Dayton as a sport tourism mecca?

There was nothing in the Dayton Daily News today- amazing, since all three county commissioners were in attendance, the county director of economic development, the head of the Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau- the list goes on. (I know, I was there doing something positive- so they would never breathe a word!).

So- here are the notes and the rankings of ideas generated by this group (dots are votes- each person was allowed X number of dots based on the number of ideas). Some ideas don’t make as much sense in this abbreviated format- some seem like duplication- but it’s a way to get a lot done in a few hours (it’s called Compression Planning).

Here are the notes (it was a public meeting- this is public info- and ideas should be shared – and work better that way)
Topic: Attracting more & larger youth/amateur competitions (and active lifestyle visitors) to our Region


Youth/amateur competitions help fill hotels, restaurants and stores

  • Our Region already has some very successful annual events (soccer, winter guard, etc.)
  • Other communities have developed a strong reputation around these type events e.g.: Indy
  • Most Counties already have mechanisms in place to try to attract these events
  • Some regions have even formed “youth sports authorities”
  • These authorities act like one-stop shops for event planners/families

Overall Project Purpose

  • To increase the number of visitors attracted by youth/amateur competitions (and active lifestyle visitors) by 20% by 10

Purpose of this Session

  • To identify the Region’s strengths/assets for attracting these events
  • To identify weaknesses/barriers to attracting these events
  • To identify 6 – 8 great ways to improve our chances of landing these events

Non-Purpose of this session

  • To simply move existing events around within our Region
  • To create more competition among counties in our Region

Strengths/assets of our Region in relation to amateur/youth competitions…

  • Geographically Dayton is a really good location (17 dots)
  • Affordability of hotels and venues (10 dots)
  • 8 Million people within a 2-hour drive (8 dots)
  • We treat people well who are coming in from out of town (6 dots)
  • Quantity of hotels available in various pricing levels (6 dots)
  • Does not take long to drive places once you are here (70 & 75) (5 dots)
  • Outdoor Adventure Facilities (5 dots)
  • Collaboration amongst a variety of organizations/facilities (4 dots)
  • Unique amenities – capitalize on mini vacation in conjunction with competitions (4 dots)
  • We have a Dayton Montgomery County Visitors Bureau (4 dots)
  • We have a Regional Recreation Trail Network (3 dots)
  • We have existing SWOSZ – 5 County initiative to book facilities, website (3 dots)
  • We have 3 Airports within a 1 hour drive (2 dots)
  • We have Quality hotels across the region (2 dots)
  • We have Pro Sports Teams – Bombers, Dragons, Silverbacks (2 dots)
  • We have a great variety of venues – readily available (1 dot)
  • We have good clusters of restaurants that serve people (1 dot)
  • We have strong High School sports traditions (1 dot)
  • We have an active sport club scene (1 dot)
  • We have a large park system (1 dot)
  • We have diversity of entertainment in the region. Broad choices of State Parks, night life, etc (1 dot)
  • We have an emerging paddle sports area on our rivers
  • We have a growing base of retailers
  • We have an event planners network to enhance or expand
  • We have 5 sheets of indoor ice
  • We have sports planners, like Tony, who can run the events
  • Our water supply is bountiful
  • We have proper weather conditions at the right time of the year
  • We have excellent college sports programs

Weaknesses/barriers of our Region in relation to amateur/youth competitions…

  • Lack of Capital to enhance and update existing facilities (19 dots)
  • Lack of $’s for sponsorships, particularly Corporate. (12 dots)
  • Lack of unique, new & large facilities (8 dots)
  • Assets/Facilities & Programs not collaborated. There is no consistency (8 dots)
  • Lack of National caliber facilities (9 dots)
  • Local Media negativity (9 dots)
  • No consistent communication between events, facilities & resources (8 dots)
  • Need for cooperative Marketing among facilities (7 dots)
  • We need resources to “play offense” with recruiting to event planners (6 dots)
  • There is a negative image of Dayton – more internal than external (4 dots)
  • We need better advertising for what we do here (3 dots)
  • It is difficult to coordinate private & publicly owned facilities (2 dots)
  • We have a lack of “backup” indoor facilities (2 dots)
  • We need a well developed map of facilities, restaurants & hotels on paper and the internet (2 dots)
  • Parts of the Dayton area are ugly (2 dots)
  • We have inadequate website connections and linkages (2 dots)
  • We have a lack of CVB event management (2 dots)
  • We have few carriers at the airport (1 dot)
  • Local permit regulations stands in the way (1 dot)
  • We don’t speak with one voice (1 dot)
  • Lack of sports branding (1 dot)
  • Old and outdated facilities (1 dot)
  • Lack of a way of finding facilities/events (1 dot)
  • Need one stop shop (1 dot)
  • North of town needs better infrastructure (1 dot)
  • Too many hotels to take advantage of rebates
  • No central complex, multiple contracts
  • Lack of ocean
  • Low dams and poor access to the river
  • Lack of access for recreational trails
  • Failing to keep national events here – Trap shoot and Hydroplanes
  • Summer air quality problems
  • Need more side events, evening activities
  • Public transit systems – problems connecting facilities
  • Lack of mountains

Great ways we could get a bigger piece of this pie for the Region…

  • Develop a dedicated fund for youth sports with a realistic figure (12 dots)
  • Sports authority with financial backing (10 dots)
  • Build Central Sportplex on Parkside homes – I-75 Visibility (9 dots)
  • Establish amateur sports as a community priority for marketing & investment (11 dots)
  • Develop a database of event planners and contact management system (7 dots)
  • Enhance mission of CVB (6 dots)
  • Take “Welcome Wagon” on the road to other events outside the region…Dayton Outreach Team (6 dots)
  • Bring back the “Welcome Wagon” (5dots)
  • Use & develop existing resources (local event coordinators) (6 dots)
  • Explore Public & Private fundraising (4 dots)
  • Coordinate all the independent efforts through one source (3 dots)
  • Define our niche in Youth Sports Tennis? Soccer? Hockey? (3 dots)
  • Involve corporate sponsors financially and physically (2 dots)
  • Create incentives for cooperation between hotels-retail and restaurants… (2 dots)
  • ID 2 – 3 areas to develop a Vision for those (2 dots)
  • Market with one voice to target markets (2 dots)
  • Build a good web presence that connects the dots (2 dots)
  • One stop shop for facilities, equipment support, infrastructure & event management (2 dots)
  • Create sales force for sponsorship and events to align (2 dots)
  • Better exploit grant opportunities (1 dot)
  • Adopt a 50 year goal to generate Olympians/pros (1 dot)
  • Look to local pro sports to create image/marketing (players- local connections) (1 dot)
  • Start coach training program (local skills development program) (1 dot)
  • Implement Unigov, reduce interjurisdictional stress (1 dot)
  • Create a professional group that meets regularly (1 dot)
  • Compile top 10 events we want to pursue
  • Light Rail connecting UD Arena to and thru Downtown – along the river
  • Creating a visual presence at events
  • Create a Montgomery County Sports myspace & blog
  • Create a mascot for all youth tourneys (prize giveaways, etc)
  • Unified facility development plan
  • Focus on unique facilities & programs for Midwest region
  • Create central clearing house managed by sports czar
  • Raise more money!
  • Consistent Elevator Speech

Holding Tank

  • How can we leverage this for area residents/attract residents
  • Develop metrics for measuring success & determine baseline
  • Invest in timing/scoring equipment (train volunteers)

Next Steps?

  • Establish Task Force – meet regularly
  • Analyze our top 3 successful events
  • Start talking up sports-plex and locations
  • Pinpoint unique strengths – strategize
  • Connect the Sports sub-culture
  • Look at enhancing website
  • Identify most likely events & related numbers
  • Teach organizations to link sites and info
  • Expand Metro Parks role

Who is responsible?
Tony Lupia – Task force to meet by July 25th
Task force to meet by July 25th

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