Chesterton Tribune



PCCRVC hears of revamped event and tourism guides

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The Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission (PCCRVC) heard presentations on several redesigned publications and web pages at its meeting last week.

Community Engagement Director Brooke Allen reported that the Event Planning Guide is revised and on its way just in time for wedding planning season. The guide showcases venues in the county, and the PCCRVC has other resources as well, including a list of wedding photographers and people who can officiate a marriage.

PCCRVC Executive Director Lorelei Weimer noted, “Destination weddings are up, and people want to be married on our beaches.” Allen agreed: “We will be interacting with thousands and thousands of brides in the next couple months.”

The Event Planning Guide is focused on weddings, but it is also useful for those planning birthday parties and family reunions. Allen even helped someone organize a memorial service recently.

Allen, who is leaving her post this week, also redesigned the Activities Guide. Allen said that she’s observed a lot of confusion about parking and pet friendly locations, so she condensed a great deal of information into one spread in the guide. She hopes it will serve as a fun way to get people to the right places. The shopping section, meanwhile, grew from one page last year to six, a change Allen says is largely due to the growth of businesses in Valparaiso’s downtown area.

Allen also discussed changes to the website, including a culinary adventures page and a page highlighting “Adventures Near the Windy City.” In addition, the website now recognizes Kouts and Hebron, and Allen said it makes sense to promote the southeast and southwest areas of the county, where the Kankakee River runs. “We’ve separated them and really highlighted them as something special.”

The new pages were designed to be more interactive with the help of a social media consultant, and an analysis of site traffic shows it’s working--the pages have more than 10,000 clicks each and visitors spend an average of more than five minutes perusing them.


In other business, the board opted to reelect their current officers: Mitch Peters, President; Scott Tuft, Vice-President; Richard Riley, Treasurer; and Karen Webster, Secretary. Joining the board was Hebron Town Attorney Ted Fitzgerald.

The board also approved its annual contract with PCCRVC Attorney David Hollenbeck, who has represented the board since its formation. There were no changes to the contract.

Cooperative Development Contracts

Meanwhile, the Board approved its 2018 cooperative funding agreements. Per an agreement with the County Council, the board shares about 10 percent of its revenue from the innkeeper’s tax--which generated $119,774.32 in December--with the County Park Department, Expo Center, Museum, and Memorial Opera House. Riley reported that $150,000 will be split between the organizations, with Peters saying that 40 percent of that sum will go to the Park Department and the balance split equally by the other venues.

Weimer has asked the venues to answer a set of questions about how they will spend the money and return it by March 1. In the past, representatives of the venues have done presentations, but while the board would welcome presentations this year, it isn’t requiring them.



Posted 1/25/2018




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