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Get To Know: North Lake Tahoe Convention & Visitor Bureau CMO Andy Chapman
As the Chief Marketing Officer for the North Lake Tahoe Convention and Visitor Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Andy Chapman has lived in Lake Tahoe for more than 20 years and is happy to call it home.
While Chapman’s day job is spent promoting the North Lake Tahoe region to traveling consumers both domestically and internationally, he can also be found outside enjoying all the recreational activities the area has to offer.
Chapman says he knows how to make the most of his home base, from a morning paddle across flat waters, to an afternoon spent mountain bike riding and wrapping the day with evening music on the beach.
“Marketing this region is truly a dream job,” said Chapman, “I grew up in Reno, Nevada and spent many days along the shores of Lake Tahoe, hiking the trails, skiing the mountains, and really looking for any excuse to spend time up here. I am blessed to live in Tahoe.”
For the past 12 years, Chapman has served as North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s director of tourism and CMO. The organization partners with the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau to market the North Lake Tahoe region as a single vacation destination. Chapman oversees all of the tourism and marketing functions including consumer marketing, conference and group sales, travel trade and wholesale efforts, special events, public relations and social media efforts.
Prior to serving as CMO, Chapman held roles within the ski industry, a tour boat outfit and time spent working for an advertising agency.
Chapman is a member of the Visit California marketing committee, helping to guide California’s national and international marketing efforts. He also sits on the board of the Sierra Ski Marketing Council, an organization focused on promoting the Lake Tahoe region as a top winter ski destination.
“North Lake Tahoe is truly a unique vacation destination,” said Chapman, “Raising three kids in this outdoor playground, my wife and I are true Tahoe locals.”
What mobile device can you not live without?
My music files and squish ear plugs.
Can we take a peek at your phone’s home screen?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Yahoo Weather: Snowing? Sunny? Windy? Just need to know what equipment to load up.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
Instagram, to keep track of my kid’s activities.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Take me through your typical workday.
I get to work with a great tourism team, promoting one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Lake Tahoe is truly one of the World’s wonders. From winter promotion and the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America, to long summer days that consist of biking trails, hiking vistas, and being out on the crystal blue waters of the north shore.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Over the last few years we have focused efforts around a Human Powered Sports Initiative and achieved great success. Our inaugural launch of the IRONMAN Lake Tahoe last September was a huge success and is the only full distance IRONMAN race in the western United States.
IRONMAN has since added a 70.3 (half distance) race to run consecutively with the full version this next year. We will be the first destination in the western hemisphere to host an IRONMAN and an IRONMAN 70.3 on the same course on the same day.
USA Cycling is another great project coming in 2015 and 2016. Last December, we announced that North Lake Tahoe was awarded the USA Cycling Amateur and Para-cycling National Road Championships.
Lake Tahoe offers a bounty of recreational opportunities and we have placed laser focus on not only promoting the great recreational access within our region but have also sought out major events that align well with the North Lake Tahoe brand.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
I was able to travel to Austin, Texas, for the first time, to attend the Austin Wanderlust Festival this past November. It’s an incredible event combining yoga and top-notch instructors with great live music by some of the best music acts around.
Wanderlust began 5 years ago at Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe, and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association/CVB has been a sponsor since that first year. The event has since expanded to five festivals, and added multiple events throughout the year. It was great to go to Austin and be absorbed in their incredible music scene.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Making every dollar of our tourism budget work harder and harder.
Competition in the destination travel space is fierce with destinations vying for the traveler’s vacation dollar. We are constantly reviewing our efforts to determine the success of our campaigns and the ROI on our regions investment in tourism.
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
You don’t get do-overs in the tourism business but you can learn from the past. One thing we have learned in Lake Tahoe is that Mother Nature is really in charge.
Back in 2011, we were the starting location for the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California bike race. The Tour of California is the biggest professional bike race in the United States. We worked for over two years on planning and implementation of the event, which was to be held in May.
We did not anticipate weather being an issue…cold, maybe. Hot, perhaps. It snowed a foot the night before the start of this 7-day race, and with four-inches of packed ice on the road, the Lake Tahoe stage was moved.
Flexibility and humor are a necessity.
What does your desk look like?
You mean besides the mess on the desk itself? I keep a board filled with pictures of my three kids over the years, from baby pics to school photos to sports shots and prom nights. It’s my Wall of Fame.
There’s also the green lava lamp in the corner bubbling away. I call it Andy’s Lava Lounge – something of a respite during a hectic day.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
There have been many, from the professors in my journalism program to the husband and wife team I worked for in a bagel deli back in school.
You can learn from everyone you interact or associate with if you’re willing to listen.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Flexibility is certainly needed. Humor doesn’t hurt either.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I absolutely cannot carry a tune; although, my kids know that pretty well.
Why did you go into marketing?
I grew up close to Lake Tahoe, and after I received a degree in Journalism from the University of Nevada, I made a beeline to Tahoe and took a job in marketing. I guess it was really an excuse to live in Tahoe.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Craft brewer – I dabble in my own beer making now and then, but to jump in the kettle with both feet would something of a dream. Beer and food, two of my favorite pastimes.
What’s the last business book you read?
Destination Leadership for Boards by Bill Geist, a great review of where successful tourism destination organizations are heading (and where they should not).
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
Diesel Jeans’s “A-Z of Dance.” It’s a great video celebrating the diversity of dance cultures in America.