March 10, 1995 in Nation/World

Ad Drive Touts Skiing, Shopping

Eric Torbenson Staff writer

Tourism leaders are trying to attract more visitors with a new television ad campaign that trumpets springtime skiing and shopping values in Kootenai County.

The winter skiing season has been affected by unusually warm weather and generally slows down in March. And summer shopping hasn’t kicked in yet, so the Coeur d’Alene Convention & Visitors Bureau figured both areas could use a shot in the arm, said John Kozma, executive director.

The ads show scenes of spring skiing, a night at Greyhound Park race track and several shopping centers in the county. Viewers can call a toll-free number for information about discount deals.

Using some money from the Idaho Travel Council and unspent dollars already earmarked for skiing promotion, the bureau produced two ads with Spokane station KXLY, Kozma said.

Since the station had most of the clips to make the ads, production savings allow the ads to be shown more frequently on KXLY and its cable sister-station, KXLY Extra. The ads also air on several cable TV stations, he said.

A bonus for the shops and ski resorts comes from the reach of KXLY’s broadcast, Kozma said. While the ads aren’t targeted at Canadians, the bureau has received an encouraging number of calls from Canadians who saw the ads and who want to visit, he said.

The high Canadian exchange rate has discouraged Canadian travel to North Idaho and the Spokane area. Far fewer Canadians traveled south last summer to spend money here, so any sign of recovery in that market is welcomed, Kozma said.

At the Factory Outlets mall, one of the featured areas in the ads, business has continued to be strong despite fewer Canadians coming to the discount stores, said Kay Riplinger, marketing director.

The outlets are planning a sale the weekend of March 24th, she said.

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