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Paradise Valley Town Council begins destination marketing deliberations with Experience Scottsdale

photo of Experience Scottsdale
A view of the iconic Mountain Shadows Resort found part of the famed resort marketplace of the Town of Paradise Valley. (Photo By Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress)
Experience Scottsdale remains standard of DMO efforts in Valley of the Sun
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

As the fiscal year begins to draw to a close and a new fiscal spending calendar dawns, Paradise Valley Town Council has begun deliberations of its long-standing destination marketing agreement with Experience Scottsdale.

“We have been your destination marketing organization really since our founding,” Experience Scottsdale President and CEO Rachel Sacco said during the afternoon hours of Thursday, May 23, at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the town as we have already seen tremendous results this calendar year.”

Experience Scottsdale and its leader, Ms. Sacco, remains the undisputed heavyweight champion of destination marketing in the Valley of the Sun.

“On average, for every $1 spent on advertising, Experience Scottsdale generates $116 in visitor spending and $4 in state and local tax revenue,” Ms. Sacco pointed out of a recent Longwoods International 2022 Advertising Effectiveness Study.

Through the third quarter of the current fiscal year, Experience Scottsdale is reporting 130 corporate event bookings at resorts found with municipal bounds with a potential $26.7 million in economic impact.

“The international market is really starting to come back to Scottsdale and Paradise Valley,” Ms. Sacco said of corporate travel numbers beginning to resemble pre-COVID data points. “Generating media coverage is really important is because it really augments our marketing — it is more believable because it truly is someone’s point of view who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.”

Experience Scottsdale, through three-quarters of the calendar year, is reporting 1,636 media hits and 1.2 billion in circulation for legacy and digital media outlets meanwhile, Ms. Sacco since last June the DMO has delivered 2.9 million website user sessions for the Town of Paradise Valley, specifically.

“I know tourism is very important to the Town of Paradise Valley — I know that is a point of pride,” Ms. Sacco said. “Our brand promise is not just to the people it is also a return on investment.”

The contract up for renewal was first approved by Paradise Valley Town Council June 28, 2020, whereas on May 11, 2023, Town Council approved a renewal agreement for the period July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.

“The agreement specifies that there can be a second renewal, which if approved would be for the period of July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025,” said Town Manger Andrew Ching in his May 23 report to Town Council. “The key additional item to be discussed is the consideration of a five-year extension of the agreement, to commence upon the expiration of the second renewal period.”

The race for the mayor of Paradise Valley:
A brief word from the Paradise Valley resort marketplace

Andrew Chippindall, general manager at the Mountain Shadows Resort, came to Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, to provide his support for the marketing efforts at Experience Scottsdale.

He was joined by Mathew Vandegrift, general manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain.

“We have had a fantastic couple of years after the pandemic, our occupancy is getting back to pre-COVID levels,” Mr. Chippindall told Town Council at the May 23 work session discussion. “We have had a very, very good 2024 thus far.”

Mr. Chippindall, a member of the Experience Scottsdale board of directors, operates an independent luxury resort, which he says makes the partnership with Experience Scottsdale as the destination marketing entity for the Town of Paradise Valley an invaluable asset.

“We still operate as an independent resort, which means I have a four sales manager for the entire world,” he said. “It is no accident we lean on Experience Scottsdale.”

Experience Scottsdale contract term options at Town Council

Paradise Valley Town Council is unanimous in its support of continuing its business relationship with Experience Scottsdale — the question is what is the best contractual configuration, local policymakers say.

A multi-year scenario emerged at Town Hall:

The contract proposal is a percentage of transient lodging tax (bed tax) collected by the municipal equating to 45% of first $2 million collected in each fiscal year; then 35% of the second $2 million collected in each fiscal year, and then 25% of any amount above $4 million collected in each fiscal
year, which equals to the ‘contract amount.’

Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner lauded the efforts at Experience Scottsdale.

“Experience Scottsdale is second to none and we are very lucky to work with them,” he said following the presentation during the work session. “To live in a town that is some ways defined by the resorts … I don’t think we can understate the value of Experience Scottsdale.”

Mayor Bien-Willner pointed to the staggering return on investment provided by digital and legacy marketing efforts.

“We might be a hidden gem instead of a know gem,” he said. “ I am in support of a long-term contract and I look forward to getting that back. I am supportive of a long-term contract because this is a 30-year relationship and I think it is good to give them the runway that benefits the town best.”

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