Tourism Excellence Recognized by Convention & Visitors Bureau

By Mansfield/Richland County CVB

May 25, 2016

The Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau (M/RCVB) recognized Excellence in Tourism at its Annual Meeting, held today in the Ohio Brass Central Guard Room at the Ohio State Reformatory.  

2015 Was a Year of Strategzing, Development and  Partnership

 “2015 was a strategic year for the local tourism industry and our Convention & Visitors Bureau”, according to board chair Alex Rocks.  “The organization took the time to take stock of where the Bureau has been and strategize how to better effect the overall economic development and to become a strong partner.  The environment is well-suited for more collaboration on things that move the community forward and we are happy to be a part of it.” 

In addition to producing a comprehensive two-year plan, highlights for 2015 included helping establish the Shawshank Hustle, the popular Wine & Ale Trail, invested in the Brickyard Stage project, conducting visitor research and reaping the rewards of the national PR garnered during the two Shawshank events (2013-14) by having the media tought the capture and return to Ohio of “real life Shawshank escapee” Frank Freshwaters.  Articles surrounding his story that connected Shawshank with OSR were worth hundreds of millions of dollars in awareness.

“We launched the next generation Shawshank Trail website along with two online commercials for the Trail”, reported Bureau President, Lee Tasseff.  “They are critical parts of the targeted online ad campaign for those interested in the Republican National Convention and those attending in July.  That campaign is just the first of several future campaigns”. 

New for 2016

  • Next generation of and Wine & Ale Trail brochure
  • Expanded Social Media efforts including #RichlandLIVE (promoting live music), #RichlandHAPPENINGS (promoting events)
  • Launched a targeted ad campaign tied to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland
  • Gearing up to do hospitality for the Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs.
  • A “What’s Nearby” feature is being developed for

What we shared today is but a sample of efforts and activities being worked on, worked with or launched”, added Bureau President Lee Tasseff.  “That includes data from the 2015 research project.  We have a clearer picture of why people visit, what they do while they are here and how they access information during their visit.  One of the more notable findings is that what we do and create (ads, brochures) is effective.  In essence, the only way to earn a higher return of new dollars to the local economy is to do more of it.”  

Tourism Hall of Fame gains Four New Members

Top honors in tourism excellence went to four businesses and concert venue that have driven tourism or helped the Bureau enhance tourism in Richland County.  “They set standards for excellence that helped grow Richland County’s tourism offerings,” stated Rocks.  “They help set us apart from other communities competing for the same visitor dollar.”  The Tourism Hall of Fame now has 56 winners.  This year’s winners are:

  • Final Fridays Concerts/The Brickyard (Downtown Mansfield, Inc.)
  • Walk of Parables (BibleWalk)
  • The Phoenix Brewery Co.  (The Phoenix Brewery)
  • Little Buckeye Children’s Museum (Little Buckeye Children’s Museum)

 The meeting was presented by Alta Florist and Greenhouse, Ed Pickens’ Café on Main Events & Catering and the Ohio State Reformatory.  Attendees enjoyed a Shawshank Themed menu of Andy’s Apple Cashew Salad, Red’s Potatoes, Brook’s Beans, Orange Jumpsuit Chicken, Prison Pies and Lockup Libations.

Criteria for Award

Award Recipients were chosen based on meeting at least three of the following criteria:

  1. Increased tourism in Richland County and North Central Ohio.
  2. Advanced tourism through a unique concept, niche, new market or collaborative partnership.
  3. Sustained excellence.
  4. Significantly added to the tourism product offering of Richland County and North Central Ohio.
  5. Helped gain positive statewide and/or national public relations or press.
  6. Made significant improvements to their lodging property, attraction, recreational or food services facility, sports venue, etc.
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