“Marketing and promotion of all facets of business at the Lake of the Ozarks is a primary responsibility of the Camden County Commission. It is important to constantly point out all of the positive aspects of living, working, vacationing, and eventually retiring in our beautiful community. As the question focuses on the Lake as a vacation and retirement destination, so will I."
It’s no secret: the Lake of the Ozarks is a major tourism area. Not only do thousands of people visit here for weekend getaways or extended vacations, but thousands are second homeowners who contribute to the local economies through sales taxes and property taxes.
Despite that windfall of visitors, the lake competes with the likes of Branson, Kansas City, St. Louis, Eureka Springs and other popular Midwestern destinations for tourists. Newspapers, the Internet, magazines and billboards across the state are rife with enticements to get you to visit.
But what do local economic development officials serving the lake do to capture the attention — and ultimately the presence — of people to our lake?
What the candidates for Cadmen County presiding commissioner say: What role, if any, do you see Camden County government playing in the marketing and promotion of Lake of the Ozarks as a vacation and retirement destination?
Incumbent Kris Franken says:
“Marketing and promotion of all facets of business at the Lake of the Ozarks is a primary responsibility of the Camden County Commission. It is important to constantly point out all of the positive aspects of living, working, vacationing, and eventually retiring in our beautiful community. As the question focuses on the Lake as a vacation and retirement destination, so will I.
“Many people across the nation already know what a great place the Lake is. In fact, we have property owners in Camden County from all 50 states. Even though the Lake is well known, there are still many people (some right here in Missouri) who have never heard of it. This is why marketing and advertisement are important. The Lake has two entities that work very hard to advertise and market the Lake of the Ozarks. They are the Tri-County Lodging Association (TCLA) and the Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB).
“The TCLA is the promotional organization. They advertise in print media, on television, and on the internet. They also financially support festivals and special events. The TCLA keeps the Camden County Commission up to date on all of the events that they are supporting and the amounts and types of advertisement that they are purchasing.
“The CVB is the implementation organization. They attend sport and travel shows, and work to produce the actual advertising that the TCLA purchases. They also provide information and other resources to people that want to visit the Lake. The CVB also works with people that are looking to bring sport and travel related businesses to the Lake, and I have had the honor of being a part of that team. Currently we are working on a very exciting project, and hopefully there will be a positive press release regarding it in the near future.
“The TCLA and CVB do a great job promoting the Lake, and there is no reason for the Camden County Commission to reinvent the wheel. This is why the best way for the Commission to participate is by supporting and enhancing their efforts both physically and financially. This year, in addition to the public support that we normally provide, the Commission also provided $2,500.00 worth of financial support from our Passport fund. We felt like this was the next step in our relationship with these two organizations.
“Under the current advertising structure being used by the TCLA, the County receives a return of $123 for every dollar spent on advertising. With the County tax rate being 1.25%, our $2,500.00 investment will return $3,843.75 in tax dollars, or $1.54 for every $1.00 spent. This is a good investment in our business community, and that is why the Commission elected to move forward financially this year. When people come to the Lake to vacation or live, every business in the County benefits financially either directly or indirectly. We will evaluate our return on investment next year, and make a decision on how to continue to enhance our relationships with these entities.”
*Editor’s Note: Candidate responses were not altered in any way. Candidates were asked to keep responses to a 500-word maximum.