Thursday, May 15, 2008

Loding-air travel partnership?

By Kathryn Reed

Despite the scary news about airlines that seems to make headlines every other day, a couple folks pitched the idea to the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association that it should shell out $50,000 to market air travel into Reno.
Ronele Klingensmith and Knud Svendsen touted the benefits of their five-year-old coalition on April 10. No action was taken by the board. (This reporter is an associate member of the lodging association through her massage business.)
“Our mission is to build air service,” Klingensmith said.
Members of the airline coalition include North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Ski Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and Incline Village’s visitors’ bureau.
Jerry Bindel, president of the local lodging association and general manager of Lakeland Village, asked what the benefit would be to his association or independent hoteliers when LTVA is already onboard as a voting partner.
“The major advantage is you would have an additional voice and bring additional money for the things we do,” Svendsen said.
“We are missing the voice of smaller properties,” Klingensmith said.
She said the group has worked with Southwest, Alaska, Delta, Continental, U.S. Airways, Express Jet and others to assist with promoting the Reno-Tahoe area. It’s all about marketing, they said.
Svendsen said Southwest’s flight out of Baltimore that connects in Chicago before landing in Reno will be even more critical to this area once the convention center is completed. He said money and national associations are based in the nation’s capital, making Baltimore a potential conventioneer launching point for South Lake.
He mentioned how his group is bringing a media entourage to the South Shore the third week of June and that if a South Shore property were part of his group, then they’d benefit by possible free publicity as the group swings by.
In other SLTLA news:
• B Gorman, executive director of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said her organization is working with North Lake officials to come up with basin-wide economic indicators that will be revealed at a lunch this month.
• Nicole Cox, with LTVA, touted the June 21-22 Opening Days on the Lake. The paddle-wheel race will be June 22. Last year the bike valet "parked" 400 two-wheelers and is aiming to triple that number next month.
• Pat Ronan, lodging member and GM of Lake Shore Lodge & Spa, said the LTVA summer ad campaign will begin this month. It includes Opening Days, unlike last year. That’s because in ’07 the final permit wasn’t secured until three days before the event.

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