FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 22, 2016

Media Contact:
Kylee Jepsen, 805.541.8000
kyleej@visitsanluisobispocounty.com



SAVOR To Go On The Road in 2016
Sunset SAVOR The Central Coast Increases Non-Local Ticket Sales By 15 Percent;
Event Sees First-Time Profit

San Luis Obispo County, CA (January 22, 2016) – Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, owned by Visit San Luis Obispo County, is happy to announce a 15 percent increase in ticket sales from out-of-county visitors for the 2015 event. In addition, the event, which has seen a deficit in previous years, has reported a first time $12,000 profit in its six-year history.

Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast brings the pages of Sunset magazine to life and offers guests four-days of hands-on culinary activities in San Luis Obispo County, one of the most beautiful, undiscovered corners of California located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. New in 2016, the SAVOR brand will go on the road to various food and wine festivals, showcasing the best of San Luis Obispo County’s food, wine and lifestyle, featuring winemakers, brew masters, local chefs, and artisan food purveyors. Under the Visit San Luis Obispo County Board direction, the 2016 Main Event at Santa Margarita Ranch is currently on hold and Visit San Luis Obispo County is accepting proposals from event organizers interested in running the event in subsequent years. The event as it has appeared in the past will not be taking place in September 2016. The partnership with Sunset magazine will be placed on hold, and after much consideration Fast Forward Events will be moving in a new direction and no longer be managing the event. Visit San Luis Obispo County is currently accepting proposals from management companies interested in facilitating the event in San Luis Obispo County in the future.

"The 2015 Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast marks history in achieving major goals for the event and our organization,” said Chuck Davison, President & CEO, Visit San Luis Obispo County. “With Fast Forward as the 2015 production manager, we worked hard to accomplish an increase of out-of-county visitors, resulting in heightened awareness of San Luis Obispo County as a premier culinary, coastal and cultural destination. By taking SAVOR on the road in 2016, we now have the opportunity to really infiltrate our feeder markets throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

The economic impact for SAVOR and overall awareness that the event creates for local tourism reaffirms the brand’s ongoing success, and shows that it continues to display a robust impact on San Luis Obispo County’s local economy. In accordance with industry standards, in 2015 Visit San Luis Obispo County initiated an updated reporting structure for Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast economic statistics, establishing a true baseline for the event. Throughout the 2015 event weekend, a total of 5,063 unique guests attended Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast. This includes the 1,296 guests who attended the new opening night event, Strings at Sunset, held at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre.

The event charmed food and wine lovers from across California and the country with a record 40.7 percent of attendees coming from out of San Luis Obispo County, including Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Central Valley, 24 different states and England, reflecting a 15 percent increase over 2014. Revenues from the four-day event boosted the local economy by $3.47 million as 53.8 percent of out-of-market attendees stayed in a hotel during the SAVOR weekend. The total economic impact from attendee spending in the region was $1.16 million, which is trending slightly higher from 2014.

For the first time in event history, Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast recorded a profit of $12,116, with a reduction in expenses of almost $100,000 under the direction of Fast Forward Events. The public relations efforts for the event garnered over 400 million total media impressions with a publicity value of over $70 million.

2015 Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast by the Numbers*:
Total Unique Event Attendees: 5,063 (20.2 percent decrease from 2014, due to a change in reporting structure)
• 40.7 percent from out of county / 59.3 percent San Luis Obispo County
• 3.32 percent out of state (24 states represented, plus England)
â���¢ 18.01 percent from Southern CA / LA area, almost an 8 percent increase from 2014
• 17.38 percent from Northern CA/Bay Area, over 6 percent increase from 2014
• Attendee median household income is $100,000 - $150,000
• Attendee median age is between 35 – 55 years of age

Total Economic Impact: $3.47 million
• Total Economic Impact from attendee spending: $1.16 million
• Economic Impact from operations/preparation: $1.91 million
• Economic Impact from Local Leavers: $0.396 million
• Total dollars spent by attendees (not including ticket sales): $0.779 million
• Estimated local sales tax generated: $53,277
• Average length of guest stay was 2.64 days (up 14.3 percent) with an average party size of 3.43 persons

“We are very pleased with the economic impact SAVOR continues to have on San Luis Obispo County,” said Davison. “The SAVOR event was created to drive tourism to San Luis Obispo County and we feel that this new structure of the event will exponentially increase this initiative.” For more information on Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast and updates on the events the SAVOR brand will be attending, please visit www.savorcentralcoast.com.

*Economic Impact Analysis for Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2015 prepared by Ken Riener and Patrick Mayeda, Productive Impact LLC San Luis Obispo

About Visit San Luis Obispo County
Visit San Luis Obispo County is the non-profit countywide destination marketing organization. It’s goal is to promote San Luis Obispo County through marketing, advertising, public relations, group sales, promotions, events and sponsorship branding the region as a choice destination for regional, national and international travelers alike. Visit San Luis Obispo County works in partnership with tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, activities, golf courses and retail stores to create a unified marketing approach that promotes the Culinary, Coastal and Cultural assets of the County. For more information, visit www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com

Fast Forward

As an award-winning turnkey event management, public relations and marketing solutions provider, Fast Forward specializes in the creation of world-class trade and consumer events, brand activation and experiential marketing strategies. From elite wine and food experiences for thousands of discriminating palates to intimate brand-to-press networking events in the heart of Manhattan, productions by Fast Forward accelerate human connections, put brands in front of key influencers, and deliver an unparalleled return on experience. Fast Forward s is the producer of Cooking Light & Health’s The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend, SommCon, Sunset SAVOR The Central Coast and the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, Southern California’s largest luxury wine and culinary experience now in its 12th year. Stay up to date with Fast Forward at fastforwardevents.com.

About Sunset
Sunset (www.sunset.com) is the leading lifestyle brand in the West. Through magazines and books, events and experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West's best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset engages and inspires an audience of over five million educated, active and affluent consumers every month through its five regional print editions—Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain—as well as via all tablet devices and its website. In addition to its print and digital publications, Sunset showcases the region’s unique lifestyle and noteworthy destinations through its flagship events, established home programs, licensing partnerships, books and International Wine Competition.



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