Marketing Ohio’s Largest Playground, with Scott Hutchinson

Episode 170

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Scott Hutchinson is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau and has been with the WCCVB since June of 2014. Scott oversees the bureau’s marketing efforts, managing its advertising and public relations campaigns, as well as the production of its blog content, e-newsletters, and annual Visitors Guide. Prior to joining the WCCVB, Scott held roles with the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Western & Southern Open and Ryan Partnership – a creative agency in Columbus, Ohio. He also had the opportunity to serve as a correspondent at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Scott is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a resident of Cincinnati. In this episode of Destination on the Left, Scott dive’s into the strategy that has brought Warren County upwards of twelve million visitors annually. He discusses the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand, and he talks about what’s in store for the future of WCCVB.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Scott’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • How WCCVB’s marketing strategy reflects the qualities that define Warren County
  • What Scott’s team at WCCVB has done to make Warren County stand out from the crowd
  • The inspiration and meaning behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand
  • How WCCVB has tapped into the youth and amateur sports travel market
  • Lessons and best practices Scott took away from bringing a major sporting event to Warren County
  • How WCCVB portrays their community events through their PR and marketing efforts

Warren County Has Something for Everyone

As the director of marketing and communications for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Scott Hutchinson oversees the bureau’s marketing, advertising, public relations, and content creation. Warren County, Ohio is nestled in between Dayton and Cincinnati, so Scott is presented with both unique opportunities and challenges as he tries to make the Warren County travel experience stand out. He has already separated Warren County from the pack by rebranding the destination as “Ohio’s Largest Playground.” But Scott and his team plan to drive even more visitor traffic this year when they open a brand new multi-purpose sports complex that will serve as a central hub for youth sports organizations and their families.

Telling Warren County’s Story

Scott cherishes the privilege to promote the place where he built his entire life, and he has done an outstanding job telling Warren County’s story. Warren County is most known for King’s Island, but there is a ton of activity beyond the amusement park. The region welcomes approximately twelve million visitors annually and it continues to grow thanks to Warren County’s close proximity to Dayton and Cincinnati. The Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau has played a significant role in the recent spike of visitors, and they continue to drum up new and innovative campaigns that capture the defining qualities of this unique area.

Ohio’s Largest Playground

While many destinations hone in on one defining characteristic to build the foundation of their marketing strategy, Warren County has done the exact opposite. In fact, the abundance of attractions is Warren County’s biggest strength, and the seemingly endless list of things to do is the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand. They have the state’s second-largest winery, oldest hotel, oldest restaurant, and they even hold a global tennis tournament every summer. With that, we are only scratching the surface of what Warren County has to offer. Scott and his team have embraced the notion that Warren County has something for everyone, and with their central location, they are within a day’s drive for over 60% of residents in the United States.

Nicole Mahoney: 00:23 Hello listeners, this is Nicole Mahoney, host of destination on the left and welcome to this week’s episode with another interesting guest, Scott Hutchinson, director of marketing and communications from the Warren County CVB in Ohio. I enjoyed Scott’s perspective in this interview. His CVB represents a County that sits between Cincinnati and Dayton, which are each just 20 minutes away. This presents a great opportunity for Warren County and also a challenge as they work to differentiate their experience between these two larger markets. In our conversation, Scott talks about the brand Ohio’s largest playground and how their branding evolved. Listeners, you’re going to want to check out Ohio’s largest after listening to this interview to see the brand in action. Scott also shares an impressive initiative that the CVB is undertaking for the youth sports travel market, which includes the CVB owning and operating a brand new multipurpose sports facility sets it open this year. A little more about Scott. He oversees the Bureau’s marketing efforts managing its advertising and public relations campaigns as well as the production of [inaudible] [inaudible] content, [inaudible] newsletters, annual visitors guide.

Nicole Mahoney: 01:35 Prior to joining the Warren County CVB, Scott held roles with the Cincinnati Inquirer, the Western and Southern open and Ryan partnership, a creative agency in Columbus, Ohio. He also had the opportunity to serve as a correspondent at the 2012 summer Olympic games. Scott is a graduate of the EEW script school of journalism at Ohio university and is also a resident of Cincinnati. Now let’s get into the interview. Scott, thank you so much for taking some time out to spend some time with us today. I’m really looking forward to learning from you, but before we dive into our questions for today’s interview, can you share a little bit about your story and how you got to where you are today? I find it adds so much more context to our conversation.

Scott Hutchinson: 02:22 Sure. Absolutely. Uh, so I like most, um, CVB or tourism professionals, um, kind of actually stumbled into this position. I went to school, um, originally here in Ohio, um, in hopes of becoming a journalist someday. So I have a writing background, communications background, um, but being from Warren County, um, and from Southwest Ohio, this opportunity came up and honestly when I originally interviewed for it and what not, didn’t even know what a CVB did, didn’t know CVBs existed and had never really thought about my area from a tourist, uh, standpoint or, or, um, viewpoint I would say. Um, so I have now been with the Warren County convention and visitors Bureau, uh, for a little over five years. Began originally in sort of a PR communications role. Um, and in recent years have stepped up into a more of a marketing director, um, dealing with advertising and everything all across the board. So, um, I stumbled into the position, as I said, and really into the whole tourism field as a whole, um, but have really immediately fallen in love with it. Um, as I think most people do when they realize, um, how fun it is and, and kind of the different people you get to work with and meet, um, and everything that’s involved. So that’s kinda how I got to where I am today.

Nicole Mahoney: 03:48 Yeah, I think you’re so right. So many of the professionals in this industry really do stumble into it and you’re not the first guest who has been on the show that said, prior to this job, I didn’t know what a CVB did. Um, or you know, or, you know, had that lens. Uh, I also think it’s so cool that, you know, you’re, you’re able to, you know, promote the place where you, you know, where you grew up, um, and, and live, and that’s always such a fun, um, privilege for us and the travel and tourism industry. And, and for our listeners state, can you tell us a little bit about [inaudible] out Warren County and kind of, you know, where you’re located, just to give people examples, context too, you know, to that?

Scott Hutchinson: 04:30 Yeah, sure. So Warren County, Ohio is, um, we’re kinda in the [inaudible] the Southwest corner of the state. I’m really, I would consider the bridge or, or we make up most of the bridge between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Um, so one of the big attractions that a lot of people know us for is King’s Island. Um, it’s a big, um, really award-winning amusement park. Um, but we have a ton going on, um, outside of that. Um, and we welcome about 12 million visitors now, um, per year. So we’ve really kinda what ourselves on the map as a tourism destination.

Nicole Mahoney: 05:05 That’s awesome. And, um, and I think that’s such a great position to be in, right between those two larger markets and then also that you have those main attractions right in your region as well to draw visitors. Yeah, I think that’s fantastic. So that’s a perfect way to frame up this next question because I’m sure you’ll have a lot to share here. We’d like to talk about creativity and collaboration and when it comes to creativity, um, you know, the hospitality and tourism industries is just so competitive and, uh, there are so many choices of places to go and things to do. And so I’m wondering what you have done in Warren County to really stand out from the crowd.

Scott Hutchinson: 05:46 Sure. So I think first and foremost, and this may be kind of a, a broad answer, um, but our brand is Ohio’s largest playground. Um, and how we kind of came to that brand and it’s been around for, um, for years long before I was even on the staff here. Um, but I think a lot of destinations, what they look for when they are, I’m setting up a marketing plan, um, or you know, promoting themselves in any way is kind of that one like identifying hook or characteristic that their destination has that they can attach themselves to. Um, so everything about like an Orlando, obviously you think of like the magic of Disney world or if you think, um, orange County, you think beaches, Colorado mountains and fresh air. Um, and in Warren County, obviously I just had to explain even where we’re located and kind of what we’re about.

Scott Hutchinson: 06:37 So we have realized that kind of our strong suit, though we may not have one of those, one identifying characteristics, um, is that we have so many different things, um, that we can promote. And that’s really where the Ohio’s largest playground, um, name came in within, um, are our little kind of 30 mile radius. Um, between that Cincinnati and Dayton area. We have, as I mentioned, um, Kings Island, which is an amusement park that’s very popular. Um, we have the state’s second largest winery. We have the States, um, oldest hotel and oldest restaurant. Um, we have even a, um, worldwide kind of global tennis tournament that’s played here every summer. The Western and Southern open that brings in, um, the Roger Federers and Serena Williams and all those big stars, um, in the sporting world. Um, so really the, if you look at any of our marketing materials, what we’ve tried to accomplish with both that Ohio’s largest playground name and, um, visually through being our visitor guide website, social media pages is almost, um, not overwhelming.

Scott Hutchinson: 07:45 Um, cause I guess that kinda puts a negative spin on it, but showing so many different options, um, for visitors all in one sort of snapshot. Um, so I guess you’d kind of have to see our marketing materials to see exactly what I’m talking about. But, um, we’ve really embraced the idea of having something for literally everyone. Um, and being so centrally located. We are, um, within a day’s drive of about 60% of United States, um, residents, um, so very easily accessible, so much to do. Um, and that’s really, um, I think how we’ve set ourselves apart, um, as, as a a very popular destination. Um, and secondly, kind of switching gears here. Um, we’ve really, over the past several years, especially identified sort of a niche within the tourism market. Um, and that is youth and amateur sports travel. Uh, we realized and, and it’s no real secret cause I think a lot of people are, are kind of diving into that market as well.

Scott Hutchinson: 08:47 But several years ago, um, realized that more and more kids and adults for that matter are, uh, traveling to participate sports and are rarely traveling, you know, by themselves. They’re bringing mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, the whole family. Um, so we’ve really dove into that market as well to the point where we’re putting on or hosting, um, close to a hundred events per year that’s bringing obviously athletes, coaches and their families in the town, showing them not only what we have going on but getting heads in beds, which is everybody’s goal ultimately in this market. Um, and it’s gotten to the point where we actually have, now I’m a full time sports staff within our CVB staff. Uh, and we also within a week or two actually are having our first event at a sports park, um, that we have opened. It’s been like a 10 year process, but we are opening it this month. Uh, it’s like multipurpose state of the art facility, um, that is actually owned and operated by the CVB, um, itself. So very exciting. Um, yeah, so I’d say our brand as a whole I think is very creative. And then I think we’re doing some really awesome things in the sports tourism market as well.

Nicole Mahoney: 10:07 Oh, absolutely. You just gave our audience so many golden nuggets and, and I’m really glad actually that you talked about your brand Ohio’s largest playground and I did see that when I was, uh, preparing for this interview and I was on your website and I was intrigued. I was very intrigued by it. So I’m glad that you brought that up because I think there’s a lot of listeners and a lot of destinations out there that might be in the same kind of boat as you in terms of, we don’t have that one main characteristic, that one big hook. Um, and so how then do we present ourselves, you know, as an exciting place to visit. And I love how you’ve captured that, you know, with the Ohio’s largest playground brand and also that you talked about how you share that visually and, and, uh, we will have a link to your website, uh, on the show notes page so listeners can certainly go and find that. Um, but I, I think that was just a really good point is that, you know, really how you want to, um, convey that message and how you can do that visually. So can you talk a little bit more about maybe the visual component of, of your brand and, and how you portray that through your marketing and your campaigns?

Scott Hutchinson: 11:16 Sure. Uh, so I would say that the easiest way to, um, kinda capture it is if you were to look at one of our visitor guides, for instance, that we put out each year. Um, and you’ll see this immediately if you visit our website, Ohio’s largest Um, but in one snapshot, it’s almost like a collage style image. Um, you see everything from water parks to roller coasters. Um, we have, you know, Knights on horseback cause we’re home to the Ohio Renaissance festival, um, zip liners. Um, and it’s all kind of captured in this really cool image that we’ve used, um, not only for visitors guide, but throughout all of our print materials. Um, all of our digital advertising as well. Um, so the, the whole idea really is to show, like I said, um, this is Warren County. We are, you may not have heard of us before, but everything you see in this image, um, is accessible. You can get there today. It’s affordable. Um, and it’s, um, you know, there’s just, there’s something for, for mom, dad, grandpa, very multigenerational. Um, and I think [inaudible] marketing angle we’ve taken captures that very nicely.

Nicole Mahoney: 12:28 Yeah, absolutely. And, um, I, I did see that graphic on your website as well and I, and I love how you’re, you know, using that graphic to really represent this, uh, you know, the various experiences that you have in the destination. I think that’s awesome. I also wanted to talk a little bit about the youth sports, um, travel. And I would love to know a little bit more about this project that you said was 10 years in the making. And I, and I realize you came into it probably five years ago, but, um, in terms of putting that multi Mmm, purpose sports facility together and then also how it’s kind of structured, the CVB is owning and operating that. Can you share a little bit more about, you know, how that kind of all came together?

Scott Hutchinson: 13:11 Sure. So as you said, uh, the, the original kind of seeds were planted for the idea, uh, well before I was here, I want to say it was 11 or 12 years ago even. Um, but we had been running sort of, you know, a handful of events per year, um, baseball tournaments that we would create that brought in maybe teams from, uh, mostly Ohio. But we’d have, you know, a team from Michigan or Tennessee, um, and saw the value there in bringing in those out of town teams. Um, but year over year as we had, uh, more teams come in and had more events on the schedule, we realized very quickly that our, uh, the supply of facilities that we had available, um, was really outweighing, um, we had more people calling and saying, Hey, we want to come play, we want to be in your tournament or we want to host our event there.

Scott Hutchinson: 14:03 Um, then facility space that we had to accommodate all of them. Um, so rather than, you know, trying to go through middlemen or, or other sources, um, to try to open up field space or build new fields, um, that someone else would be managing our sports staff kinda took it upon themselves to work. Um, obviously with local officials here, um, to figure out funding, um, with the state to figure out a, um, a way to, uh, actually increase our lodging tax, um, so that we could, um, put that money towards creating this so we can ultimately, um, you know, payback the hotels by getting more heads in beds, um, through the sports park. And long story short, after several, several years long construction projects and everything. Um, we now have, as I said, opening, um, for its first event within a few weeks here. Um, it’s called the Warren County sports park at union village.

Scott Hutchinson: 15:04 Um, and it is, I mean, there’s two huge synthetic turf fields. Um, there are, uh, that’ll host everything from soccer, lacrosse, um, Australian football. We’ve had, Mmm. Like ultimate Frisbee. Any, anything you can think of that could be played on a field. Um, there are 12 natural grass fields, um, which will be, um, again used for all kinds of different activities. Um, and then six, uh, softball slash baseball fields as well. So we already have events scheduled out for, for several, several months. Um, and actually the biggest one coming this year, um, is called premier super Copa. And it is actually one of the biggest, uh, youth soccer events, uh, for both boys and girls, um, in the nation. So we have teams from, um, Texas, New Mexico from all over the country, um, coming in and that’s gonna kind of be the big, um, I guess celebrations or celebrate. Tori. Um, first huge event that we’re going to host there at the sports bar. Um, so it’s been a long, long process. Like you said, I was involved for about, um, half of it, but we now have, uh, four or five full time staff members, um, who are, who are dedicated simply to the sports side of things. So it’s been a huge undertaking, but it’s really exciting.

Nicole Mahoney: 16:24 Yeah, that is very exciting. And, and a what an amazing, um, project and, and I love how [inaudible] it came from within the CVB and that you were doing this marketing to this particular market and you see this as an opportunity and all of a sudden your supply didn’t meet your demand. Um, and what a great creative solution, um, you know, to figure out a way to develop this new, uh, these new facilities, which is a perfect segue. I love how these work out, you know, into my next question, but, and this may or may not have been your and your your example, but, um, one of my favorite things to actually showcase on the show is when you’re faced with a challenge such as having supply demand, um, you know, and the creative solutions that come from that. Um, and I’m [inaudible] I’m curious is, is this the, you know, the example that you would have, you would have used? And if it isn’t IB, I’d love to hear about another one.

Scott Hutchinson: 17:25 I would say this is, this is an example that we could use. Um, obviously it’s tricky and everybody faces, I think in the, in the tourism industry is a similar challenge whether they’re, um, diving into the sports side of things or not. Um, in that we control, Mmm, sort of the marketing of certain attractions, um, throughout our area, but ultimately have very little control about what attractions actually exist and how those attractions do things on their end. So I think this is just a cool example of an organization really taking things into their own hands and creating an actual, um, really an attraction in itself, um, to, to solve, um, that problem. Um, [inaudible] I guess piggybacking off of off of the, um, the sports conversation, I’d say just another thing that, um, popped up and it was the summer of 2018 and it was really the biggest sporting event that we’ve been involved with to date.

Scott Hutchinson: 18:31 Um, and obviously this predates the sports park that’s coming up. Um, but we hosted the world flying disc championships. Um, so basically the, um, ultimate Frisbee championship for the entire world came to Warren County, um, in 2018. Um, it was, we’re very, very excited when we found out after the bidding process that we were going to ultimately host the event. Um, but then it immediately turned to, you know, this is 3000 athletes coming from 36 different countries. Some speak English, some don’t. How do we, how do we, you know, take on this, this huge project, um, and, and give them not only an awesome sporting experience, um, but an awesome experience in Warren County as a whole. Um, so that was another, another situation where, um, we were working, you know, not only within our office but with hoteliers, with restaurant owners, with everybody, even just, you know, the average Joe is throughout the community, um, to, to show these athletes from all around the world what Warren County is about, both as a sporting destination and as, um, just a community in general. Um, so that was, that was really just something that I thought was, um, maybe the most interesting event that we’ve, we’ve hosted the date and was really our first big challenge on the, on the sporting side of things. Um, that bled over into the, you know, showing them what we’re about as a leisure destination also.

Nicole Mahoney: 20:06 Yeah, absolutely. Well, what a great opportunity that is to have those 3000 athletes, um, you know, in your community and, and hopefully generating some word of word of mouth and, and bringing back, you know, the experience to their friends and family. Um, and, and I’m curious, can you expand a little bit more on, uh, on that particular event? I’m sure there are listeners who, you know, have had perhaps similar things or might be thinking about, um, you know, trying to attract a similar size event to, uh, to a community, maybe similar in size to yours. And I’m curious if there were like lessons learned or if you have any best practices that you might, um, provide you know, our listeners with based on your,

Scott Hutchinson: 20:48 sure. So I would say the, the biggest thing probably to keep in mind is, you know, it’s so easy to focus on the event itself and the, you know, do we have enough field space? Do we have, you know, reps for these games, things like that. Um, and this is obviously speaking on the sporting side of things. Um, but ultimately, um, one of the biggest challenges we we had was just making sure that, um, you know, when the whistle blew and the game was over cause they were in town for an entire week, um, that we were showing them, Mmm. Everything else that Warren County has to offer. Um, so whether that be, you know, setting them up with great hotels, um, you know, sending them a restaurant recommendations and letting those restaurant owners know ahead of time, Hey, you’re going to have maybe, okay, 15, 20 athletes from, you know, this country in Africa or this country in Spain coming, um, you know, make them feel welcome.

Scott Hutchinson: 21:49 Um, show them an awesome time. Um, so I’d say, you know, obviously when you’re planning an event, it, it’s so easy to get caught up in the, um, event itself and not, Mmm. Maybe focus as much as you should on the full experience that you’re giving the people coming for the event. Um, so that’s one thing. Um, and aside from that, we were, we’re very fortunate that the event ran, um, really, really smoothly, um, from, not only from a logistical standpoint, but from, um, we are able to get some great PR out of it. Um, so I’d say that’s, that’s really my biggest piece of advice is just, you know, thinking about the people coming to the event, not as numbers and just just participants, but as visitors as well.

Nicole Mahoney: 22:39 [inaudible] absolutely. And that’s great advice. And, and I love how you talked about not only providing those recommendations to the visitors or the participants in the event, but also giving the heads up to your community and your stakeholders that this is happening so that they’re prepared. Um, you know, that, that they’re not caught by surprise and as all of a sudden they’re swamped and maybe not staffed properly or don’t have the resources to handle it. That’s awesome. And I love your point about getting PR are the event as well. So it sounds to me like not only are you thinking about what’s happening in market, but also in, in how you’re, Mmm. You know, and those 3000 people that you have the opportunity to showcase your community to, but how you can take that and then share it more broadly through your PR efforts.

Scott Hutchinson: 23:27 Right, right. And we did, uh, obviously does some traditional press release kind of stuff. We did, um, social media and, and the other thing was, I guess we’re, we’re always so focused on out of towners. Um, but this was an opportunity where we really got to kind of invite locals out to enjoy the event too and kind of give them, um, you know, an inside look at, you know, this event and so many other things are kind of what we’re working on and what we’re bringing to the County. So not only positive PR for the event, but some, you know, positive PR for, for our organization. Um, and for really our, our community as a whole.

Nicole Mahoney: 24:08 [inaudible] yeah, that’s, I think that’s a really good point as well, is to be thinking about, you know, putting that local message out there and making sure that, uh, locals know that this is something that the CVB [inaudible] to town. Right. And then all of this work that you do is paying off and, and having the opportunity to get some positive PR as you said, I think is awesome. So, Scott, I want to dive into the topic of collaboration a little bit. We’ve talked about so many things already and I’m sure a lot of collaboration had to happen for all of all of the examples that we’ve been talking about. But one of the things I really like to focus in on is the idea of coopertition where, you know, perceived competitors come together to create something much bigger than they can do on their own. And I’m wondering if there is a time when a collaboration between competitors has really worked for you.

Scott Hutchinson: 24:56 Sure. So we, as you mentioned it, it’s always kind of a tricky balance because, you know, by nature we are competing against a Cincinnati or a date and CVB. Um, but ultimately we are all working towards the same goal of, um, putting Ohio on the map essentially. Um, so we have worked with, with both of those organizations pretty regularly over the years. Um, one thing we do, which I think a lot of people across the tourism industry do are, um, host fam trips. So for visiting travel writers, um, bringing them in, hooking them up with hotel stays or tickets, um, and sending them, like I said, to cool places in Cincinnati, cool places in Warren County, um, awesome things going on in Dayton. Um, so those have worked for us very well over the years. Um, another thing from an advertising standpoint, we’ve worked really with those bureaus as well as with the state as a whole, um, to work on what we call ad co-ops.

Scott Hutchinson: 25:58 So essentially, um, this CVB funds a little bit, this, uh, you know, state organization throws in some funds and we put together a whole ad campaign promoting each of our destination separately, but under that whole Ohio tourism blanket. And then one other, uh, kind of really cool thing that, that Ohio, um, has kinda latched onto the past year is they have put together a lot of different attraction trails. Um, so for instance, um, there, this past December, there was like a holiday lights trail. Um, so giving people, Hey, if you’re in Ohio, over the holidays, um, here are all these different places you can stop and see lights and see Santa. And, um, obviously there’s, there’s tons of different ways that you can kind of take that trail concept and run with it. Um, but things like that, that kind of connect, you know, like you said, destinations that by nature are competitors but as a whole, um, are just the Ohio tourism brand. Um, so yeah, we’ve, we’ve definitely had a lot of success, um, working with, as you said, people who you would think would be are our primary competition.

Nicole Mahoney: 27:14 Absolutely. And those are some great examples and I love that trail idea. Um, you see trails everywhere, but a holiday lights trail and being really creative about it I think is a really great, great idea. And, and, um, a good way to provide a good service to the visitor too, because they, they’re, they’re there for the whole experience and it doesn’t matter to them if they’re more in County or if they’re in Cincinnati or Dayton, they just want the experience. Right,

Scott Hutchinson: 27:38 right, correct.

Nicole Mahoney: 27:38 Yeah. That’s awesome. So, um, this has been a really great conversation as I knew it would be. And I want to wrap up with one final question and, and I’m, I’m really interested in your perspective on this, especially given the role the CVB has played in this big project that you’re, that you’re rolling out with the [inaudible] with the multipurpose sports facility, but it’s this whole idea of, um, the evolution of the destination marketing organization and how those destination marketing organizations are becoming more involved within their own communities and not just externally focused. And, um, I’m wondering if, you know, if you’re experiencing that in [inaudible] in your work and if you could talk a little bit about how that kind of change is really impacting you and your CPP.

Scott Hutchinson: 28:30 Yeah, I’d say we definitely have. Uh, it’s, it’s interesting cause so much of what we do as you mentioned, is focused out at the, uh, prospective travelers. Um, so people outside of the state, um, people in our different target markets. And oftentimes we’ll hear from, um, a local tourism partner, maybe a shop owner, a restaurant owner saying, you know, why, why are you working in Indianapolis or Pittsburgh? Um, and, and what can you do here on more of a local level. Um, and of course we have to explain to them that, that our job is ultimately to bring, um, people who don’t live here into town. Um, but one way we’ve kind of, um, I guess bridge the gap as far as that goes, is trying to make our local partners Mmm. More of a player in [inaudible] our efforts to tell sort of the Warren County story.

Scott Hutchinson: 29:29 Um, so literally if you go on our website, you’ll see several examples of, uh, blogs or videos or things like that where, um, rather than it being us saying, Hey, we’re, we’re Warren County, Ohio, um, why don’t you come see what we have going on? Um, we will, um, film interviews or, or do, um, sit down, um, Q and A’s with, um, local chefs with, um, people who are, are kind of prominent at some of our attractions and let them be the chief storytellers. Um, and let them short, uh, share kind of that, that, uh, Warren County message. Um, so that’s kinda one thing we’ve done that I think is, is kind of unique. Um, and, and really, uh, pulls the locals into the loop in our efforts to, to reach, um, obviously the people who aren’t local. Um, another thing that we’ve done that’s been really, really successful the past few years is we have kind of taken it, um, a lot of, uh, you know, States and cities and whatnot have, I’m different award programs.

Scott Hutchinson: 30:32 So, um, like a, you know, this is the best restaurant in the area. This is the best, um, place for family fund, those kinds of things. So we started, um, a couple of years ago, a best of Warren County awards that we run actually through the CVB, um, which drums up all kinds of excitement here locally, let’s, uh, local business owners in kind of on what we’re doing and all the different, um, means that we’re, that we’re promoting them through. Um, but also ultimately gives us a, I’m a good gauge of what our locals are really into. Um, as they cast votes in these awards, um, so that we can then send that message on, um, and give the people who are visiting kind of that local insight. Um, one of the things we try to do is play up the, when you come here, um, don’t just go to the chain kind of places, don’t go to the familiar places, go where the locals go and really get the, the really kind of the flavor I would say, of our, our part of the country.

Scott Hutchinson: 31:38 Um, so I think those two things, the, the award process that we’ve put together, um, and that, uh, the blogs and the videos and things, um, featuring, um, our local tourism partners have been really, really cool. Um, and then of course you mentioned the sports park that has been kind of an, I personally have not been as involved with it, but, um, it’s involved a lot of, you know, local officials, um, a lot of, even construction companies and things like that. Um, so I know are on the sports side of things. Um, they have become very, very involved with the community and it’s really, um, there’s been a lot of media coverage as well. You know, as people are seeing this thing spring up from the grass to be, um, this really this really, um, cool sports facility. Um, so it is definitely something, you know, we’re, we’re working more and more with locals everyday I would say, but we’re um, obviously the, with the eye on the ball, the goal is always bringing in those, those out of town travelers as well.

Nicole Mahoney: 32:41 Absolutely. Yeah. And I think those were three really awesome examples and I appreciate you sharing those with us. Um, Scott, are there any final thoughts that you’d like to share? Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you, that you had wanted to, to share before we say goodbye?

Scott Hutchinson: 32:57 I think we, I think we pretty much covered it.

Nicole Mahoney: 32:59 Thank you for listening all the way to the end of this week’s episode. This gives me a chance to tell you about our weekly. I see. Why am I in case you missed it? The newsletter each week. Along with our podcast episode, we share an article written by one of the break the ice media team members about the travel and tourism industry. Our articles mirror the mix of industry segments and topics similar to this podcast. Join our newsletter, [inaudible], D O T L [inaudible] eight six six or visit, break the ice forward slash

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