Destination Osoyoos touts marketing efforts
Destination Osoyoos (DO) made its semi-annual trip to the town council chambers today, touting its year’s work and assuring the council members that it will get even better.
Executive director Kelley Glazer ran through a series of activities and accomplishments of DO, including:
- A series of “familiarization tours,” which saw several journalists visit the town and generate media stories;
- Marketing initiatives including a spring email-blast golf campaign plus ads and promotions in several travel publications;
- A print and social media campaign on the Canadian prairies aimed at attracting snowbirds;
- A Ski Baldy/Stay Osoyoos initiative in partnership with Mount Baldy;
- Continued high volume of travellers heading to the Visitor Centre at the intersection of Highways 3 and 97; and
- A dramatic increase in unique visitors to the DestinationOsoyoos.com website.
Glazer told council that DO is no longer in the business of organizing and running festivals, but is still actively involved in attracting and promoting them.
DO is essentially an arm’s length marketing arm for the town. It is funded through a tax on hotel and motel rooms, which council agreed late last year to raise from two per cent to three. The new funding level is expected to provide DO with about $600,000 in annual funding.
At the same time, council agreed to allow the funds, which are collected by the province, to go directly to DO, rather than through the town’s finance department.
But the organization still reports to council and, if it doesn’t satisfactorily fulfil its mandate, its agreement with the town could be terminated.
Town to contribute to Sewell memorial bench
The town will kick in $500 toward the purchase and installation of a memorial bench for long-time resident Blake Sewell who died in 2016 from a complex of medical problems.
The approval this afternoon came despite not knowing where the bench will be located. Tyler DaCosta, who initiated the request for town funding, said he would like to see the bench located on Cottonwood because “it was his spot.”
Councillor Jim King, a member of the town’s accessibility committee, pointed out that there is a shortage of benches along the Canal Parkway and the Sewell memorial bench would be welcome there.
In the end, it was agreed that the location of the bench would be made by the community services department.
A professional wrestling fundraiser was held Saturday evening at the Legion. The event, sponsored by the Da Costa Brothers, was billed as “Thrash Wrestling – Over the Top.” It was not known this afternoon how much had been raised.
Desert Sun thanks town for generosity
A letter of thanks from the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre gave credit to the town for its contribution to the many social and community services offered by the organization.
“By partnering with us and renting us space at such a reasonable rate, we are able to provide space for Alcoholics Anonymous, Ai-Anon and the Grapevine Grief Group,” wrote executive director Marieze Tarr.
“A social worker also works out of our office in Osoyoos. … We also use some space to store food for food-insecure families on the weekends.”
The letter also mentions space for Global Wellness Day and the Better at Home program for seniors.
“Your generosity makes it possible for us to do the work as set out in our mission statement: To facilitate supportive programs to empower people of all ages to experience an enhanced quality of life in their homes, schools and communities,” the letter concludes.