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Visit Yuma's monthly e-newsletter dedicated to news for, about, and from our members. Send your items to communications@VisitYuma.com by Dec. 22 to be considered for the January E-News.

You are invited to the Second quarter Membership meeting

Join us on Dec. 12 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Lutes Casino for Visit Yuma's Second Quarter Membership Meeting. There will be delicious food and drinks. Bring your business cards to network and socialize. You'll receive one raffle ticket as an attendee, and another if you bring a new or gently used coat or blanket for charity, you'll be entered into a second raffle drawing. RSVP for the meeting, email Marlene Castillo at Marlene@VisitYuma.com or call 928.376.0100.

upcoming visit yuma events you won't want to miss

Check out VisitYuma.com to see available tour dates and to buy tickets

Latest statistics from AOT

The Arizona Office of Tourism recently released its Regional Profiles, which compares statewide data to each region of Arizona. The “West Coast” of Arizona includes the whole western side of the state, covering much of the Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu, Quartzite and Yuma areas.

The West Coast Region 2018 Year-End Data Review is available online at https://tourism.az.gov/regional-profiles/ and includes all kinds of info-breakdowns, including these nuggets:

Statewide, the biggest gains from the previous year were in Accommodations, Food Service, and Arts, Entertainment and Activities, with slower gains in retail, transportation, food stores and air transportation. In 2018, here’s what was spent in Yuma County:

Average expenditure per person per day on a trip, in Yuma County: $161 West Coast visitors average 2.3 nights spent in the region. West Coast visitors skew younger than the statewide average of 46.2 years old, with an average age of 38.6 years old for our region. Household income is $74,900 on average for visitors to Arizona. For the West Coast region, the average household income is $82,300.

Visit Yuma has been on the move this month

Membership Manager Marlene Castillo has been out visiting members and delivering Visitor Guides with all mentions of each member tabbed in the book so members can see each time their business is mentioned in the Visitors Guide.

Group Sales Manager Leslie McClendon heads out to National Travel Association Dec. 8-14th to put Yuma in front of group tour companies and travel planners. She has appointments with 28 companies that could bring groups to Yuma. New this year, she will make two presentations with partners Tucson, Sierra Vista, Cochise County and Arizona Office of Tourism. These presentations have the potential to reach 40 additional tour operators.

Welcome to Visit Yuma's newest staff member, Alberto Chee. As Logistics and Operations Specialist, Alberto is responsible for...well...just about everything. He's the handyman, fixer, driver, delivery person, purchaser, builder, and customer service representative, as well as many other jobs, too! Often, Alberto is around the Visitor Information Center or at Visit Yuma's Specialty Dinners and events like the Ag to Art Market. "I like to get out there and work closely with the community," said Chee. He has recently relocated from Los Angeles back to Yuma, where he grew up. For fun, he enjoys music and producing new music.

Be a lettuce head

Help us countdown to New Years Eve in a uniquely Yuman way! Post photos of you and a head of iceberg lettuce in a scenic or iconic Yuma location. Replace the “O” in a sign with a head of lettuce in front of the sign? Take your lettuce to the airport, or make it look like a statue is atop the iceberg head? Share your artistic and creative photos of blending iceberg lettuce with famous Yuma sights on the Visit Yuma Facebook page!

Get festive on your own website and add the countdown clock from VisitYuma.com. Just click on it to get an embed link for your website. Then you and your customers or visitors can help us countdown to Dec. 31st at midnight! Go to https://www.visityuma.com/lettuce-drop.html.

Since Visit Yuma is again holding its annual Iceberg Drop on Dec. 31st in Historic Downtown Yuma, the countdown to 12/31/19 11:59 p.m. has begun… There’s a countdown clock on VisitYuma.com. It started counting down on Jennifer Blackwell’s Today in Yuma show on Z93 MonsterMedia radio on Monday, Dec. 2nd, and the clock will continue to run until we get to New Years Eve. Mark your calendar now to join in the celebration on Main Street. Music and live entertainment start at 8:00 p.m., with many restaurants and bars staying open later. The giant, embellished and lighted head of iceberg lettuce will be dropped from a crane, to a countdown at 10 p.m., to coincide with New York City, and also at Midnight.

"Where's good to eat?"

Many of the visitors coming into the Visitor Information Center (VIC)want recommendations about where to eat, as well as what to see and do. The new kiosk has debuted in the VIC, and we need more information from YOU! The 48” screen shows beautiful photos and videos of Yuma while it’s in “Standby” mode, but its main purpose is to connect travelers with your member listing and information so they can get to your business. When a visitor clicks to start seeing what there is to see and do, they are invited to make a customized itinerary of the items they choose; that list can be texted to their cell phone or emailed to them so they can use it on-the-go while they’re sightseeing in-market (in Yuma).

Visitors are starting to use it every day, to create custom itineraries of what they want to see and do in Yuma, including where to eat, shop and stay overnight. People are intrigued with the kiosk and many try it out. The new Art Trail is popular, where they can load a customized murals list to their phone and the list becomes a tour which goes point-to-point, and looking for places to eat is a top-used feature, too.

Here’s where we need your help:

Now’s the time to fill out all the details in your member listing on VisitYuma.com. As we tested the new kiosk, adding restaurants, lodging, and activities to “our” itineraries, getting enough information was a challenge… Many listings on VisitYuma.com look “blank,” with only their name, address, and website listed… Please fill out your online profile fully. Be sure to list hours of operation, if closed certain days, and describe WHAT you offer for goods or services--anything that visitors are likely to wonder about where to go and what to do. It may not be obvious from the name of your business, so listing out what you offer in your Description field helps so much. You can update that with events, specials, menu information, different types of lodging your facility offers, whatever describes your business. For lodging members, letting visitors know you have king beds or jacuzzi suites or extended stay units with kitchens, have high-speed WiFi or premium TV channels all help them make their choices. Adding in more information is always better!

Particularly for restaurants, visitors are curious what kind of foods you serve. As in the photo above, what they see is a big, blank white screen with no info if you don’t fill out your Description field. Unfortunately, scanning your menu to add as an image won’t come out large enough to be readable, so the best way to do it is to type in “Barbeque, sandwiches, and pizza” or “Mexican food made with love, from our family recipes,” or “Fresh sandwiches and salads made with Yuma fresh produce” --whatever sums up what you offer!

Each listing may have as many photos as you’d like, a big plus that sets you apart from your competitors who may not have loaded photos in their listing. Help potential visitors picture what you’ll have for them if they make the trip to visitor your establishment!

Log in to your Member listing on VisitYuma.com to fill out your profile more fully. If you need assistance or can’t remember your login information, call Membership Manager Marlene Castillo at 928.318.6534.

Put your best foot forward! Be sure to upload your best photos so they are available for visitors to see, whether they’re coming to us on VisitYuma.com, on the Visit App from wherever they are when they download the app, or in the Visitor Information Center, checking out our new 48” colorful kiosk screen.

pick up bulk order of new visitors guides

Did you know that you can pick up a bulk order of Visitors Guides for free? If you come to Visit Yuma’s administrative offices at 180 W. 1st St. during business hours, staff will assist you with getting boxes of the Visitors Guide to make available at your business. Promote yourself and fellow business members by having Visit Yuma’s Visitors Guides on hand to share with winter visitors and travelers.

  • Bob Lutes celebrated a birthday on November 13th, his 84th to be exact. Best wishes for a great 85th year, Bob!
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn have started extensive renovations on both guest rooms and public areas. Fairfield Inn’s Executive Kings/King suites are getting step-in showers where tub/showers had been, while standard rooms are getting new tubs and all bathrooms are getting new tile flooring. The pool furniture will be all new, and music is being added from the lobby area to the breakfast area. TownePlace Suites’ Studios will get step-in showers where tub/showers had been, as well as new fixtures. In the kitchen areas, countertops will change to quartz and they’re getting new oven and flat top stoves. TownePlace Suites will also get a larger gym with new equipment, and new door locks and new cameras will enhance safety. Completion of the renovations will be in January, 2020.
  • Dr. Craig Barrows is the star of the show in the latest Yuma Talks video, presented by Visit Yuma. Dr. Barrows shared educational information about dental health as we age, likening it to maintenance we do on our cars. Do *you* treat your teeth better or worse than your car? Always lively and fun, Dr. Barrows can be seen in this month’s Yuma Talks on Visit Yuma's Facebook page.
  • Mural painting has commenced! The Endless Avenues project is a program developed by Lia Littlewood to make more public art in Yuma feasible starting with a 4 mile long mural in Yuma, Arizona. She was awarded a research and design grant by the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2019. This mural will depict the history of art from the caveman era to today's art using Yuma, Arizona's landmarks and icons. Lia's goal is to start on Avenue C from 1st Street to 32nd Street (4 miles) then develop Avenue B and Avenue A. Then switching latitudes to all of 8th Street, 16th Street, 24th Street and 32nd Street.

Everyone Counts, !Todos Contamos! Yuma County, We All Count! – April 1, 2020

Basically, it’s this easy: wherever you are on April 1, get counted there. Whether you’re a permanent resident or snowbird, if you’re in Yuma on April 1, get counted! It makes a big difference for our local communities. Get more information at Census 2020 Official Facebook Page.

The Census numbers are used to determine Federal and State funds and grants, economic development, housing assistance, transportation improvements and many other programs. The community leaders of the region are also concerned about historically undercounted populations including young children, young adults, elderly, immigrants, migrants, non-English speakers, and homeless; and recognizes that language, culture, trust and other social barriers have historically impeded some people from participating in the census.

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS FOR MEMBERS: BEST TIMES TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is always evolving, and user behavior changes with it. One fact that doesn’t change is that all social platforms move fast, with a constant stream of content vying for attention. You want to get the most eyes possible on your content and maximize engagement by knowing the best times to post on social networks. READ MORE

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