Noon, Monday, June 4, 2012
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Present: M Boyette, T Godwin, J Godfrey, B Dixon, C McLamb, H Stump, T Stewart

Absent: K Brinson, P Boucher, M Patel, K Henthorn

Staff: D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips

I.          Call to Order – Vice-Chairman T Godwin

T Godwin called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm and stated that a quorum was present. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted.

II.        Vice-Chairman T Godwin

T Godwin asked for a motion to accept the April minutes that were previously sent to the Board.

B Dixon motioned to accept the May minutes as presented.  T Stewart seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

III.       Finances – Vice-Chairman T Godwin

May Financials

Month-to-Date Revenue for May was $84,383.31.  Month-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $20,810.39. Month-to-Date Operations were $47,682.82. Net Income for the month was $15,890.10.  Year-to-Date Revenues were $813,061.32. Year-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $215,732.46. Year-to-Date Operations were $473,897.13. Year-to-Date net income was $123,431.73. The April revenues were $56,757.95. Smithfield’s April Revenues were $16,388.10. Selma’s April Revenues were $8,568.73. Kenly’s April Revenues were $2,523.35.  Benson’s April Revenues were $805.59. T Godwin stated that revenues were down from last year in May, but noted that expenditures are stable.

IV. Special Projects Committee – T Stewart

No meeting held in May. Special Projects Committee will meet June 20th.

V. Marketing Committee – Reviewed by D Bailey-Taylor

Highlights from the May Marketing meeting:

  • D Bailey-Taylor introduced summer intern Persida Montazez, a Communications student at ECU. She will be working on websites, video scripts, social media and publicity.
  • New visitors guide will include a 4-page spread for the CPO Outlet Shopping. Staff is working on inventory and the brochure will go to print in July.
  • Northstar Research Company was discussed. Five hotels, the Carolina Premium Outlet and several other stores have confirmed the desire to participate.
  • Me Fine Foundation – Timberjack Run was successful with JCVB providing 500 gift bags..
  • Primal Mud Run is booked for October 13th back at the Cox Farm where the Bio-Mass Loggers Group – have decided to return, tentatively set for Sept. 20-21, 2013.
  • Sudan Shriners want to return to Smithfield in November 2014.
  • Room Saver is offering area hotels the online web reservation link at $35 per month per hotel through December 2012.
  • Video tapping with Patrick Brown took place on June 2nd for the onscreen scenes for History, Shopping and Outdoor Recreation.
  • Lunar Cow Interactive Map is working on the database that the bureau provided and there is an online session scheduled for June 15th to review.
  • The Bureau will host a meeting to introduce Tom Rhodes, NC Green on June 12th. To tourism related business to learn more about running a green business.

VI.       Staff Report – D Bailey-Taylor

D Bailey-Taylor asked for the board to discuss the North Star project and budget adjustment.

B Dixon motioned to approve the budget adjustment to engage North Star research.  T Stewart seconded.

Discussion of the motion: M Boyette stated that H Daniels, owner of the Sleep Inn and Super 8 hotels, had questions about engaging with North Star and the data that would be used. H Stump stated the desire to have the zip codes with deeper information and suggested purchasing data from American Express instead of North Star. D Bailey-Taylor stated that four hotels and the Carolina Premium Outlet had confirmed participation in the North Star program. T Godwin asked the board if the project should be moved forward into the next year budget.

M Boyette motioned to table the North Star research. H Stump seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

D Bailey-Taylor reminded the board about an email sent out concerning reimbursements for Special Event Grants and encouraged board members to follow up with grant recipients in their communities.  The staff has sent out reminders via email on the deadline of June 25th to have requests in for funding of grants.

Due to the length of meeting, T Godwin asked board members to read over the staff report and if they had any questions please contact Donna.

Summary of Visitor Inquiries and Distribution – May

Visitor inquiries: pieces of literature mailed: 3,854
Year to Date visitor inquiries:  40,755
Inquiry History by Brochure: Visitor Guide 3,470
                                          CPO Brochure 417

Visitor History by State: NC (288), NY (280), SC (203), VA (161), PA (266), OH (158), FL (290), GA (142), TX (128), MD (138), NJ (153)

Visitor Inquiry for Advertising Source:  Compass Magazine – 1480
Civil War Traveler – 124
AAA Go Magazine – 300
Southern Living Smithfield – 580
Oprah Magazine – 1,170
Granite Communications – 441 Ham & Yam listing – 264 Brochure Download - 50

May Bulk Distribution:

JCVB Visitors Guide – 5,560
JCVB Agri-tourism Trail brochures – 2,135
JCVB Golf – 545
JCVB Plastic Bags – 500
JCVB Skittles – 490
JCVB Sunscreen - 490
JCVB Toothbrush covers – 400
JoCo Maps - 20
CPO Brochures – 445
Ham and Yam Festival Brochure – 100
Wine Trail Brochures – 1,500
SS Visitors Maps 5,615

 New and Inactive IP Records in D3000

New Record /Opened: A Lil’l Wiggle Room, Cleveland Furniture Warehouse, Don Beto’s Tacos, Go Play Outside Now, Nice Dreams Café, Stephenson’s Farm House, T&S Treasures

Closed: Shooters Billiards

Google Analytics – report for May – 2,834 unique visitors, 7,313 page views
– 3,418 unique visitors, 14,631 page views
– 1,503 unique visitors, 5,971 page views
– 7,320 unique visitors, 27,373 page views
– 171 unique visitors, 216 page views
– 548 unique visitors, 1,870 page views
– 490 unique visitors, 1,847 page views
- 607 unique visitors, 2,686 page views
– 854 unique visitors, 3,351 page views
– 234 unique visits, 646 page views

VII. Old Business


VIII. New Business

Discussion was had about membership in I-95 No Toll Coalition. This coalition was formed to advocate for the citizens and businesses along North Carolina’s I-95 corridor in the fight against tolling. The cost of the dues is $1000 for business and government groups and $200 for individuals.

B Dixon motioned to join the I-95 No Toll Coalition.  M Boyette seconded.  Motion passed 5 to 1.

VIV.    Presentation to Johnston County Commissioners

Prior to the regular JCTA board meeting, the staff and board met with the Johnston County Commissioners to present the annual report.

DB Taylor presented the 2010-2011 Annual Report Financials, stating that revenues were up 4% and expenses were down -4%. Additional information on 2010 visitor spending numbers, jobs, and how visitors contribute to local taxes was given to commissioners. Highlights from the annual report were discussed such as the new County-wide Sports Council and Muscadine Wine Trail Committee which continues to focus on niche markets for Johnston County group and leisure travel. M Boyette stated that the hotels were seeing more sports related stays such as softball, dance and gymnastics. Boyette also added the importance of Trip Advisor in guest bookings. DB Taylor stated that the bureau has expanded our marketing with Trip Advisor. T Godwin noted the use of internet marketing and billboards to market the county. He pointed out the new billboard campaign for the town of Kenly and each town having their own website, which is managed by the bureau staff. Jeff Carver asked about the budget and the peak times for revenues. DB Taylor stated that the travel season was heavier in the spring beginning in April and ran through Labor Day. Cookie Pope asked about film locations. DB Taylor that the bureau has been proactive with the Triangle Film Commission to bring in more film projects placing a variety of film locations in their database. Tony Braswell asked if the bureau had a listing of available meeting places in the county. DB Taylor stated that the Ag-Center is the largest meeting facility in the county and that the bureau has meeting spaces listed on our website, as well as, a sports facility brochure and wedding brochure to mail out to inquiries. H Stump asked for the commissioner’s support on getting the Town of Clayton the 2% occupancy tax similar to the towns of Smithfield, Selma, Benson and Kenly to help with tourism in Clayton. T Godwin noted that the financials were for the fiscal year for 2010-11 and that we should entertain meeting in the fall of the year so the numbers would be more current. Commissioner Allen Mims thanked the Visitors Bureau board and staff for their hard work promoting the county.

Meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm.

Next Meeting
County Tourism Authority
Noon, August 1, 2012
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Boyette, Secretary/Treasurer