tours/museums, sports, community events, performing arts and the LDS temple. Future goals would be an expansion of sporting events, year round performances, shows in the historic homes such as those focusing on antiques and quilts, motor sports, festivals, air activities that would be held at the Taylor Airport and amenities such as trails.

Members of the STT met in a retreat Sept. 14 to see what they have accomplished and what they want to accomplish.

“When we were initially given the charge by the chamber to start this group, we were told what we were about was marketing. We were told we were the marketing arm of the chamber. We were told to go out and market our community. Our purpose is to encourage people to come here,” said Whiting.

“To spread the word of who we are and what we have to offer,” added Carmen Shumway of the Taylor/Shumway Heritage Foundation.

“We look at what we currently have that can be an attraction, then look at additional things, so the committee ought to be about how we enhance the current things we have and what are the other assets that we could have and that we can develop that we currently don’t have,” said Snowflake Town Manager Paul Watson.

“We should be here to enhance the dollar,” said Bob Moffett, a board member and member of the newly organized Equestrian Committee.

STT members agreed that they focus on what they have control over and what this group can have an impact on accomplishing.

STT has put together a “branding,” which is helping to tell the story of Snowflake and Taylor, and is used in ads at movie theaters and on websites.

The STT members said they felt that one of the most important things for the coming year is to expand into social media, communicate more with radio and newspaper, and to have people who are holding events contact them. They want to improve the communication line in the community to help promote tourism.

“We should focus on the website and how we want to tell our stories,” said Whiting.

“We need to look at where we can dedicate our group efforts and in six months be able to accomplish this,” said Taylor Town Manager Eric Duthie. “We don’t want to lose the steam….When we see what can happen, that’s where we need to set our priorities.”