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In spite of the pandemic over the past year, the Town of Fountain Hills tourism and marketing efforts have been ongoing and effective, according to Town Economic Development Director James Smith.

Smith was addressing the council at its April 20 regular session to update the tourism and marketing efforts for the year.

He said the core messaging of the marketing was that Fountain Hills is a great place for a day trip – targeting regional markets; it is safe, with numerous outdoor recreation opportunities (hiking, biking, golf) and health and wellness.

On a broader level the town continued its partnerships with Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport, providing kiosk information for arriving passengers. The town maintained its inventory of visitor guides, dining guides and other literature at the airports. The town also had presentations for video displays at the airports. Smith said the town paid production costs only for those videos.

The town has also advertised in magazines including Canadian Snowbird Travelers, Experience AZ magazine, Phoenix Magazine and Wander Arizona.

The town has also had a presence advertising at major events including Waste Management Phoenix Open (it has been a hole sponsor but skipped this year) and scoreboard and program advertising at Spring Training ballparks, Salt River Fields, Sloan Park (Mesa/Cubs) and Ho Ho Kam Park (Mesa/A’s).

The town also had advertising during the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.

Smith said the town has also developed a tourism newsletter featuring local and regional events with 4,500 subscribers.

The new Fountain Park webcam (EarthCam) provides international exposure. Smith said the EarthCam for Fountain Park had 750,000 views over six weeks, with an enormous number of views on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Fountain turned green.

Staff has also developed social media ads around the theme “where businesses come to thrive.” Those ads have generated 110,000 views and 1,500 “clicks.”

Funding for tourism efforts by the town comes largely from grants through the Arizona Office of Tourism as well as grants from the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Tribe from gaming revenue sharing.