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Published June 21, 2016
Volume 24, Number 6




With Beer Trail, Other Initiatives, Visit Tri-Valley Works to

Increase Tourism in the Region


Visit Tri-Valley
Left to Right: Leigh Cranor, Emmy Kasten, Barbara Steinfeld, Sherry Revak, Todd Dibs


By Jay Hipps
NETWORK Writer



If you are sponsoring or organizing an event in the region that has the potential to bring in weekend hotel patrons, Visit Tri-Valley is here to help. Best of all, the Hacienda organization works to bring the world to your event — or your tourism-oriented business — at no charge.
 
In industry jargon, Visit Tri-Valley — formerly known as the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau — is a “destination marketing organization.”
 
“It's our job to brand the entire area as a place where people want to come for leisure travel,” says Emmy Kasten, Visit Tri-Valley VP of marketing and communications. “Monday through Friday, our hotels are very heavily occupied by corporate travelers, so our hotels really don't necessarily need the boost of our services then. What we focus on is weekend occupancy and really helping to elevate that to the same level as the weekday occupancy.”
 
Increased weekend hotel stays help support visitor attractions in the area as well as restaurants, wineries, and even local government coffers via hotel taxes. It is a win for Visit Tri-Valley as well, because they are funded via a flat fee of $2 per hotel room night in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville — all the cities in Visit Tri-Valley’s Tourist Business Improvement District, or TBID.
 
The group’s latest success story is the Tri-Valley Beer Trail, a collection of 16 different stops throughout the Tri-Valley comprising different tap rooms, breweries, and restaurants that include at least 12 taps dedicated to craft beer.
 
“We started the Beer Trail about a year ago,” says Kasten. “As we started to see the increase in craft beer tourism in the country, we looked to our own history and discovered that Pleasanton was once world famous for the hops grown here, which is why we have a road named Hopyard Road. The hop yards were world famous and used to supply hops to the Irish brewing giant Guinness. World War One started to squash the export and shortly after that prohibition came along and completely squashed the entire business.”
 
The response to the Beer Trail, which includes a downloadable Beer Trail Passport available on the Visit Tri-Valley web site, has been “absolutely phenomenal,” Kasten says. “We couldn't have predicted a better response. The businesses in the area have been very supportive and all of the cities have been thrilled because traditionally our company had focused so much on wine country, which is primarily made up of Livermore Valley. That didn't address Dublin, Pleasanton, and Danville, but now we have something that goes through all of those cities and brings dollars to those cities directly.” Participants who get 10 or more stamps on their Beer Passport can return it to Visit Tri-Valley for a free Beer Trail t-shirt.
 
Combined with some of the organization’s other efforts — Visit Tri-Valley is increasing its focus on weekend sports tournaments as well as events like the Good Guys car show, which comes to the Alameda County Fairgrounds four times each year — the organization is showing great results in increasing weekend hotel stays.
 
“For the first time in many, many years, our weekend occupancy was actually higher than our weekday occupancy last June,” Kasten says. “That, for us, was a major landmark and huge accomplishment.”
 
For additional information on Visit Tri-Valley as well as things to do and see in the region, visit the organization’s web site at visittrivalley.com.

 


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