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CARBON • MONROE • PIKE • WAYNE COUNTIES

ANNUAL REPORT 2016


ABOUT THE POCONO MOUNTAINS VISITORS BUREAU WAYNE COUNTY

WHO WE ARE

Honesdale

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THE POCONO MOUNTAINS VISITORS BUREAU (PMVB) is a private, non-profit, membership-based organization established in 1934. We are the official destination marketing organization for the four-county, Pocono Mountains region of Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne Counties.

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It is our mission to enhance the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of our region and members through the promotion of tourism and the comprehensive marketing of our destination. It is our charge to build the region’s economy and image through destination marketing that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in our fourcounty area.

1004 W. Main St. Stroudsburg, PA 18360 1-800-POCONOS 570-421-5791 pocomts@poconos.org PoconoMountains.com

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poconomountains.com/about-pmvb

84

MONROE COUNTY

209

209

80 80

CARBON COUNTY Jim Thorpe 209

611

209

Stroudsburg 476

209

209

HOW WE DO IT

The visitor remains at the heart of our marketing philosophy and practice as we strive to increase visitation to the region through a comprehensive, multimedia, integrated marketing plan. ADVERTISING Researching and buying on digital and social media advertising platforms, as well as a strong SEM campaign, has proven very successful in the last year. The PMVB continues to find value in traditional media such as broadcast, print and out-of-home. COMMUNICATIONS Our communications team drives earned media coverage, starting with the best content to promote the Pocono Mountains.

POCONO MOUNTAINS VISITORS BUREAU

Milford 209

PIKE COUNTY 380

WHAT WE DO

84

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WEBSITE Our web properties remain our most important calls to action and the most powerful ways in which we communicate the Pocono Mountains brand. SOCIAL MEDIA This year’s efforts, including integrated advertising on Facebook and Twitter, helped drive overall growth in followers and engagement. The addition of Snapchat allowed us to reach, influence and interact with a new audience.

SALES Our sales team reaches out to key travel professionals in both domestic and international arenas utilizing trade and consumer shows as well as tour operator, travel agent and meeting planner relationships to keep visitors coming to the four-county region. PARTNERSHIPS Our valued partnerships make the Pocono Mountains travel industry what it is today. Museums, restaurants, civic organizations, regional marketing groups and so many others embrace our Pocono Mountains brand and use their own resources to promote and spread the destination’s message. ACCOMMODATIONS MARKETING Our growing hotel scene boasts more options than ever, and we market this increasingly varied inventory through special packages and promotions created by the PMVB and our partners.


A FEW WORDS FROM OUR CEO & CHAIRMAN Dear Partners and Friends, Looking back on the past fiscal year, we have much to celebrate. The opening of four new properties, Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, the Hampton Inn and Suites, and the Fairfield Inn and Suites, has added more than 1,100 rooms and enhanced our accommodations base. Also worth noting are the many properties that continue to upgrade and improve their product. The advertising message in our key markets has never been more robust and the numbers reflect its success. Our branding efforts were confirmed in a research project we commissioned last fall. New Yorkers were asked, “When you think of the Pocono Mountains, what is the first thing that comes to mind?” Their responses included “natural beauty,” “fun vacation,” and “relaxation.” Working with the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Geographic Society, and tourism organizations on both sides of the Delaware River, we formed the Scenic Wild Delaware River Geotourism project. On the advocacy side, passage of HB794 and the Governor’s signing into law on April 20 what is now Act 18 was the culmination of more than two years of hard work. Check page 21 of this report for more on Act 18.

Dear Friends of the Pocono Mountains, I am pleased to report that the Pocono Mountains hospitality industry saw unprecedented growth again this year and shows no sign of slowing down. With major projects in the planning stages or underway, and reinvestment into existing properties, our area continues to attract more visitors and create jobs. The PMVB plays an integral part in augmenting this growth through its marketing efforts. Our marketing presence has never been stronger, especially in the New York and Philadelphia markets, where we compete effectively with limited funds compared to neighboring state-backed marketing initiatives. I want to thank our elected officials for their continued support. In April the state passed Act 18, which definitively regulates the approved uses of room tax revenue. The PMVB looks forward to maintaining the good relationships we have with our county commissioners as we move forward under the Act. With the lack of a state tourism marketing initiative, room tax revenue has become the lifeblood of the PMVB’s marketing efforts.

Every year we face challenges that test our resolve, but through it all we are blessed to have dedicated individuals that work hard on our behalf. Of course I’m talking about the PMVB staff and Board of Directors. I especially want to recognize Eric Ehrhardt for his service as the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Thank you Eric for your leadership these past two years.

It has been an honor to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee the past two years. We have a terrific Board of Directors and Executive Committee that give tirelessly of their time and wisdom in directing the organization. We are also blessed to have an incredible staff of talented, hard-working people who are the back bone of the PMVB. They are the reason the PMVB has experienced all of its welldeserved awards and accolades, and have made my job as Chairman extremely easy. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Carl Wilgus, President and CEO Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

Eric Ehrhardt, Chairman Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau poconomountains.com/about-pmvb

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POCONO MOUNTAINS TOURISM BY THE NUMBERS

25.6 MILLION VISITORS TO THE POCONO MOUNTAINS EACH YEAR

$3 BILLION+ ANNUAL TRAVEL SPENDING

TRAVEL SPENDING B R E A K D O W N

VISITORS STAYING FOR LEISURE PURPOSES

LODGING RECREATION

34.9%

RETAIL FOOD/BEV TRANSPORT

WORKERS IN THE POCONO MOUNTAINS EMPLOYED WITHIN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY

OTHER

TOURISM IN THE POCONO MOUNTAINS • CONTRIBUTES TO THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE Tourism supports economic, social and environmental wellbeing like no other industry.

• CREATES JOBS For every additional 176 room nights generated year over year, one job is created.

• GENERATES TAX DOLLARS For every dollar invested in “tourism advertising,” $3 in state taxes are generated.

TRACKING ATTRACTION VISITATION The PMVB collects visitation data from 90 tourism-related businesses and non-profits, compiling the data into 12 major categories. In 2015, we saw significant gains in all categories with the exception of winter activities. Excluding National Park Service tallies, which are now reported differently, our numbers show an overall visitation increase of 5.2% despite poor winter weather.

CALENDAR YEAR TOTAL VISITORS 4

2014

2015

% CHG YOY

5,375,395

5,656,438

+ 5.2%

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/research-travel-impacts


MARKETING: FALL 2015 AD CAMPAIGNS PROMOTING THE POCONO MOUNTAINS Transit campaigns on the New York rail lines and New Jersey Metro promoted fall experiences in the Pocono Mountains. A digital campaign with WFMZ resulted in over 10,000 direct visits to PoconoMountains.com.

MEDIA BUY MEDIA VALUE

$179,998 $368,162

CAMPAIGN MEDIA DIGITAL

TRANSIT

CAMPAIGN MEDIA TELEVISION

REACHING NEW MARKET SEGMENTS The PMVB partnered with NTD and Epoch Times to create an advertising campaign targeting the Chinese market in the New York DMA. A mix of TV, print and digital ads drove traffic to a landing page to support the campaign: PoconoMountains.com/Chinese.

MEDIA BUY MEDIA VALUE

$13,000 $23,000

DIGITAL

PRINT poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/co-op-advertising

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MARKETING: WINTER 2015-16 CO-OP HIGH PARTICIPATION, HIGH IMPACT The 2015-16 winter co-op promoted 13 participating properties and organizations through high-impact placements across television, transit and digital media.

MEDIA BUY $1,208,000 MEDIA VALUE $2,687,998.60 CO-OP INVESTMENT $508,000 CAMPAIGN MEDIA

TRANSIT

TELEVISION

GROWTH IN THE CHINESE MARKET Again partnering with NTD and Epoch Times, the PMVB placed winter ads in print and online media. The Chinese landing page on PoconoMountains.com was updated for the season. Over 1,000 :30 commercial spots were negotiated and aired January through March 2016.

MEDIA BUY MEDIA VALUE

$20,200 $23,000

DIGITAL

CAMPAIGN MEDIA TELEVISION

DIGITAL

PRINT 6

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/co-op-advertising


MARKETING: SUMMER 2016 CO-OP CAMPAIGN MEDIA TELEVISION

A STRONG TV PRESENCE FOR SUMMER As in winter, the PMVB worked with 13 co-op partners to advertise in the New York and Philadelphia DMAs. A heavy television presence included standard spots, extended travel features and on-site talent shoots.

MEDIA BUY $1,049,718.25 $2,304,637.82 MEDIA VALUE CO-OP INVESTMENT $847,749.19

DIGITAL

NETWORKING TRANSIT

In February 2016, members of the PMVB marketing team traveled to major news networks in New York and Philadelphia to meet with representatives and pitch story ideas from the Pocono Mountains.

A NEW SLOGAN EMERGES The PMVB modernized its advertising message in early 2016. “Free You” is a call to action emphasizing the fun of the Pocono Mountains experience. The new creative was launched to the world in the summer 2016 co-op campaign.

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/co-op-advertising

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MARKETING: 2016 WATERPARK CO-OP THREE INDOOR WATERPARK RESORTS, ONE COOPERATIVE MARKETING EFFORT For the second year, the PMVB teamed up with three of the destination’s largest attractions for a six-week cooperative advertising campaign; Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge, and Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. The goal of the campaign was to continue to brand the Pocono Mountains as the indoor waterpark capital of the Northeast to the New York DMA.

One commercial spot was shown on the major broadcast networks: WABC, WNBC, WCBS, WNYW, WPIX, and WLNY, as well as on Cablevision channels including HGTV, E!, Lifetime, Bravo and OWN in the Metropolitan New York market. The buy included a total of 1,803 spots with 851.5 overall television rating points. The commercials directed viewers to a microsite: PoconoWaterparkResorts.com.

MEDIA BUY MEDIA VALUE CO-OP INVESTMENT

THIS ISN’T JUST WATER.

$750,000

:15 “RETHINK WATER” MUSIC: Energetic track OPEN ON AN AWESOME SHOT OF KIDS HAVING AN AWESOME TIME ON THE WILDE WILDEBEEST SUPER: This isn’t just water.

PoconoWaterparkResorts.com

$1,365,000 $2,538,321.50

CUT TO A KID ON THE VENUS SLYDETRAP. CUT TO A FAMILY ON THE HYDRO PLUNGE. SUPER: This is a manmade force of nature.

CAMPAIGN MEDIA

CUT TO A DAD RACING DOWN THE SKYDIVE PLUMMET. CUT TO A FAMILY GETTING WATER DUMPED ON THEM AT GREAT WOLF.

THIS IS FAMILY TIME YOU’LL BRAG ABOUT.

SUPER: This is family time you’ll brag about. CUT TO KIDS UNDER THE WATER. CUT TO KID COMING OUT OF THE ANACONDA WITH A HUGE SPLASH. THE THREE LOGOS AND THE WEBSITE COME UP OVER MORE EXCITING FOOTAGE.

PoconoWaterparkResorts.com

ANNCR: Pocono Mountains. Three massive waterparks. All kinds of fun. PoconoWaterparkResorts.com

PoconoWaterparkResorts.com

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poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/co-op-advertising

TELEVISION


MARKETING: POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM TOTAL SESSIONS YEAR OVER YEAR FISCAL YEAR TOTAL SESSIONS

2014-15

2015-16

% CHG

2,526,728

2,705,936

+7%

TRENDING PAGES [10 MOST VISITED]

1. HOMEPAGE 2. RESORTS 3. THINGS TO DO 4. ADULTS ONLY 5. ROMANCE PACKAGES 6. ROMANTIC GETAWAYS 7. PLACES TO STAY 8. FAMILY FUN 9. HOTELS 10. EVENTS

INDUSTRY AVERAGES [JUL 1, 2015 - JUN 30, 2016] ENGAGEMENT METRICS

INDUSTRY AVG.

POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM

% DIFFERENCE 37.95%

TOTAL PAGES PER VISIT:

2.24

3.61

TOTAL AVG. VISIT DURATION:

0:02:10

0:03:15

TOTAL BOUNCE RATE:

56.22%

43.74%

-28.53%

ORGANIC PAGES PER VISIT:

2.60

4.00

35.00%

ORGANIC AVG. VISIT DURATION:

0:02:14

0:03:45

ORGANIC BOUNCE RATE:

50.33%

37.45%

33.33%

40.44% -34.39%

poconomountains.com

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MARKETING: POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM

INTRODUCING THE NEW POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM

[AUGUST, 2015] Utilizing the Pocono Mountains name and our brand as the driving force of our website, the PMVB’s display URL changed from 800poconos.com to PoconoMountains.com. This new site, focusing on Pocono Mountains imagery, allows us to showcase our members through new listing tools driving more visitation to their websites.

ENHANCEMENTS

responsive design new main navigation

[ Romantic Getaways, Family Vacations, Weddings, Explore Our Area ]

header links [ industry navigation, social sites, live cameras, live help]

social sharing snapshot modules [ for events and special offers ]

new homepage elements [ slideshow, map and waterfall feature ]

advanced site search seasonal site themes social bookmarking [ Share This ]

PMVB social feeds wedding builder responsive geo triggers [ for listings, special offers and events ]

blog module

GONE RESPONSIVE

[SAME SITE ANY WAY YOU LOOK AT IT]

No more mobi! The new site’s responsive design permits one content display across all web-enabled devices. Responsive design is recommended by Google. It eliminates excessive scrolling, improves SEO and boosts lead generation. 10

poconomountains.com


MARKETING: POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM

MEMBER LISTINGS NEW & IMPROVED highlight & main descriptions special offer & event sliders Google Maps integration multiple image options Twitter & Facebook feeds

WINNING A WEBBY Following the launch of PoconoMountains.com, the PMVB was honored with an Outstanding Website Award from the Website Marketing Association. Receiving a total score of 60 out of 70 possible points in the travel category, PoconoMountains.com placed nine points above the industry average and nearly five points above the WebAward winner average. Judging categories include design, technology, content, interactivity and ease of use.

TripAdvisor integration YouTube video play live camera display social media icons

INTO THE BLOGOSPHERE [FEBRUARY, 2016]

We implemented our new site’s blog module in February of 2016 and adopted a weekly post schedule shortly after. Posts, containing original content like event guides, top ten lists and photo tours, are promoted through our social channels and widgets on related pages. By the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, monthly traffic to the Pocono Mountains Blog had gone from 236 sessions to 3,821 with 71% being new visits. poconomountains.com

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MARKETING: SOCIAL MEDIA

RESULTS

2015-16 GOALS

[AS OF JUNE 30, 2016]

1. Increase engagement

+20% “likes” YOY +3.5% engagement YOY +57% direct site visits YOY +27,656 consumer contacts

2. Increase e-news sign-ups 3. Drive traffic to website

EFFORTS

+22% followers YOY +12,250 tags: #PoconoMtns +22,731 tags: #TakeOnPocono

TARGETED ADS: • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram NEW MEDIA: • Facebook Live • Snapchat

SNAPCHAT

[JANUARY, 2016]

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+34% followers YOY

+19% followers YOY

+21% followers YOY

Visiting at least one Pocono Mountains location per week, we were able to successfully build up a following on the popular smartphone app, Snapchat. Our stories include tours, special offers, behind-the-scenes views and more. We also created Geofilters: distinct graphic overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a Snap in a unique way.

poconomountains.com/about-the-pocono-mountains/social-moments


MARKETING: PUBLIC RELATIONS

4,601

BREAKDOWN OF MEDIA PLACEMENTS

EARNED MEDIA PLACEMENTS BROADCAST

4,601

$56,700,975 ADVERTISING EQUIVALENCY

PRINT SOCIAL/BLOG POSTS

6,129,835,191 IMPRESSIONS

By shifting our focus in the ever-changing media world, the PMVB has been able to leverage stronger media relationships by interacting with travel editors, journalists, social influencers and bloggers in media they are accustomed to.

We enlisted this same model for the remainder of the year, which allowed us to connect with smaller groups from different travel segments and regions from mommy bloggers in the tri-state area to outdoor adventure writers and bloggers from around the nation.

We held a number of targeted FAM tours with specific segments and regions in the travel media space. We hosted a FAM tour for the DC DMA in spring of 2015 to garner placements for the 2015-16 fiscal year in over 100 different blogs, papers, magazines and social media posts from the 12 writers who attended.

To strengthen our media partnerships, we visited five of the top broadcast stations in New York and had sit-down meetings with their news directors, producers and editors to pitch the Pocono Mountains. We held similar meetings with three of the top Philadelphia stations.

@

CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS ON THE GO

In early 2016, Distribion, our email marketing service, began to track email readership by device. Reports confirmed that our readers have gone mobile, and we adjusted our approach accordingly. We eliminated excess copy, images and text links to make way for simple, stand-out content. We’ve seen open rates rise through a spike in subscribers, which is due in part to our social media efforts.

FISCAL YEAR DATABASE AVG. OPEN RATE

2014-15

2015-16

44,345

62,701

11.5%

12.1% poconomountains.com/press-room

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SALES: BY THE NUMBERS

LEADS GENERATED

Over the past year, the Pocono Mountains has been in the top 5% in relative growth in the United States with over 1,100 new hotel rooms built since June of 2015. The increase in leads generated and lodging rooms booked is primarily a result of the growth in inventory. With even more rooms and meeting space currently under construction, the outlook is bright for even more people to visit the region and enjoy all that it has to offer.

[16] RELIGIOUS [06] SPORTS

[27] SOCIAL

[04] EDUCATION

123

6

LEADS GENERATED 2014-15 BY MARKET [18] ASSOCIATION [123] REUNION [28] CORPORATE

28

18

27

4

16

MAKING CONVERSIONS The Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau (PMCVB) reports a total of 35 contracted definite bookings for FY 15-16. This represents 3,680 room nights and 4,147 delegates: A 29% increase in the number of booked leads year over year.

FISCAL YEAR LEADS

DELEGATES ROOM NIGHTS

2015-16

222

27,923

28,195

2014-15

104

15,908

16,215

FISCAL YEAR

DEFINITE BOOKINGS

TOTAL DELEGATES

ROOM NIGHTS

2015-16

35

4,147

3,680

14 poconomountains.com/meetings


SALES: TEAM EFFORTS

TRADESHOWS

ADVERTISING

Representatives from the PMCVB attended 27 tradeshows over the past fiscal year. Meeting and event planners from the corporate, association, religious, international, leisure, sports and group travel markets were targeted.

The PMCVB sales team works closely with the marketing department to place targeted advertisements across a variety of meeting and event-related media. For examples of sales ad placements, see page 17.

SALES BLITZES

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT

The PMCVB hosted sales blitzes, or one-onone appointments, in New York City and Philadelphia. Companies visited included:

• SITE, SEARCH & SELECT • 5 A INCENTIVE PLANNERS • QUESTEX TRAVEL GROUP • CARSON WORLDWIDE • NEW TANG DYNASTY TELEVISION • BLANK ROME LLP • AECOM • STOCKTON & PARTNERS • UNIVERSITY OF PENN LAW

Client development events are created to bring our meeting-friendly properties together with planners in a relaxed setting in order to show appreciation and build relationships. The PMCVB hosted client appreciation events in Harrisburg, New York City and Atlantic City this past fiscal year.

CHARS RESTAURANT HARRISBURG 35 MEETING PLANNERS ATTENDED

UPPER STORY EVENT CENTER, NYC 50+ MEETING PLANNERS ATTENDED

ATLANTIC CITY CRUISE

35+ MEETING PLANNERS ATTENDED

poconomountains.com/meetings

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SALES: INTERNATIONAL & STUDENT TRAVEL VISA VUE TOP 10 EXPENDITURES IN THE POCONO MOUNTAINS BY COUNTRY COUNTRY TOTAL SPEND CANADA CHINA UNITED KINGDOM PUERTO RICO DOMINICAN REP. GERMANY FRANCE JAPAN ITALY BRAZIL TOP 10 SPENDING TOTAL VISA SPENDING

STUDENT TRAVEL

NEW FOR 2015-16 ENHANCED STUDENT TRAVEL SECTION ON POCONOMOUNTAINS.COM UPDATED STUDENT PROFILE SHEET TARGETING NEW GROUPS DANCE AND CHEERLEADING

MAXX CHAMPIONSHIP, ELITE DANCE CHALLENGE AND STARZ DANCE COMPETITION HELD AT KALAHARI RESORTS AND CONVENTIONS THIS YEAR.

PRIVATE, PUBLIC, CYBER AND HOME SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

$2,708,520 $550,656 $493,615 $320,248 $207,116 $199,465 $174,140 $142,350 $138,336 $132,607 $5,067,053 $7,680,978

BRAND USA CO-OP

A MULTILINGUAL, MULTIMEDIA CAMPAIGN OUR $14,000 MEDIA BUY RESULTED IN:

INSPIRATION GUIDE [16 LANGUAGES] 48 MILLION IMPRESSIONS THROUGH GLOBAL CHANNELS

MISSION TO UK & IRELAND

THREE-PAGE ADVERTORIAL FEATURE ON PENNSYLVANIA

IN-LANGUAGE VIDEO [GERMAN] HOSTED ON BRAND USA, PMVB, PA WEBSITES AND YOUTUBE

ON TARGET LIST FOR FIELD TRIPS, EDUCATIONAL TOURS AND TEAMBUILDING IN OUR OUTDOOR CLASSROOM.

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poconomountains.com/groups-tours

Closing frame of the Brand USA in-language video


SALES: ADS & EVENTS

SALES ADVERTISING

CO U R S E P O CO N O M O U N TA I N S .

SET YOUR FOR THE

The PMCVB sales team placed targeted advertisements across a variety of group, meeting and sports-related media to promote group travel to the Pocono Mountains. These placements often resulted in added-value features and additional elements.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SPORTS

Bike, run and swim our 2,400 square miles of trails, lakes and rivers. Visit PoconoMountains.com to start planning today.

PMVB-26817 REV3 Triathalon Print Ad_V1.indd 1

7/5/16 10:44 AM

The Pocono Mountains continues to be a top destination for endurance and adventure races and events. We continue our involvement in TEAMS and the National Association of Sports Commissions to raise awareness of the Pocono Mountains as a destination for sporting events. This past fiscal year we were home to the following events:

• SPARTAN PENNSYLVANIA SUPER • SPARTAN PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT • SPARTAN PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT 2 • SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN MUD RUN • REV 3 - CHALLENGE POCONO MOUNTAINS • WARRIOR DASH • ZOMBIE RUN OR ROT CHALLENGE • RIVER RAMBLE • D&L HALF MARATHON AND FUN RUN/WALK • POCONO MOUNTAINS RUN FOR THE RED MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON • KRELL ADVENTURE GAMES • WALLY MAN TRIATHLON • SAVAGE RACE • POCONO LAKE REGION 13.1 poconomountains.com/groups-tours

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BUREAU NOTES: AWARDS & EVENTS DESTINATION PA SPRING CONFERENCE This year, the PMVB partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism and the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association to bring the Destination PA Spring Conference to the Pocono Mountains. The conference, which replaced the PMVB’s annual Tourism Day, was held at Skytop Lodge May 15-17, 2016. Informationfilled sessions and roundtables united hospitality professionals from across the Commonwealth. The Spirit of Hospitality Awards Dinner took place on May 16. There, the PMVB presented 2016 Tourism Achievement Awards to Maureen Ryan (Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts) for Lifetime Achievement and Malibu Dude Ranch for Community Service. Former PMVB President Bob Uguccioni formally accepted his 2012 Keystone Society Lifetime Achievement Award during the Spirit of Hospitality Awards Dinner, and the Pocono Mountains was crowned 2015 Destination of the Year by the Keystone Society.

VALUED PARTNERS The PMVB recognizes outstanding associates on an annual basis. The Gail V. Sterrett Marketing Award is presented to one exceptional marketing professional. Valued Partner Awards are given to businesses and individuals who support the PMVB and our efforts. 2015 winners are:

GAIL V. STERRETT MARKETING AWARD BRIDGET WEBER DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING FRENCH MANOR INN AND SPA

VALUED PARTNER AWARDS EPIC LITHO NEW YORK METROPOLITAN SKI COUNCIL SIMPLEVIEW CHESTNUT GROVE RESORT 18

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/

AWARDS RECEIVED

The PMVB was honored with the following awards in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

2015 KEYSTONE AWARD FOR DESTINATION OF THE YEAR 2015 BIZZY AWARD FOR BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN 2016 HSMAI ADRIAN AWARD SILVER: TV ADVERTISING (WATERPARK CO-OP) 2016 OUTSTANDING WEBSITE AWARD FROM THE WEB MARKETING ASSN.


BUREAU NOTES: OUR VISITORS WHEN YOU THINK OF THE POCONO MOUNTAINS, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND? In late 2015, the PMVB partnered with North Star’s Research Division to capture a quantifiable and qualitative measure of the Pocono Mountains as a leisure destination for consumers from the New York City area. Our purpose was to determine how well we are doing in matching our customers’ perception of the destination with our Brand Promise. Some 680 respondents completed the North Star survey, resulting in a 99% level of confidence in the results.

Respondents were asked the openended question “When you think of the Pocono Mountains, what is the first thing that comes to mind?” The word cloud below represents all of the responses. The size of words represents the number of times that word/concept occurred in the response. Dominant responses associate the Pocono Mountains with “natural beauty,” “peace,” “beautiful,” “fun vacation,”“majestic,” and “relaxation.”

These indicate that a large portion of the Pocono Mountains’ tourism consumers see it as a peaceful, relaxing resort location associated with nature, beauty, and activities like skiing, hiking, and camping. A thematic analysis was also conducted on verbatim responses to identify patterns and themes. Resulting themes included “beautiful outdoor woods,” “cool refreshing in summer,” and “peace and quiet.”

VISITORS CENTERS

Our visitors centers remain an important resource for our guests. The PMVB continues to operate three visitors centers located in Jim Thorpe, Lake Wallenpaupack and Stroudsburg. These three centers saw a combined .6% increase in visitor traffic as compared to 2015. The majority of these visitors, nearly 80% (79.455 to be exact) are serviced at our Jim Thorpe Visitors Center. poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/research-travel-impacts

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BUREAU NOTES: ADVOCACY

LOCAL ADVOCACY PRIORITIES LODGING TAXES/ TRANSACTIONAL FEES

UNIFORM SCHOOL OPENING

PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE

RULES & REGULATIONS OBSTRUCTING OUR INDUSTRY

The PMVB opposes the imposition of additional lodging taxes and/or transactional fees by county or municipalities on the hospitality industry.

The PMVB supports efforts to ensure that all entities that rent rooms to visitors for 30 days or less are collecting and remitting state and local lodging taxes.

The PMVB supports local decision-making at the individual school board level and encourages officials to adopt a uniform school opening date after the Labor Day holiday.

The PMVB asks local units of government not to establish rules and regulations that place an unfair burden on the operation and growth of the hospitality industry.

NATIONAL ADVOCACY PRIORITIES* RULES & REGULATIONS OBSTRUCTING OUR INDUSTRY

OTA

EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT (CARD CHECK)

CONGRESSIONAL TOURISM CAUCUS

Concern is being expressed over the Administrations’ interest in establishing actions that place unfair burdens on hospitality businesses, which would have the unintended consequences of reducing employment growth.

The PMVB stands in opposition to the proposed EFCA (Card Check) Legislation. AHLA is fighting to protect employee’s rights including the right to join unions through a fair and secret private ballot election process.

The PMVB opposes the “Internet Travel Tax Fairness Act,” which would prohibit the imposition of room taxes on transactions performed through online travel companies. The PMVB joins with PRLA and DMAI to protect state and county taxing authorities’ collection of room tax revenues from online travel companies. We encourage Congressmen Barletta, Marino, and Cartwright to continue to participate in caucus. *The PMVB works closely with PRLA, NTA, AHLA, US Travel and DMAI on advocacy efforts and legislation that impacts the tourism industry.

The PMVB would like to thank our County Commissioners for their special assistance, full cooperation and overall support of the Pocono Mountains tourism industry. CARBON COUNTY Wayne Nothstein* Tom Gerhard William O’Gurek 20

MONROE COUNTY John Moyer* John Christy Charles Garris

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/advocacy

PIKE COUNTY

Matthew Osterberg* Richard Caridi Steve Guccini

WAYNE COUNTY Brian Smith* Jonathan Fritz Wendell Kay

* Denotes Chairman


BUREAU NOTES: ADVOCACY

STATE ADVOCACY PRIORITIES RULES & REGULATIONS OBSTRUCTING OUR INDUSTRY

The PMVB urges our legislators to review rules and regulations established by the legislature that place an unfair burden on the hospitality industry. We further encourage the legislature to repeal such regulations, which will allow the industry to increase employment and help grow the Commonwealth’s economy.

CULINARY/TOURISM JOBS ON HIGHPRIORITY OCCUPATION LIST The PMVB and partners in the Pocono Workforce Investment Board continue to petition the State Department of Labor to include hospitality jobs that meet the family-sustaining wage criteria to be listed on the High Priority List.

ESTABLISHMENT & FUNDING OF PA TOURISM PARTNERSHIP

The PMVB supports the establishment of the Pennsylvania Tourism Partnership and encourages the Legislature to find an appropriate funding source. Now is the time to create a sustainable public-private partnership outside of state government.

PMVB President Carl Wilgus and Board Member Robert Phillips speak with Congressman Tom Marino at a 2016 Tourism Roundtable.

PASSAGE OF ACT 18 A primary area of focus for the PMVB this past year was to work for passage of HB794, a rewrite of the state’s statue which established countylevel lodging tax.

On April 20, 2016 Governor Tom Wolf signed into law what is now referred to as Act 18. We want to thank our legislators in the House and Senate who supported this bill.

A consortium of interests including the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism (PATT), the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA), and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) has been working for more than two years on this legislation that affects 57 2A through 8-class counties.

Provisions within this new statue direct that all funds, less an administrate fee for the county for collection of these taxes, are to be used for the purposes of tourism promotion as directed by the recognized tourism promotion agency.

This is the primary mechanism for funding convention and visitors bureau tourism marketing efforts throughout the Commonwealth.

In the case of Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne Counties, that is the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/advocacy

21


BUREAU NOTES: FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN

STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES Revenue - Sources of Funding Membership

Fiscal Year 2016 $

169,835

Fiscal Year 2015 $

172,558

County Hotel Room Tax Revenue

7,221,420

5,220,129

Cooperative Advertising

1,565,860

1,555,973

196,798

159,874

9,153,913

7,108,534

6,880,220

4,835,743

662,667

554,899

Postage

12,344

11,394

Travel / Entertainment

28,778

38,316

Personnel Benefits

138,301

137,141

County Tourism Promotion

846,919

823,922

8,569,229

6,401,415

47,364

40,435

294,993

284,923

57,940

55,193

159,674

85,000

Office Supplies / Materials

31,972

35,036

Loans (Principal & Interest)

44,181

54,520

Miscellaneous

22,413

21,406

658,537

576,513

9,227,766

6,977,928

Committee & Other Revenue Total Revenue Promotional Expenses Advertising / Public Relations / Social Marketing Sales / Group Marketing

Total Promotional Expenses Operational Expenses Consultants / Contractual Services Operating Personnel Salaries & Wages Utilities / Equipment & Insurance Depreciation

Total Operational Expenses Total Expenses Increase / (Decrease) in Unrestricted and Net Assets

22

$

(73,853)

$

130,606


BUREAU NOTES: 2015-16 BOARD OF DIRECTORS The PMVB is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors appointed by the Executive Committee. The Board is comprised of representatives from key sectors of the tourism industry throughout the Pocono Mountains. ***ARTHUR BERRY III 2nd Vice Chairman Camelback Mountain Resort JIM CAHILL The Inn at Pocono Manor ***BILL COLAVITO 3rd Vice Chairman Great Wolf Lodge JOHN CULETSU Mount Airy Casino Resort BOB DUNLOP Crescent Lodge ***ERIC EHRHARDT Chairman Silver Birches ***TONY FARDA Hideaway Hills Golf Club ***ANDREW FORTE Treasurer Stroudsmoor Country Inn BRIDGET GELDERMAN East Shore Lodging

***JEANNE GENZLINGER Settlers Inn ***BARBARA GREEN Blue Mountain Ski Area PETE HELMS Davis R. Chant Real Estate, Inc. ROB HOWELL Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort MARTIN HOROWITZ The Brookview Manor Inn BRANDON IGDALSKY Pocono Raceway

***GENEVIEVE REESE 1st Vice Chairperson French Manor Inn and Spa ***DONNA SMITH Bushkill Falls DON SNYDER Better Homes and Gardens Wilkins & Associates Real Estate DREW SNYDER Pocono ProFoods ***JIM TUST Shawnee Mountain Ski Area ***JOHN WARNAGIRIS Chateau Resort and Conference Center

***JOHN KIESENDAHL Chairman of the Board Woodloch Pines MARK MAJOR International Sports Training Camp JIM MCGRATH Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts

***ANDY WORTHINGTON Bushkill Group ***Executive Committee members

ROBERT PHILLIPS Ex-officio Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce

PAST CHAIRMEN 1934-1953 1953-1954 1954-1955 1955-1956 1956-1957 1957-1958 1958-1963 1963-1964 1964-1967 1967-1969 1969-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1976

Ted Jenkins Jack Shinn Henry Arneberg Harry Ahnert Paul Asure Leroy Guccini William J. Altier Eric Schuchard Harry Kiesendahl Robert Ahnert Charles Poalillo Glenn Kissel Paul Asure Peter Ahnert

1976-1978 1978-1979 1979-1981 1981-1985 1985-1989 1989-1992 1992-1995 1995-1998 1998-2000 2000-2002 2002-2007 2007-2009 2009-2012 2012-2014

Joan Toms Wes Smith Bill Van Gilder Tony Farda Ron Logan Donald H. Pierson Frank Kelley Jeanne Genzlinger W. Jack Kalins Larry Greene Andrew Forte Edward Mayotte Andy Worthington John Kiesendahl 23


P O C O N O M O U N TA I N S TO U R I S M I N D U S T RY G E N E R AT E S 3 B I L L I O N D O L L A R S A Y E A R F O R T H E LO C A L E C O N O M Y.

• 25.6 million visitors in 2015 • $3 billion+ annual travel spend in the Pocono Mountains • 34% of the workforce in the Pocono Mountains is within the Tourism Industry • For every additional 176 room nights generated year over year, one new job is created

#PoconoMtns

2016 PMVB Annual Report  
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