“Spring, summer, fall and winter, there’s always something to do in Sleepy Eye” - that is the phrase we are using for promoting Sleepy Eye this year.
As with most things, there is a cost to promoting a community, the celebrations and the events. A resource that is used for advertising dollars is the lodging tax, which is collected when you stay at a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast. The lodging tax is then collected by the city and disbursed to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, so they may advertise and promote by placing ads in publications such as local newspapers, radio stations, visitor guides, travel brochures, billboards and more. This year the CVB will be promoting Sleepy Eye in the Sleepy Eye Visitors Guide published by the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch, Sleepy Eye ONLINE, the Minnesota Explorer newspaper, the Minnesota Trails Journal, the Where to Stay Guide by the MN Hospitality Association, the Independent, the Southern Minnesota Visitors Guide, the Walnut Grove and the Laura Ingalls Wilder brochure, the Midwest Art Fairs magazine, billboards on Highways 14 and 4, and the Chamber website.
Just as the brochures and pamphlets promoting other communities are readily available at the Chamber office, the Herald-Dispatch sends out our own visitor guide to the many travel centers in Minnesota. The publications we purchase ads in are distributed throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas with the Midwest Art Fairs magazine also going to Illinois. Another form of promoting Sleepy Eye and what it has to offer visitors is the new “Camper Bags” for those who have or will be camping at Sportsman’s Park.
The plan is to start out stuffing 500 bags with information, pens, coupons, wine tasting card, matches, hand sanitizer and more so guests can learn something about Sleepy Eye, where businesses are located and where to go for events and celebrations. If your business would like to promote itself by putting something in the camper bags, contact the Chamber office. There is no charge to Chamber members and a small fee to non-members.
While those living in Sleepy Eye typically know what is going on and where to go, visitors search many avenues to find just the niche or activity they want do given any season. Sleepy Eye is fortunate to be able to provide activities and events, in- and outdoors, and you do not have to be athletic to participate in all of them. Each month brings a number of games, classes, theater, celebrations, festivals, fairs and more to choose. Even events such as open houses, fundraisers and benefits are great ways to entice people to come to Sleepy Eye.
This community, so rich in history, rich in traditions and rich in pride, is surely the place to visit any time of the year – we welcome all with outstretched arms and activities to keep ‘em busy morning till night!