Brand USA Visits SLO County

by Kylee Jepsen, Digital Media Coordinator

Visit San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County recently had the opportunity to work in partnership with SLO City and Morro Bay Visitors Bureau to host the 2014 Brand USA, Discover America Road Trip campaign.Throughout 2014, Brand USA has organized various Road Trips throughout America, with February dedicated to exploring the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Two representatives from Brand USA’s Japan office were selected to participate in this media campaign, and visited the historic Hearst Castle, the town of Cambria, the city of Morro Bay and finally the city of San Luis Obispo.

The purpose of the road trip is to inspire international travelers to discover America from the open road by using social media, landing pages and a road trip map with live activations on All content is to be generated through the hosted Road Trip campaign. Coverage of the Road Trip appears on with daily blog posts and photos, as well as communicated throughout the Discover America social media accounts.

“Working with Brand America was a great opportunity for us,” said Leonard Gentieu, who hosted the Brand USA representatives in Morro Bay on his luxury yacht the Papagallo II. “We hope to gain some wonderful exposure through all the social media outlets and the Discover America website. It's really great exposure not just for the Papagallo II, but for the SLO County destination as a whole. We hope it will boost international tourism, especially in the Japanese market.”

Gentieu is a chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur with decades of professional experience. In October 2005, Leonard and his wife, Midge, took ownership of the Papagallo II, a 72-foot Burger Motor Yacht, built in 1964. The Papagallo II is currently berthed in Morro Bay, CA and has quickly turned into one of the great attractions in San Luis Obispo County. Aboard the luxury yacht, Gentieu hosts a variety of events, including food and wine pairings and special dinners, all of which feature his very own cuisine. The yacht is also available for special events, weddings or corporate functions.

Genteiu was happy to be a part of hosting the Brand USA representatives from Japan. “What a pleasure for Midge and I, along with the Papagallo II crew, to have hosted the Brand USA event on Sunday.” said Gentieu. “We wanted to showcase Morro Bay in the best possible way. The guests were interesting and we had a lot of fun interacting with them.”

Visit San Luis Obispo County would like to thank all who participated in the Brand USA Discover America Road Trip. It was wonderful to receive so much support from our SLO County partners. In the case of the Papagallo II, we like to think they are living proof that a rising tide raises all ships!

To view the coverage of the trip, visit the Discover America website.

Kylee Jepsen is the Digital Media Coordinator at Visit San Luis Obispo County. She has been a part of the tourism industry on the Central Coast for five years and can think of no other area she would love to represent. Kylee loves traveling and has a great passion for gaining new food and wine experiences. Feel free to contact her at kyleej@visitsanluisobispocounty or at 805.541.8000.