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Advertising campaign gets results for county

by Kim Fickett
Landmark editor

A 2001 advertising campaign targeting potential visitors to Platte County showed a successful outcome, even though Platte County was the smallest area involved in the marketing program.

That was the word given to county commissioners during last week's meeting by Cheryl Thorp, director of Platte County Convention and Tourism.

"The 2001 Cooperative Marketing Program is a report on the economic impact generated from the fiscal year 2001 cooperative marketing program," said Thorp.

The report showed that Platte County generated over $1.5 million from people who requested information about Platte County and actually visited the area. Thorp stated that that figure only indicates money spent by overnight visitors, not that of day travelers.

The program, which is a 50 percent reimbursement to the county from the Missouri Division of Tourism, involves a conversion study to look at how many people from the ads actually visited the area.

In 2001, Platte County Convention and Tourism printed ads in such publications as: Better Homes and Gardens, AAA-Home & Away/Midwest Traveler, Missouri Life, Midwest Living, Woodall's Camping Directory, Regional Spring Newspaper Insert, Group Leaders of America, and Bank Travel Management.

"For every dollar we spent in advertising, the study determined that people who requested information and actually visited Platte County spent $37.39 in Platte County," said Thorp.

Out of eight applicants involved in the program including St. Joseph, St. Charles, Lake of the Ozarks, Springfield, Branson, St. Louis and Kansas City, Platte County ranked fifth in the survey. The county finished ahead of Branson, St. Louis and Kansas City.

In other discussions, Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Nowotny asked for the commission's approval to a service agreement with BWR Corporation.

The agreement would provide services for preliminary park planning services at the North Congress recreation area in Tiffany Springs.

According to the agreement, BWR will prepare conceptual layout plans for the park, preliminary grading plans, and program cost estimates for the proposed recreational amenities.

"This is a necessary step to conceptualize the recreation plans for that site due to the multiple facilities proposed for that site," said Nowotny.

According to Nowotny, some of the proposed uses include an aquatics center, an outdoor recreation facility including baseball and soccer fields, and an in-door recreation facility.

The agreement is a partnership effort between the county, the City of Kansas City, and the Southern Platte County Athletic Association.

"The heart of the study will look at the two elements of cost and space, as a preliminary step for that site," explained Nowotny. "It's one step that needs to be taken to see how it will all work together."

Platte County will fund $5,000 of the study along with the City of Kansas City contributing $2,500 toward the study. Nowotny stated it is expected the study will be completed in about a month.

Commissioners also approved the request for bids for the Sharp's Station Bridge. The bid will include the construction of a 24.5' by 322.5' steel girder structure over the Platte River and associated road and channel work. Bids are due by 1:30 p.m., Thursday, June 27.

A request for bids was also requested for a three-year lease of 15 digital copiers. Bids are due by 1:30 p.m., June 13.

The county also approved a three year lease of a 2002 Ford Explorer from Ford Motor Credit for the sheriff's department. The lease will cost the county $9,547.23 a year for the three years. As a part of a municipal finance application, the county will receive a 50 percent reimbursement from the State when leasing a vehicle used in emergency preparedness.

Commissioners also accepted a performance and maintenance bond in the amount of $95,000 to ensure satisfactory completion of grading improvements for grading and sediment and erosion control in Stonegate. Improvements are to be completed within one year of acceptance.