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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Originally published 3:13 p.m., April 27, 2014 Updated 3:13 p.m., April 27, 2014

VISIT THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY AND FIRSTSTREET CREATIVE LAUNCH NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM FOR VALLEY BUSINESSES

The not-for-profit destination marketing organization Visit The Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV) was formed by the merger of the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association (SYVVA) with the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (SYVHA) in October 2013.


Solvang, Santa Ynez Valley, California — The not-for-profit destination marketing organization Visit The Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV) was formed by the merger of the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association (SYVVA) with the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (SYVHA) in October 2013. To maximize the online presence of Valley businesses, VisitSYV hired the Solvang-based technology company FirstStreet Creative to conceptualize and develop a state-of-the-art technology platform for achieving new methods of driving brand exposure and revenue. The new VisitSYV consumer website was funded 100% by Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Business Improvement District funds and can be viewed at www.VisitSYV.com

VisitSYV Board President Michael Hendrick, General Manager of the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Hotel in Buellton states, “We are excited to launch this brand-new consumer platform that will serve as the key marketing tool for all of our present and future members. We have worked closely with FirstStreet Creative to create one voice for promoting tourism. We look forward to providing visitors with a one-stop shop to unlock the best lodging dining, activities, and events here in the Santa Ynez Valley.”

VisitSYV Board Secretary Jessy Osehan, manager of The Hamlet Inn in Solvang remarked, “The new VisitSYV platform exposes our beautiful Valley to a whole new level of online participation. Our board felt strongly that our membership fee should be affordable to encourage businesses of all sizes to participate, and we have priced enhancements and advertisements accordingly to allow members to choose their own level of participation. We have high hopes for our new organization and the new technological platforms developed by FirstStreet Creative and that both will contribute a positive economic impact to our community.”

According to Hendrick, “Staying true to the aesthetic beauty and style of the Valley, a 12-month membership to VisitSYV can be obtained for the reasonable price of $250, which is far less than charged by other destination marketing organizations across the United States.”

Within the cost of membership, Santa Ynez Valley businesses will each receive their own customized Member Profile Page on the consumer platform that includes features such as a 1,000-word business description, two business category listings, three images, a Google map location, links to social media pages for Facebook and Twitter as well as contact information including phone, address and website address. In addition, Member Profile Page enhancements can be purchased ala carte that include links and real-time feeds for social media favorites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Members can also purchase special call-to-action buttons for their Profile Pages such as “Book Your Stay” and “Reserve Activity” that will be linked to that member’s reservation system and OpenTable account respectively. Lastly, Profile Page navigation items can also be purchased such as Press, Promotions or Amenities to further describe each business’s individual attributes.

VisitSYV members will have exclusive access to purchase online advertising that will be displayed throughout the consumer platform. Special consideration has been given to the pricing of advertising in order to allow Valley businesses of all sizes to participate and expose their brands to locals and visitors alike. To join VisitSYV and view available advertising and enhancement opportunities, please visit: http://Members.VisitSYV.com

All enhancements have been designed to limit “clicks” in order to convert page views to sales conversions, and excitement has been widespread as VisitSYV membership has quickly increased to over 130 Valley businesses. To drive internet traffic to the consumer platform, FirstStreet Creative has designed the platform for mobile optimization across smart phones and tablets as well built in analytics that will provide members with pertinent data that can be used to convert impressions to sales. Keywords and meta-tags have been carefully chosen to increase search engine optimization (SEO) so www.VisitSYV.com indexes higher via popular search engines for the benefit of its members.

In addition to the consumer platform, VisitSYV and FirstStreet Creative have worked hand-in-hand to launch the brand new member platform on March 3, 2014. Via this platform, VisitSYV members can log-in with a protected password in order to create and edit their profile pages, purchase enhancements and advertising, review orders and edit accounts. The member platform was designed with an intuitive interface to be enjoyed by business owners of all technological levels, and has been met with fantastic approval and excitement for its ease of use. Please visit at: http://Members.VisitSYV.com

Seth Shomes, CEO and Owner of FirstStreet Creative remarks, “I began conceptualizing both the consumer and member platforms over a year and a half ago, and to see them finally launch is a dream come true. Five years ago, I moved my family to the Valley to enjoy not only the beauty that surrounds us, but also to raise my kids with the strong sense of community that I encounter every day. It has been my honor to work with VisitSYV and their team, and I look forward to integrating our locally based FirstStreet Tickets platform with VisitSYV in the future in effort to solve the ongoing issue of how best to make online ticketing accessible to local event presenters and non-profits, as well as their customers.”

Membership of VisitSYV is open to all businesses that service Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang, and those interested can sign-up online at http://Members.VisitSYV.com or by contacting Mary Harris, Executive Director; 805-325-3528 or mary@VisitSYV.com, or Danielle Laudon, Marketing & Communications Manager; 805-450-8841 or danielle@VisitSYV.com

About Visit The Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV)

VisitSYV is a not-for-profit membership-based destination marketing organization (DMO) promoting the entire Santa Ynez Valley as a year-round tourism destination. VisitSYV encourages responsible and sustainable tourism that retains the Valley’s rural, small-town character and unique sense of place in the six communities that it represents: Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang.

About FirstStreet Creative

Launched in early 2013, FirstStreet Creative has quickly become the Santa Ynez Valley’s top digital agency by utilizing creativity and ingenuity to brand clients of all sizes throughout all forms of online and physical design. FirstStreet Creative works hand in hand with each client to create positive consumer impressions with the ultimate goal of optimizing their internet presence in order to increase brand exposure and revenue streams. FirstStreet Creative’s services include website and platform development, e-commerce strategies, website mobile optimization for tablets and smart phones, search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design and social media marketing.

About FirstStreet Tickets

Launched in the summer of 2013, FirstStreet Tickets is a FREE service to local California Central Coast event presenters, organizers and non-profits. Like FirstStreet Creative, the sister company to FirstStreet Tickets, both companies were built from the ground up by entrepreneur Seth Shomes in order to personify the warmth and friendliness of the Santa Ynez Valley where they are located. After recognizing the need for a local ticketing platform that would be embraced by locals and visitors alike, FirstStreet Tickets has fast become the “go to” for those event presenters and non-profits that want their events handled with the same TLC with which they are conceived – while still providing their customers with a seamless interface that utilizes the industry’s best practices and online security.

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