View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

City thrives on tourism’s dime

Economy: Large-draw events can bring millions of dollars to the SCV each year

Posted: December 7, 2010 8:52 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Dan Forsman putts for a birdie in a playoff round against Don Pooley, winning the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club in the March 2009 championship hosted by the city of Santa Clarita. Large-draw events in Santa Clarita — like the AT&T Classic — can generate millions of dollars in revenue thanks to tourists. Dan Forsman putts for a birdie in a playoff round against Don Pooley, winning the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club in the March 2009 championship hosted by the city of Santa Clarita. Large-draw events in Santa Clarita — like the AT&T Classic — can generate millions of dollars in revenue thanks to tourists.
Dan Forsman putts for a birdie in a playoff round against Don Pooley, winning the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club in the March 2009 championship hosted by the city of Santa Clarita. Large-draw events in Santa Clarita — like the AT&T Classic — can generate millions of dollars in revenue thanks to tourists.
A A A

Named among the best places to live in California by CNN Money Magazine in 2006, Santa Clarita has drawn many tourists as one of California’s entertainment destinations.

Not only home to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Santa Clarita Valley offers visitors a range of entertainment opportunities, from golf courses to retail shopping, dining, live music events and a rich western heritage.

It is the role of The Santa Clarita’s tourism office to attract visitors and businesses to the valley, and despite the economic recession, the city is still generating business.

“Because there is such a strong base of corporations and hotels in the SCV, we have really been able to find a balance despite the recession,” said Amy Sparks, administrative analyst of film and tourism.

Sparks said the tourism office is trying to be proactive in attracting sporting events and any tourism opportunities possible.

With more than 1,800 guest rooms and 15 featured hotels, the SCV is well-established for large-scale events and conferences. Economic impact from these types of events generates more than $10 million annually for the Santa Clarita community.

In addition, the city of Santa Clarita transient occupancy tax — or tax on hotel-room rentals — averages about $2 million annually, Sparks said. In a recent report released by the city’s Economic Development Division, the city reported an increase of 3.9 percent in the tax collected for September 2010 over the same period in 2009.

Smith Travel Research, which gathers hotel-occupancy data for the city, reported hotel occupancy in the city of Santa Clarita was 61 percent in August, higher than the reported occupancy of 57 percent in September 2009.

Due to the recent economic recession, the tourism office has looked for additional opportunities to bring in sporting events.
One of these events is TRIFECTA, a new lifestyle triathlon to be held in the SCV in June 2011. Put on by the city of Santa Clarita and Tri-California Inc., the triathlon will feature three separate running, cycling and triathlon courses in one weekend.

According to Sparks, large-scale sporting events have infused significant dollars in the local economy through retail, restaurant, hotel and other purchases. Past examples include the Amgen Tour of California ($2 million), which will be returning to Santa Clarita in 2011; AT&T Champions Classic ($7 million); and the Western States Police & Fire Games ($5 million).

Russell Sypowicz, an administrative analyst for the Santa Clarita Economic Development division, works specifically with sporting events such as the Amgen Tour and TRIFECTA.

“Obviously, the most important goal with these events is economic development,” Sypowicz said. “The thousands of participants with the Amgen Tour and TRIFECTA events will need to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores.”

He said that greater the number of event participants, the more revenue that is generated.

“The second goal is that these events align with the city’s healthy living model,” Sypowicz said. “We want to attract events that showcase Santa Clarita to California and the U.S. as a healthy city.”

In addition to the tourism office, the Santa Clarita Valley Tourism Bureau works to attract interest in the city. It is a membership-based organization comprised of local and regional businesses focused on the continued development of the Santa Clarita Valley as a tourist destination.

“The tourism business in Santa Clarita is a team effort — both the city and businesses work to attract different markets,” Sparks said.

The bureau’s objectives include building brand-awareness for Santa Clarita in targeted local, regional, national and international markets, and identifying unique events, festivals and attractions that will encourage repeat visits.

Sparks said that the bureau also works hand-in-hand with members of the community to strengthen existing businesses, attract new businesses and provide a forum for networking and collaborations.

Magic Mountain is a significant draw for tourists to Santa Clarita with 3 million visitors annually to the park. Concerts, events and Fright Fest are all features that consistently attract customers.

But you don’t have to be a tourist to Santa Clarita to enjoy what the tourism office and bureau provides. There are many events each month and 14 major events throughout the year that provide entertainment for everyone. These include the Cowboy Festival, Concerts in the Park, Lexus Jazz and Blues Concert Series, Street Arts Festival, Hart of the West Powwow, the Festival of Trees and Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest.

Noelle Chadbourne is an intern for The Signal. A resident of Santa Clarita and graduate of William S. Hart High School, Noelle is currently a junior at Gonzaga University in Washington State, majoring in journalism and history.

Comments

Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...