Explore Lompoc Announces 2019 Board Leadership and Marketing Programs
OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE
Explore Lompoc Announces 2019 Board Leadership and Marketing Programs to Promote Lompoc as a Destination
LOMPOC, CA – As it completes its first five years as an official Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) for Lompoc, California, Visit Lompoc LLC (dba Explore Lompoc) is pleased to announce new board leadership, organizational accomplishments, and its ten year renewal to continue bringing more tourism dollars into the community.
Starting in January 2019, Gilda Cordova (pictured) will take over the leadership of Explore Lompoc as the newly elected Board President. Cordova, owner of Legend Hospitality Inc. and Director of Operations for both the Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Lompoc, has served on the board since its inception and spearheads the marketing committee. Also returning to the board for 2019 are local hospitality industry leaders Justin Barrick (Treasurer), Golda Mae Escalante (Secretary), Paul Patel (Past President), Ken Ostini and Atul Patel along with newly elected member, Preyesh Patel.
“I’m excited and honored to take over as President of the Board for Explore Lompoc, and to lead the organization in its next phase of destination marketing,” says Cordova. “We’ve built a strong foundation these past five years, and I look forward to working with the board and our community partners to build upon this success, explore fresh ideas, and launch new advertising programs.”
Paul Patel, owner of three hotel properties in Lompoc including the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Lompoc, spearheaded efforts to form the TBID in Lompoc starting back in 2012 and has served as President of the Board since its inception. He is proud of the organization’s many accomplishments and the commitment of his fellow board members.
“The Explore Lompoc marketing initiatives, grant program, and joint ventures these past five years have put Lompoc on the map as a Central Coast destination,” says Patel. “I’m especially proud of the dedication of our volunteer board members and the partnerships we’ve developed with Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), the Lompoc Mural Society, La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance and other entities to bring more visitors to town.”
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) has increased every single year since the TBID has been funded, a strong indication that Explore Lompoc marketing programs are making an impact, according to Patel. In 2017, TOT was up 12% over 2016. And while figures are not yet finalized for 2018, Patel anticipates a similar increase, if not more, in 2018.
Key marketing initiatives for Explore Lompoc have included a robust, state-of-the-art website; branded multi-media ad campaigns; hosted press trips to generate travel stories about Lompoc; social media marketing; and promotional items such as brochures, calendars and branded merchandise. Additionally, Explore Lompoc offers a grant program for local events and programs that showcase Lompoc Valley as a preferred travel destination and generate overnight hotel stays in Lompoc. In the past four years, Explore Lompoc has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to organizations and entities, including $40,000 to the Lompoc Mural Society for two Mural in a Weekend events, which added two more murals to Lompoc’s impressive collection of nearly 40 outdoor murals, a major tourist attraction for the city. Explore Lompoc has also sponsored golf tournaments, art events, VAFB programs, wine festivals, the annual West Coast Cub Fly-In and other special events.
Efforts to establish a TBID in Lompoc began nearly seven years ago under Patel’s leadership. In 2013, the Board was officially formed and funding for the program began in the form of a 2% assessment on hotel guests staying in the city of Lompoc. This formula has proven successful for Lompoc, generating an average of $400,000 annually in dedicated funding to promote Lompoc as a destination for leisure, business and group travel. Earlier this year, the City of Lompoc approved the renewal of the Explore Lompoc TBID for an additional ten years, securing the future of this program for many years to come.
Located on scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1, just 155 miles northwest from Los Angeles with close proximity to Santa Barbara and Solvang, Lompoc takes on a world of its own. Its valley setting, surrounded by spectacular rolling hills and vineyards, creates an invitation for visitors to detour off the main road, and discover what’s around the bend.
The closest city to Vandenberg Air Force Base, just 10 miles from the main gate, Lompoc has become a popular destination to witness the many thrilling west coast rocket launches by NASA and SpaceX from VAFB. Lompoc is also a popular destination for wine tasting, mural tours, golf, cycling, hiking, sky diving and nearby surfing at Jalama Beach; it is home to La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, the most fully restored and furnished of the 21 California missions.
The city has 12 hotels to welcome visitors, along with nearly 40 wineries and a variety of locally-owned restaurants. To discover more about the Lompoc Valley, visit: www.explorelompoc.com
Gilda Cordova, Explore Lompoc Board of Directors, President-Elect, (805) 588-3341
Susan Bejeckian, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 626-570-1051, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maris Somerville, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 310-701-6872, email@example.com