One of the world’s largest motorcycle clubs descended on Johnson City for its 37th Annual International Rally, July 16th-19th, at the Appalachian Fairground. Since its founding in 1972, the BMW MOA’s International Rally has been held each year in July. As the BMW MOA has grown attendance, the rally has grown as well, now averaging over 9000 like minded riders. The rally site rotates throughout North America; previous rallies have been held in Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont, Trenton, and Ontario. The BMW MOA event is expected to have pumped about $10 million into the local economy during the event.
As the Johnson City CVB’s fiscal year ends, we look back at the results of our advertising and marketing efforts to review results that will determine our plans for 2009-10. An advertising budget of $130,000 focused on four audiences living within a day’s drive: families, baby boomers, motorcycle enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts. Both online and print advertising were used to catch the attention of these groups.
Website development also played a key role in our marketing efforts. A new micro website was developed featuring 12 scenic rides for the motorcycle road touring audience. The web site www.ridejohnsoncity.com had more than 1,500 visitors its first month.
We developed a promotion for outdoor enthusiasts to win a vacation package to Johnson City. To date we have received about 1,000 entries for the promotion. These names will be added to our databases of 5,000+ to receive future offers and news related to vacationing in Johnson City. Media kits promoting the Gray Fossil Site to travel writers resulted in a multi-page spread in Blue Ridge Magazine, and a one-age feature article in Southern Living. These efforts combined generated more than 98,000 direct inquiries. Using state tourism formulas, these convert to an indirect economic impact of $2.1 million.
Baba Enterprises, Inc. announces the All New Holiday Inn Express of Johnson City to open at Boones Creek. It is on exit #17, off I-26. The General Manager is Ann Hendrick, who has 15 years experience in the Tri-Cities area as a General Manager. The new Holiday Inn Express will feature 81 rooms. They include Jacuzzi and family suites. Holiday Inn Express will also feature an indoor saltwater pool and hot tub. Holiday Inn Express will also feature a Suite Shop, Business center, Fitness center and a Board room. Holiday Inn Express is scheduled to open July 9, 2009, with the grand opening to follow.