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Happy 2021: Success On the Road to Recovery!
First, Happy New Year to you and the teams with which you work from both of us! Yes, this missive will now be a joint “Letter from the Leadership,” as Chris Redgrave excitedly and just took over as Board Chair, bringing her infectious energy to the role. As Chris steps in, we’d like to offer an incredibly genuine “Thanks!” to Taylor Vriens for guiding our Board and organization through a most memorable year, from onboarding a new president/CEO to helping steer Visit Salt Lake through the pandemic that impacted us all.
We don’t believe there are many in the hospitality industry unhappy to see 2020 come to an end but we must remain vigilant through the next months and years to ensure the full recovery of our industry and that of our community. As we usher in a new year that will most assuredly bring new opportunities, we’d like to reflect a bit about some of the promising programs and efforts we were able to accomplish during what may be the most difficult year we will ever face.
Though it wasn’t quite a record year in terms of room nights booked, the VSL Sales team was able to have one of its top three despite the crushing impact of COVID-19. In fact, the team achieved 88% of its pre-pandemic booking goal of more than 844,000 room nights, ending 2020 with an impressive 742,852 room nights booked. This was achieved through hard work, creative programs and the strategic use of incentives, including the Meet In Utah grant that provided $40 per room night for meetings booked in 2020 for 2021.
In addition, our Salt Lake Bound = FREEdom Found travel promotion, funded through CARES Act dollars, has generated 875 reservations, more than 2,000 room nights and nearly $200,000 in hotel revenue to date. The campaign incentivizes travelers to book two or more nights with a variety of value-added offers targeting both drive and fly markets, as well as offers for skiers and non-skiers alike.
Though 2020 was extremely difficult on all of us, please know we’re working hard to help in our community’s recovery, and these are but a couple of programs we’ve undertaken with more in the works.
To a healthy and prosperous 2021 for all!