Tag Archives: Rachel Sacco

What’s Behind the Scottsdale Brand? How Can We Protect It?

Andrea AkerBy Andrea Aker, Class 28
Aker Ink®

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

What comes to mind when you think of Scottsdale? Luxury, golf and shopping… or “Snobsdale” and perhaps smugness? A variety of terms and connotations emerged during our class day, Beyond Scottsdale City Limits, where local leaders shared their thoughts on the role of collaboration among cities as well as the state of Scottsdale’s brand.

While all cities battle conflicting viewpoints to some extent, it seems the passion and pride of Scottsdale residents has been put into question a bit more since voters struck down the General Plan late last year. This issue has come up during many of our classes since the election, and it resurfaced once again as dignitaries from around the Valley converged.

Have the recession and other events from recent years altered Scottsdale’s brand? While it’s clear that many residents want changes – especially among those who hit the polls – I don’t believe the brand has suffered permanent damage. However, I do think more leaders and residents need to find common ground, goals and priorities.

Rachel Sacco, President and CEO of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, shared five key distinctions that make Scottsdale a desirable place to live and visit. Promoting these aspects of our city, she says, will help protect the Scottsdale brand.

  • Desert Recreation – No doubt the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a local gem. More than 30,000 acres of pristine desert landscape and 120 miles of trails within city limits are certain to draw residents and tourists alike.
  • Resort Lifestyle – There are many benefits to being dubbed a resort destination, especially in attracting affluent tourists who impact tax revenue. I also don’t mind living near a stone’s throw of poolside service.
  • Arts – The Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts serves as a hub for the arts community, but artistic endeavors are present throughout the city.
  • Events – Think Barrett Jackson, Phoenix Open, Parada Del Sol, Scottsdale Culinary Festival, etc. These events draw people from all over the Valley, state and even the nation.
  • Transportation – This might be a weaker point from my perspective, but certainly worth noting and discussing. Ever been on Ollie the Trolley? Me neither, but I want to catch a ride one day!

Do you agree or disagree? At what level should local leaders focus on supporting these distinctions? How can Scottsdale collaborate with neighboring cities to further strengthen positive branding?

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If We Promote It, Will They Come?

Lloyd

By Stacy Lloyd, Class 28
Lloyd Media Group

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program.   The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership. 
 

If you’re going to talk about the economy and tourism, you can’t ask for a better venue than the Phoenician’s J&G Steakhouse.

During last week’s Dining with Friends Alumni Event, we enjoyed both gorgeous views overlooking the Valley and a delicious three-course meal. Let’s just say the potato gratin had me (and everyone else at the table) at the first bite.

Tourism is a top employer in Scottsdale. But will it remain that way? Will tourists continue to spend money visiting Scottsdale?

Our featured speaker, Rachel Sacco, President and CEO of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (SCVB) addressed those questions and shared how Scottsdale’s tourism industry has rebounded since the 2008 economic crisis.

“In 2007, we were flying high,” Sacco said. “Then the recession hit; and hit hard; taking out everything. Now in 2013, we’re still struggling to come back. We’re slowing making our way back up.”

She described how SCVB took control of its destiny; namely through encouraging the passage of Proposition 200’s higher bed tax. Bed tax is collected by Scottsdale resorts and hotels and passed along to the city and SCVB.

One half of this bed-tax revenue is allocated for tourism-related capital projects, special events and some even goes to the general fund to support resident services.

Some of those tourism-related projects include expansion of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at West World, the Desert Discovery Center and the Scottsdale Museum of the West.

Passage of Proposition 200 also provided the SCVB with dedicated annual funding for the first time in its history. SCVB receives 50 percent of the bed tax revenue. This money is earmarked for SCVB to market Scottsdale as a world-class vacation and meeting destination location.

Sacco said one way SCVB does that is by promoting Scottsdale as a warm-weather destination for folks in cold-weather markets.

SCVB is planning a similar campaign like it did last year. It wrapped York City subway trains with giant images showing off Scottsdale’s enviable tourism assets: the Sonoran Desert, the Old West heritage, spas and golf. Each wrap has a web address so riders can learn more about Scottsdale.

Another SCVB plan is to showcasing Scottsdale to people in Chicago, Denver and Canada via Weather.com, boasting our high temperatures and sunshine.

Folks at the Grove, a luxury shopping mall in Los Angeles are also on SCVB’s list. Every day thousands of affluent consumers will see beautiful images of Scottsdale and hopefully be enticed to select our city for their next vacation.

Of course, it isn’t certain if these measures will work. I will say, if I was freezing in below zero temps and saw an ad for sunny Scottsdale; that alone would make me hop a plane for Arizona.

What do you think? Will these promotion efforts work? Is the upswing in Scottsdale tourism here to stay?

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Filed under Alumni, Community

12th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon

On December 9, over 300 attendees gathered to celebrate the spirit of community leadership. The event included inspirational acceptance speeches about the difference we can all make in our community!

Scottsdale Leadership honored:
Mark Eberle, Class 6, Hodges Alumni Achievement Award, presented by Prestige Cleaners
Rachel Sacco, Drinkwater Leadership Award, presented by Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch, Corporate Leadership Award, presented by Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.
Melissa Conrad, Youth Leadership Award, presented by Scottsdale Active 20/30 Foundation

Pictured left to right: David Hunt, Melissa Conrad, Rachel Sacco and Mark Eberle

To view more photos from the event visit http://tiny.cc/leaderlunch12

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Filed under Community, Events