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Davis County study: target tourists close to home
by TOM BUSSELBERG
Apr 03, 2014 | 2006 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lagoon - Courtesy photo
Lagoon - Courtesy photo
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FARMINGTON - Lagoon may not be in direct competition with Disneyland.

But well over a million people do take advantage of Utah’s - and Davis County’s - premier fun resort every year.

Lagoon is Davis County’s biggest tourist attraction, drawing those wanting a good time from as close as Farmington to Southeastern Idaho, Southwestern Wyoming and Southwestern Montana.

It’s that kind of tourist that perhaps makes the most sense for Davis County to target. Along with those attending meetings from organizations within Utah and nearby states, a preliminary audit indicates.

The Davis County Tourism Marketing Audit was compiled by Salt Lake City firm Penna Powers Brian Haynes.

“Though Davis County is not a tourist destination, it has identifiable and attractive tourism assets and brand attributes that, if properly targeted, will support long-term tourism development,” audit authors said.

It said the key for successful tourism marketing will be connecting with the right target audiences for the county’s unique assets and attributes.

To best achieve that, local tourism industry folks must work together “more cohesively to amplify the offerings to target audiences,” the audit said.

“The county’s quality of life, and mostly recreation and the 1.3 million visitors to Lagoon” were cited as pluses for the county’s tourism industry, said Kent Sulser. He is Davis County Community & Economic Development Director.

Added to that, he said most people who visit the county for tourism reasons come from within 300 miles, or a half-day of travel.

“People already come here from Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Burley, Idaho (for example), to shop and otherwise,” Sulser said. “Why not see if we can get them to extend their visit by half-a-day or a full day.”

That extra time spent here could mean more business for restaurants, hotels and retail shops, not only generating revenue for business but tourism-related tax revenue for the county, Sulser said.

“We can still target skiing, but we can also target staying an extra day,” more specific to what the county has to offer, he said.

“We want to attempt assisting with marketing dollars to areas where tourism is most likely to occur in our area, where we will get more of a return on investment,” Sulser said.

“We need to market and tap into what people are already coming here for, and need to continue to tapping into that,” said County Commissioner Louenda Downs.

:”As we move forward, we want to make sure it’s clearly the right direction,” she said.

Sulser said audit findings should be finalized within a couple of weeks. Some sort of county tourism/convention mechanism should be up and running with a couple of months, he added.

“The new focus is going to be on meetings, to not only fill us up but other facilities,” said Scott Lunt, general manager of the Davis Conference Center.

“That’s what drives economic impact,” he said. Lunt cited the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), which held a convention at the conference center last week.

“There are 2,500 teens (attending), and if you walk around town, you see them dropping dollars everywhere: the mall, restaurants, movie theaters. You see the magic,” Lunt said. 

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