Visitors and locals already "EatLafayette" and "Fly Lafayette." And a new holiday season campaign hopes they’ll also "ShopLafayette."
This initiative is a bit different from the previous eat and fly campaigns, both of which have enjoyed tremendous success, as it aims to increase top-of-mind awareness for Lafayette as a travel destination.
ShopLafayette promotes shopping at Lafayette area stores while increasing business at hotels and bed and breakfasts. The campaign targets out of market media to encourage new dollars and overnight stays, especially during the weekends when hotel occupancy is at its lowest.
“It is a natural extension of our marketing efforts,” Ben Berthelot, executive director for the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, sponsor of the lafayette.travel website, says in a press release announcing the campaign. “When people travel they usually include shopping as part of their activities in a new town or region. ShopLafayette will promote the diversity of retail, overnight accommodations and events during the holiday season.”
The visitor to Lafayette is on average 45 years old, has an annual income of more than $77,000, and is married with children, according to the release. The top two activities Lafayette visitors enjoy is visiting with relatives and shopping, according to the Calendar Year 2011 Louisiana Travels America Visitor Profile Report.
The history, culture, food and music have been the central core of the Lafayette .travel efforts since its inception. The success of its EatLafayette campaign inspired the development of the Shop Lafayette initiative.
“We are launching a website, shoplafayettela.com, to be the central warehouse for listings,” says Berthelot. “This season it is free to all retailers so we can plant the seed for a bigger rollout in 2013.”
The campaign expects to increase overnight stays and help raise retail sales for local hoteliers and retailers. It promotes the various districts throughout the parish that showcase the variety and diversity of retailer establishments.
Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, will be leveraged to increase visibility for the campaign. The website and all social media will be maintained year round.
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.