The city’s tourism organization is currently promoting Frisco to travelers from outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area with its “When it’s time...let’s play again” campaign. Cori Powers, Visit Frisco director of marketing and communications, told Frisco City Council the organization plans to update that campaign to include “Now that it’s time, let’s play again” once more businesses are open for travelers.
“The goal is to create a Visit Frisco campaign that drives awareness of Frisco as a must visit destination when the time is right,” Powers said during council’s May 19 work session. “The ‘play’ in this is really a nod to how family friendly our destination is as well as the sports that we have that make us a really unique place.”
In 2018, an estimated 6.6 million visitors spent $2.1 billion in the city, according to Visit Frisco. Powers said the campaign targets parents and potential travelers who live within a 250-mile radius. Visit Frisco staff said that includes the Houston and Oklahoma City markets.
“We know that the drive markets are going to be super, super important for our recovery efforts,” Powers said.
Council urged Visit Frisco to launch the messaging that the city is ready for visitors sooner rather than later.
“There’s a group that [is] ready to come to Frisco and are going to be super excited to hear that message,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “No matter how long you wait, there's going to be a group that's not ready to come out yet. And that's not who we're catering to.”
The mayor said it is “perfectly fine” some people are not ready to travel, but he told Powers he expects that contingent of people to be “loud and negative.” Mayor Pro Tem Will Sowell said he does not believe Visit Frisco should take "cues from social media at all."
“Businesses here are hurting, and they're hurting badly," Sowell said. "As a quickly as you guys are comfortable, I would love to see us promoting, 'Come. Be safe. It's a little different, but we'd love to have you.'"
Powers said Visit Frisco plans to launch the revised advertising around the beginning of June.
She told council no additional city money was spent on the campaign. The assets and agencies utilized were paid for before Visit Frisco’s marketing efforts were paused at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, she said.
While Visit Frisco is working to attract travelers from outside the city, a number of Frisco hotels are offering special “Frisco Staycation” rates for locals.
Among the hotels offering special rates are the Omni Frisco Hotel, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo and Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center. Guests will be required to present identification or proof of employment that verifies they live or work in Frisco to take part in the promotion.
“Being in hospitality, we have missed the interaction with our community,” Jeff Smith, Omni Frisco Hotel general manager and Visit Frisco board chair, said in a press release. “We wanted to offer Frisco essential workers, families and individuals an opportunity to escape in their own neighborhood this summer. When they’re ready, we look forward to welcoming them to a safe and clean environment where they can get away and still be close to home.”