Interactive kiosks with a mapping feature for tourists are on the horizon in Carson City, the Visitors Bureau boards and executive director signaled Monday.
The board voted without dissent for a proposal brought by Joel Dunn, the director, to use perhaps $150,000 for such kiosks and one member said he had long advocated that move. Stan Jones also talked about it in the context of goals for the executive director to achieve during that additional portion of the agenda. Dunn had it on his list of performance objectives but Jones zeroed in on it, as had Dunn earlier in his remarks.
“I honestly believe the biggest bang for our bucks would be interactive kiosks,” Dunn told his board. He was pitching the use of excess V&T Railway funds and said the kiosks could include not only prominent marketing of a V&T ride, but also V&T ticket purchases on the spot. He said mapping would show various Carson City attractions from which visitors could choose.
Dunn said kiosk sites might include City Hall, some lodging properties, the Railroad Museum or other spots that make sense for visitors.
Dunn said the account from which he wanted to use the $150,000 has about $450,000 for other V&T projects as well as to retain a $100,000 ongoing balance. He also pledged the $150,000 on his wish list would be used only for marketing Carson City and the V&T Railway, not for staff pay or other bureau operational matters.
Regarding his goals and performance measures, Dunn said, another important one is forging a business alliance network with which the bureau can consult and work to attract and retain visitors. Also among the six goals the board selected from the eight Dunn proposed was one to increase “shoulder season” events — those in colder months — including some for the multipurpose athletic center under construction.
He said he is hoping after it is built for at least one event per month, or even every three weeks.
Dunn reported visitor bureau and lodging statistics continue to improve. He said visitors at the new downtown bureau location from Oct. 29, 2014 until the end of August totaled 19,444, including 7,065 since mid-year. He said 60 visitor groups came from California, 15 from the eastern United States and 15 from the Midwest. Eleven groups were called international, four from Canada.
Trailing 12 months lodging revenues as through June of 2015 were $15.3 million, compared with $14 million for the trailing 12 figure the previous year, a 9.4 percent increase.