Tag Archives: rachel sacco

Greasewood Flat

Plans secure Greasewood Flat’s future in Scottsdale

In 1981 an acclaimed band named “The Clash” rocketed up the music charts with a hit called “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”  It’s the kind of song that’s likely played a lot at Scottsdale venerable watering hole Greasewood Flat over the years.  And it’s the kind of question that has plagued the family that’s owned it in recent years due to acute federal tax issues following the passing of family patriarch “Doc” Cavalliere several years ago.

Thanks to a conscientious Scottsdale-based company and the Cavalliere family the answer to The Clash’s question, and the future of Greasewood Flat is . . . both, bringing good news to concerned heirs and customers.

“It’s been a long journey but what a terrific result,” said George Cavalliere and son of Doc who owns the current 42-acre property with siblings.  “This vision is what our family wanted and we found a partner to help get us there,” he said.

The joint agreement between the family and Taylor Morrison Homes calls for the existing experience to remain in its current location for at least one year and likely longer until Greasewood is relocated to a more authentic, rural location to the north in Scottsdale.  That 120-acre property is also owned by the Cavalliere family and abuts the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Members of the family will also build homes on the new site, as they have at the existing one.

“When we started Greasewood Flat we were out here by ourselves.  But development has encroached on our experience causing us to lose some of the truly Western experience.  That can’t happen at our other property that abuts land that will be preserved forever thanks to the generosity of Scottsdale taxpayers,” Cavalliere said.  He said kitchen equipment has already been purchased for the new location.

As planned there will be no gap between when the existing Greasewood Flat relocates and when the new one also owned by the family will be up and running.  City approvals for both parcels will be pursued later this year with the current 42-acre site renamed after the Cavalliere family for the redevelopment.

“This is truly the best of all worlds. We are thrilled for our customers and long-time employees. We weren’t forced to lose our property due to the inheritance tax issues that would have meant closure for Greasewood and we worked with a great Scottsdale-based company to smartly redevelop our existing site as well as work with us to plan and relocate to our new site that will generate revenue allowing us to build a great new Greasewood at a great new site,” Cavalliere said.

To celebrate the happy news a celebration is being planned for the spring.

“With so much uncertainty in recent years about one of our tourists favorite stops the certainty of Greasewood Flat surviving and thriving within Scottsdale for years to come is terrific news for our tourism efforts,” said Rachel Sacco, the long-time CEO of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

Flagstaff, Scottsdale CVB - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Flagstaff And Scottsdale CVB See Solid Returns On Investment

Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Scottsdale CVB see dividends from marketing dollars spent

The old saying, “You have to spend money to make money” is especially true in the case of Arizona tourism. Two cases in point are the Flagstaff and Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs). They can quantifiably demonstrate that investing in tourism creates a return.

“We’ve always done a good job of marketing Scottsdale,” said Rachel Sacco, president and CEO of the Scottsdale CVB. “We know it’s the right message because visitors are responding.”

The Scottsdale CVB’s 2010-11 annual budget is $9.7 million and generates $31 in economic impact for every $1 invested in the organization. The Flagstaff CVB has a budget of $1.5 million and helps spur an economic impact of $501 million for the region.

Much of the funding for tourism marketing comes from visitors themselves.

In March 2010, Scottsdale voters passed a 2 percent increase in the city’s bed tax, bringing it to 5 percent. This, combined with an increase in occupancy, led to a 79 percent jump in bed-tax collections from 2009-10 to 2010-11. Half of the new monies support capital projects and special events; the other half supports marketing efforts.

In Flagstaff, the CVB is a division of the city and is fully funded by a portion of the 2 percent “BBB” tax, which stands for “bed, board and booze,” or hotels, restaurants and bars. It generates roughly $5.2 million, and the CVB gets 30 percent of that. The city council allocated an additional $250,000 in marketing dollars to the CVB from March to June 2009 from the city’s Economic Incentive Fund. Flagstaff CVB director Heather Ainardi said that investment helped Flagstaff see a slight bump in April and May of 2009 and prevent big tourism losses in the long run.

“When the rest of the state had double digit declines (in tourism indicators),” Ainardi said, “we were only having minor 2 to 3 percent drops.”

Average daily rates from hotel bookings and revenues per available room were up in 2011 in both Flagstaff and Scottsdale. Occupancy also was up in Scottsdale. And independent studies showed 91 percent of all people who received a Scottsdale visitors guide either made a booking or visited Scottsdale within the next year. Sacco attributes the high number to target marketing.

First, they pinpoint areas that have always had a high interest in Scottsdale: chilly places such as Canada, Minnesota, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver and parts of the East Coast.
Second, they invest in knowing their customers: What do they read? Which activities do they like?

“We won’t send someone who’s interested in art a message about sports” and vice-versa, Sacco said. “We know what messages resonate with them.”

As one result of this targeting, sports bookings have increased 160 percent, she added. Groups and meetings contribute $64.8 million in economic impact.

The Scottsdale CVB should see their budget increase further this coming year to $10.5 million, which hopefully will mean even more of an uptick in tourists.

“The less ability we have to communicate to visitors why they should come here, the less revenue that is brought in,” Sacco said.

For more information about the Flagstaff CVB or the Scottsdale CVB, visit the following links:

flagstaffarizona.org
scottsdalecvb.com

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012