22 August 2019
Allison Laslett, CEO
Santa Barbara County Vintners
597 Avenue of the Flags
Buellton, CA 93427
Dear Santa Barbara County Vintners,
We are excited to hear about your progress in creating a Wine Business Improvement District (BID).
Santa Barbara County is covered by three tourism-focused BIDs – one in Santa Barbara, one in the Santa Maria Valley, and one in the Santa Ynez Valley. These programs are funded by assessments that our hotel and lodging businesses collect for collective marketing of each region. Funds generated by these business-led assessments allow us to promote our communities to potential visitors in ways we would not be able to do otherwise.
While each BID employs its own unique strategies, we are all more effective at attracting visitors, placing stories in industry and consumer publications, and attracting influencers to pay attention to our offerings because of the funds provided by the BIDs. Because BIDs have a longer life than traditional annual “membership” models, the predictable nature of the funding allows us to pursue consistent strategies and reap benefits over time.
Our lodging owners welcomed the opportunity to expand their marketing voice, and participate actively in the leadership and governance of the BIDs. The BIDs allow our constituents to see the value of a unified effort, and they clearly understand that this allows them to be part of something much greater than anything they can individually achieve. It is important to note that two of the three BIDs have successfully renewed their charters beyond their first five-year authorizations and did so with overwhelming levels of support.
Additionally, we are not aware of a single instance in which a hotel has lost a customer due to the assessment.
We are excited that you will ‘own’ the enviable position of being the first wine region to successfully pursue a Wine BID. The publicity will be invaluable for all of us. And by taking on this visionary leadership role, SB Vintner’s will not only be an example for wine regions across CA, but across the country.
As you know, all three tourism BIDs have embraced our wine industry as a major focus of our tourism marketing. We are proud of the relationships we have built with many of your members and the work we have done together to promote our County and your industry. We are excited about the potential of how much more we can do together once the wine BID is in place and generating dedicated marketing funds.
We encourage you to take this step, as the lodging industry has done, and make the decision to create a wine BID – expand your marketing voice and positively impact your business, your industry and our region.
Cheers to your success,