The Rebound Pitch: Come to Downtown Safety Harbor

in city hall/news

The Safety Harbor City Commission agreed Monday night to contribute $15,000 to a six-month Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce marketing campaign that will promote the city as the Florida tourism industry tries to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. 

The “Reopen Recover Reimagine” campaign is designed to help local businesses with the goal of encouraging more people to visit downtown, including day trippers and overnight guests from outside the area, as well as local residents, according to chamber officials. 

It’s part of a statewide “rebound” campaign in which Visit Florida, the state’s Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, will be contributing an additional $5,000 to the local chamber. 

The Safety Harbor Chamber is also investing $5,000 of its funds, bringing the total for the campaign to $25,000.  

Chamber President Susan Petersen explained to city commissioners that a portion of the program will run from July to December using social media to target potential visitors from up to 150 miles away. 

“A lot of Floridians are looking for stay-cations now because their major vacation plans have changed and they are looking to go locally, so we want them to know about Safety Harbor,” said Petersen. 

Another portion of the campaign will be an 8-week effort beginning July 27 in conjunction with Visit Florida to reach more than 1.2 million Floridians ages 25 to 54 with a tourism message. 

She said the campaign will pound home the message that Safety Harbor is the place to visit.

Peterson said $2,500 of the money will go to printing and distribution of the “Discover Safety Harbor: Treasure of Tampa Bay” rack cards that are available at state visitor centers and hundreds of locations throughout the state.  The current rack cards are four years old and needed to be updated, she said. 

Also included in the campaign is the production of a video commercial about the city including an aerial view of Safety Harbor. The video would be used on chamber and city websites and social media sites.

Walt spent 35 years as a reporter, feature writer. TV critic and columnist for The Tampa Tribune. Prior to that he worked in the public relations office at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and as a reporter for The Greenville (SC) News. He and his wife, Debbie, have lived in Safety Harbor for 10 years. He also taught media writing courses at the University of Tampa. Since moving here, he has been active with the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center, hosting a monthly storytelling night.