Board Meeting January 11, 2012
10:00pm - 2:30pm
Attendance: Jeremy Foust, Adam Angel, Pam Newlun, Rehne Copeland-Vanek, Steven Cadematori, Dee Patterson, Justus Hyatt, Mary Kay Nelson, Julie Johnson, Annalee Tobey. Maree Lerchen was unable to attend due to a conflict.
Introductions - 2012 board roster (draft) was distributed. MK to update roster and resend with the minutes.
The meeting was called to order by President Jeremy Foust at 10:15am.
The October minutes were reviewed. Justus moved and Pam seconded to approve the minutes. Motion carried.
Mary Kay reviewed the end of the year financial statements and reported:
1/10/12 Bank Balance: $3,568.29
Pierce County (issue date 12/9/12) $22,844
Pierce County (in process) $3,083
Lewis County (2011 4th qtr reimbursement) $8,750
WS Travel Planner co-op (2012) $6,576
Payables: Average monthly expenses $25,000
Mary Kay suggested we consider a Visit Rainier credit card to help with cash flow issues which continue to be a concern during the first quarter prior to Pierce County reimbursements. Jeremy suggested a better idea might be a line of credit. He directed Mary Kay to work with Maree, Treasurer to look into this option.
Mary Kay noted that we were advised by our accounting firm, The Business Resource Center, to purchase Quickbooks 2012 so we can access our reports for board review. The reasoning is because owner Carol Bezy now has a CPA license she is required to sign off on all third party reporting and the cost of having her do so each quarter will cost us more than if we have our own program where we can access our own records. The board agreed to purchase the software.
Jeremy discussed the transfer of Pierce County lodging tax grant management to the economic development department for Pierce County, as was recommended by the Lodging Tax Committee. Kathy Sorgenfrei is our contact for Pierce County. Mary Kay noted we were required to submit the event expenditure report to Pierce County even though it does not seem to apply to Visit Rainier. VR does not operate events or own facilities; however Pierce County still requires the report.
Election of Officers 2012-2013
The office of the president is open for re-election. Jeremy was nominated by Dee to be re-elected as president. Adam seconded. After some discussion, Jeremy accepted the nomination. The board unanimously elected Jeremy as board president for 2012 and 2013.
Board Members 2012-2013
Dee made a motion to elect Pam, Jeremy and Steven and Justus for a new term. Rehne seconded. Discussion was held and it was determined there was confusion about the terms of office and whose position was open. Mary Kay was directed to review the minutes to confirm the correct rotation of open positions. The election was tabled until further review and clarification.
Website Development Discussion
The board discussed BK's role with Visit Rainier. The board would like to have an improved line of communication directly with BK and has requested they have an annual face to face meeting with BK, preferable the meeting prior to the board retreat. The board wants to make decisions regarding the future development on the website by having more information on the available options. The board discussed the need to have full access to passwords and website access information in order to protect the organization. Mary Kay will work with BK to obtain all information and keep it in a location that is accessible to the board.
The board wants to ensure a level of checks and balances. They considered an independent audit or review of the website, but decided this is not necessary at this time. It was decided that MK and Annalee will work with BK to develop a plan and then conference call with Dee and Justus to discuss options to present to the board at the July meeting. The board agreed that the technology is at a good place for now and the budget would not allow a major re-design for several years. In the meantime the board would prefer to concentrate on enhancing content and continued maintenance and development.
It was suggested we have a peer review through a survey to ask other DMO's advice on what is lacking on our website or what we can do better. We could consider asking local businesses to review the website as well.
Videography Contract with Hemlock Productions
Mary Kay is working with Nils on developing three 30-60 sec videos with the following themes:
1) Mesmerizing Mt. Rainier: inviting user generated content of scenic areas and personal testimonies, 2) Get back in touch with your mountain: uses a Seattle perspective, then being transported to the very side of the mountain emphasizing winter at the mountain, 3) This or That: showing the variety of ways one can enjoy the mountain. A place to be invigorated and a place to relax... The videos will begin now and the first one is expected to be completed by the end of March. Although it will be late for this winter, it will be ready to promote next fall. The other videos need to include Sunrise footage, so it may take into the summer to complete all videos, unless Nils has adequate footage. Justus offered footage from her library at Crystal Mountain. Pam offered lodging for the videographer if he can do weekdays.
Media and Community Outreach
Julie reported she is working on a media tour for the White Pass area that would include the White Pass Ski Area, Oak Creek Feeding Station and other stops along the southern route.
The Rock n Roll Marathon, June 21st is $1900. Julie is looking for partners for this event. Justus said Crystal Mountain would partner for the one day event. Jeremy was interested in joining in with Ashford Events.
2013 Pierce County funding request amount
The board agreed to ask for a 3% increase which rounds out to $272,000. The request should be tied to growth, both for our website referrals and for lodging and unincorporated lodging tax revenue. Jeremy mentioned needing new representatives on the LTAC in the coming year. The board recommended asking Win Whittaker to consider applying for that position.
2012 Deliverables and Goals
Mary Kay presented tables with 2012 Program Deliverables and Goals for the board's review. The categories presented were:
Media Relations and Community Outreach
The board offered modifications and suggestions and asked to have this sent each quarter with the minutes and agenda prior to the meeting.
2012 2nd Annual Visit Rainier Summit
The board was reminded to attend the Feb 8th Stakeholder Summit. Presentations will be made by "staff," Randy King and Lee Taylor, MRNP and Suzanne Fletcher, WTA.
Justus reported Crystal Mountain had great foot traffic this summer with a goal of 50,000, which was surpassed. The goal for 2012 is 75,000 visitors. They are now working on general awareness and the summer media campaign. They will be going into their 50th year in 2012-2013 season, along with K-2 skis and the Seattle World's Fair.
Jeremy mentioned the attendance at Mt. Rainier NP was down as compared to the Olympic NP. He wondered if we could find out the reason from the Olympic DMO. Julie said she would guess it has to do with "Twilight," but she could confirm with this the Olympic DMO if anything else was done to market the area. Mary Kay offered to look at the NPS reports to see if she could determine a trend.
Jeremy reported Bryan Bowden is working on a Welcome Center/Shuttle service at the Ashford Visitor Center run by Mt. Rainier Visitor Association. Bryan is also working with the Nisqually Watershed Land Trust on a Corridor Management Plan funded through a Scenic Byway grant of $75,000.
There is work being done for Phase II of the Ashford County Park to have more parking and an amphitheater (to seat 250) built by January 2013. There will be a turn lane into the park and an area for a caretaker.
The Elbe WSDOT Rest Area is opening January 15 during daytime hours only.
Meeting adjourned at 3:00pm.
2012 Meetings and Locations
VR Summit - February 8 - Pack Forest Center
April 11 - Packwood
July 11 - Ashford
October 17-18 Alta Crystal Resort