Bring­ing tourism to the heart of Cov­ing­ton

Tourism packet to launch in the next cou­ple weeks in tan­dem with trol­ley ser­vice and ho­tels

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - SAMANTHA REAR­DON news@cov­

Be­gin­ning this month, Cov­ing­ton Tourism Di­rec­tor Jenny McDon­ald will launch the cham­ber’s new trol­ley and ho­tel part­ner­ship to bring busi­ness trav­el­ers to Cov­ing­ton’s His­toric Square.

“We don’t have all our sup­plies in yet, but we’re hop­ing to start in the next cou­ple weeks,” said Cham­ber Pres­i­dent Hunter Hall, who said ho­tels will be­gin plac­ing boards de­tail­ing the trol­ley’s route on their por­ti­cos.

The trol­ley will be­gin its route at the Hamp­ton and Hol­i­day Inns, where it will pick up trav­el­ers at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. and bring them down­town. Each will be armed with a “Hol­ly­wood of the South” lan­yard filled with coupons they can redeem in the area. The trol­ley will drop trav­el­ers back off at their des­ti­na­tion at 10 p.m. each night.

The coupons con­tained on each lan­yard can be redeemed at lo­cal venues such as Bradley’s and Just Dogs, of which have al­ready seen a lot of coupons be­ing used by cus­tomers.

The part­ner­ship is a pi­lot project. Hall de­scribed it as an ex­ten­sion of what they do at the cham­ber; rather than hav­ing to get in­for­ma­tion at a spe­cific venue, trav­el­ers will be able to take part in a mo­bile vis­i­tor’s cen­ter.

“We are very ex­cited about this ven­ture. It is an ex­per­i­ment on our part,” Hall said.

The trol­ley has been rented for just five months, giv­ing the cham­ber time to test the project and see if their mar­ket­ing strat­egy yields re­sults for lo­cal businesses down­town.

“If it works, we’ll look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow it,” Hall said.

Af­ter the rental pe­riod, Hall hopes that the pri­vate sec­tor will con­tact the cham­ber to part­ner.

Hall ex­plained that the cham­ber does not nec­es­sar­ily want to be in the trol­ley busi­ness, but it gives them the op­por­tu­nity to work with Main Street and cre­ate a mar­ket.

In the mean­time they will be track­ing coupon re­demp­tion and num­ber of rid­ers us­ing the ser­vice.

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