We, staff and board members, of the Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau are proud to present the 2015 Annual Report. This report showcases accomplishments from the bureau and provides goals that our office will be working towards in 2016. Ross-Chillicothe CVB is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting Ross County as a tourism destination. Funding to the CVB is through the county’s portion of lodging tax collected at hotels, cabins and bed & breakfast locations within Ross County.
Before we begin sharing information on our annual report, we would like to thank all of our board members. Our executive committee for 2016 consists of board President – David Polk (Stoney Creek Cottage), Vice-President – Patti Kruger (Sunroom Catering & Frankfort Sunflower Festival), Treasurer – Randy Davies (Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce) and Past-President – Eric Woodworth (Hampton Inn & Suites).
We would like to highlight our biggest achievement and that is the increase of 11% in lodging taxes collected. The increase is due to demand for rooms in the Chillicothe / Ross County market from corporate & leisure travelers. As the demand increases for rooms, lodging facilities are able to avoid drastic discounts in their room rates and are able to sell their inventories at their established rates. Lodging tax collected is one of the ways that the bureau is able to determine if their advertising and marketing campaigns are successful.
In addition to the increase in lodging tax, the bureau also uses visitor counts at local attractions to measure their advertising and marketing campaigns. Partners from attraction locations reported their numbers with majority showing an increase in visitors. The highest increase was reported from the Pump House Center for the Arts with a 22% increase over 2014, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park came in second with an increase of 17.9%. Hopewell’s increase translates to having over 42,000 visitors who came through the National Park last year. Adena Mansion & Gardens and Tecumseh Outdoor Drama both saw smaller boosts in their attendance but still showed increases over 2015.
Coming up in 2016 the bureau is planning on launching a Walking Tour App that both residents and visitors can use on their smartphones and tablets. The initial launch of this product will include three different tours. The first tour will include architecture downtown with information provided by Kevin Coleman of Intrepid Heritage Services, with another tour offering History & Mystery of locations throughout downtown Chillicothe with support and stories provided from the League of Women Voters who previously organized the annual History & Mystery Ghost Walk tour, and the third tour is being compiled as a driving tour of some of the earthworks in our area. More information will be coming soon as we get closer to the launch date.
Also in the works includes the update to the Official Ross County Visitors Guide. The bureau works with Ohio Magazine and Great Lakes Publishing to produce a high quality guide. These guides are distributed throughout Ohio and are used by the bureau to promote Ross County as a destination at travel shows.
Again, we will be holding our 3rd Annual Tourism Banquet in May to celebrate National Tourism Month and to serve as a kick-off event for our local tourism partners. As part of the program, we will recognize the “best of the best” in the local tourism industry during the Pineapple Awards.
Copies of the Ross-Chillicothe CVB’s 2015 Annual Report can be obtained through the resources link on our website.