Speak Out: Schenkat stirs local conversation on marketing Experience

Speak Out Scottsdale, a new feature presented by the Scottsdale Independent, provides a sampling of the many views and opinions posted by our readers in response to stories that have appeared at www.scottsdaleindependent.com

The views do not reflect the opinions of the newspaper, but are merely meant to provide readers with a reflection of the discussion within the community on various issues. Readers are encouraged to join the discussion and post their comments to Speak Out Scottsdale or email them directly to the editor at scottsdalenews@newszap.com.


The following comments were posted on a column submitted by Scottsdale resident Sandy Schenkat: “Scottsdale residents deserve voice in where marketing dollars go

Miranda Anderson
I am a Canadian arts enthusiast considering a move to Scottsdale to join my husband, who is already working there. Last week I spent a few days visiting and we took a heavily marketed jeep tour in Sedona. Neither of us understood why we did this in the end. He is, however, really enjoying hiking and other group activities he’s discovered through Meetup. Perhaps the arts community in Scottsdale should take matters into their own hands and do likewise?

As a resident of “Cow Town” Calgary, famous for cowboys and parties, I know how hard it can be to change the marketing perception of a place. We have the highest per capita population of artists of any province in Canada, but until lately we have still been best known for a rodeo that runs for a week. Things are just beginning to change…

I look forward to discovering more about “the real Scottsdale” on my next visit.

Emily Austin
It is my understanding that there is a dispute amongst the gallery owners regarding advertising dollars.

Bob Pejman
There was no “dispute” per se. And in fact it wasn’t just the gallery owners. The merchants in the Arts District, 5th Ave, and Old Town were asking for 5% of the City’s Destination Marketing fund (currently $9.8M) to be allocated towards the marketing of the unique shopping areas of downtown to create more of a tourist draw. The request was turned down by the city and the entire Destination Marketing Fund awarded to Experience Scottsdale as was done in the past. Hope this clarifies.

Betty Janik
Thanks for providing all the information on the marketing expenses for Experience Scottsdale. With the size of their budget, one would think they could run better ads touting the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and our near perfect weather during the winter months.

Hummers racing through the desert give the wrong impression about our city and ignor the many wonderful attractions available to our visitors. Let’s preserve those unique sites that make us an outstanding travel destination and stop promoting activities that destroy our desert environment.

Howard Myers
My main concern is the demographic being targeted by these ads and the ES web site. It is critical to attract the demographic that spends money in our city, not the young who just come to party. The web site seems to be aimed at attracting the young party crowd, not mature adults that appreciate art, our old town district, and spend money in them. The Preserve already attracts loads of tourists of all ages and we don’t have hummers in it, bonfires, or parties.

If we are going to spend all this money marketing Scottsdale, lets make sure we are targeting the right audience.

Laurie Coe
Well said Ms Schenkat. It is troubling that the City doesn’t seem to question this enormous expenditure as they review their budget. I would like to see more spent on marketing our world class arts district. The City Council and Mayor seem hell bent on destroying the charm and beauty of our city. Good taste is hard to teach to adults.


Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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