'In Elk Grove' Celebrates 16 Months - Is it Worth Taxpayers Dollars?

April 30, 2015 | UPDATED 3:30 p.m. With much ballyhoo , 16 months ago today the City of Elk Grove unveiled the cornerstone of its plan ...

April 30, 2015 | UPDATED 3:30 p.m.

With much ballyhoo, 16 months ago today the City of Elk Grove unveiled the cornerstone of its plan to transform the city into a tourist destination, the website called InElkGrove.com

“Elk Grove is a gem just waiting for the rest of the region to discover,” Mayor Gary Davis gushed in an October 30, 2013 press release. “I want everyone to know about Elk Grove’s assets, and discover our unique restaurants, stores, historical sites, parks, hotels, and local entertainment. The launch of ‘In Elk Grove’ signifies our commitment to promoting Elk Grove as a destination and achieving our goal of showing visitors the vibrancy, energy and charm of our community.”

A review of the site shows little has changed since its launch and in at least one instance, is not being updated with relevant information that could actually help bring visitors and tax dollars to the city.

Front Page

A screen shot taken from the site today, shows the following: 

Screen shot of InElkGrove.com, April 30, 2015. 
On the Elk Grove Patch website, on October 30, 2014, 16 months ago to the day, a story about the city's new tourism push was posted with a screen shot of the website. 

Screen shot from an October 30, 2014 post on Elk Grove Patch.
With the exception of a different video, nothing else has changed on the site.

Listings

One of the more useful aspects of the site is the listings section. A review of the various categories, there were some glaring omissions indicating there has been little maintenance done on the site.

In the dine listing section, it has not added at least three popular restaurants that have opened in the last 16 months including Chason's Crab Stadium, Lance Brigg's Double Nickel Smokehouse and Old Town's Lola's Lounge.  Additionally it does not have the updated address for Baguettes Deli and the re-branding of Baja Burrito.

In the shop category, the now defunct Dalin Jewelers is still listed. 

Event Calendar  

Perhaps the most perplexing maintenance lapse is with the event calendar

While the May schedule lists Mayor Davis' monthly Old Town food truck event, it does not list, nor provide links for two of the city's more popular annual events - The Western Festival and Old Town Chili Cookoff. If an out of town visitor did stumble on to this site looking for a May activity, there is nothing on the event calendar much less than the frontpage promoting these fun events.  

Also missing from the listing are two events that if viewed now, perhaps could encourage new visitors to visit in the coming months. We of course are referring to the ever-popular Strauss Festival and Dicken's celebration. At least the city's Fourth of July celebration is listed. 

While this site, and at least once council member, has questioned the need to spend taxpayers dollars on this questionable marketing program promoting Elk Grove as a tourist destination, now that resources have been used and vendors paid, is it too much to ask to either properly maintain the site or pull the plug.

Update: InElkGrove.com is maintained by the City of Elk Grove and has an average of 800 visitors a month. 




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14 comments

Nero fiddling while Rome is burning said...

Not surprising the city cannot maintain their tourism site. The city council shows indifference to preventive road maintenance, so they can't be bothered with this penny ante stuff.

Anonymous said...

I tried to find something about the Western Festival on the web site and had to go to someone who was a volunteer to find out where I could find info. Not on the "events calendar". The new web site rates a big "F". I also sent an email about a new business being listed and the answer I got was "do you have a picture." Yes, I had a "picture"...from a soccer game I attended and me sun bathing. Which one would they like?

Mayor Davis doesn't even know what makes a city a Destination...he thinks 80' signs on the freeway and signs posted on street corners about something "coming soon" is a draw. His Chief of Staff needs to take him to some classes on, "what makes a strong Mayor." He and most of our city council seem to be under some kind of spell....is the Professor casting some kind of weird spell over the city council again?

Anonymous said...

How much has this website cost the city?

It would be important to review the number of 'hits' the site has gotten and the pattern through time.

If it is not a useful site, then people might look at it in the beginning, but not return.

No way of knowing, I auppose, if 'outsiders' ever check it out.

If the events calendar and dining, the two most important subjects, are not current, then it is a total waste!

Who in the city is maintaining the site, and is it updated at least weekly???

Joe Taxpayer said...

Didn't they add a media event coordinator or something like that to the city payroll to work on this stuff? Salary+Benefits=0

"It's Grow Time"

Anonymous said...

..


"It's Grow Time" ???


Great motto for Pot Grove, AKA "Paris on the Cosumnes".


.

Joe Taxpayer said...

Yes, "It's Grow Time" was the kooky economic development motto approved by the city believe it or not!

Anonymous said...

Yea, you're right. Here's our "It's Grow Time" web site. Looks to be rather stale.

When I hear those words I think of Spring...planting my flowers & garden OR pot.

http://www.elkgrowtime.com/micro/

Anonymous said...

Our city leaders' work ethics and sensible leadership direction have been washed down THE RIVER. They offered nothing more than fancy words, maintaining that website weekly would take less than an hour. Why are we spending $146,192 annually for someone to sell Elk Grove? It is obvious, the problems of this city are inherent in Mayor Davis' leadership. For Davis, as alway, "It's Grow Time".

Anonymous said...

Anon. 7:58...don't forget, "Destination."

I think our next words to be used will be "-a-rama" or "- gate".

Anonymous said...

.

Destination a Rama Gate.

$100 million soccer stadium to house a team backed by David Beckham.

Paid $6 MILLION for a piece of land that sold for $700,000 three years prior.

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/09/25/elk-grove-may-be-paying-more-than-double-value-of-land-for-proposed-soccer-stadium/

Garish 70 - 100 foot tall lighted freeway monument signs

Sister city to the Kingdom of Zamunda

Octopus Civic Center

Amusement park right across from single family homes in Madeira "the Jewel of Elk Grove".

Visions of the Olympic Trials.

It's "Grow Time" in Paris along the Cosumnes.



.

Connie said...

Some of us emailed City Manager Laura Gill about the other meaning of “It’s Grow Time.” She is of the age that should know what the other meaning is. And frankly, how many times has Elk Grove been in the news about pot houses? Just yesterday, it was Stone Lakes. I even asked Gill if this is the image we want to put out there. I got no response.

But alas, the Council stood proudly with “It’s Grow Time” visors on at a council meeting and had their picture taken smiling proudly.

As far as the “In Elk Grove” campaign. It must have cost at least $50K for that program. What is a shame here is that for all of the talk about supporting our local small businesses, it wasn’t updated weekly, or in some cases, not at all. Did our local businesses even know to have the businesses included?

And moreover, the city has thousands of people on the database who receive routine updates and postings. I never received any promotional emails regarding “In Elk Grove” such as “What’s New?” with links to the new businesses or any existing business promotions. I am sure Lance Briggs would have appreciated a little PR here, along with many other local businesses that came before the Council asking for a little help.

It seems to me like we have another example here of some wasted opportunities. Again, who was in charge at the city of keeping this program updated and out in the public eye?

I will post the answer if I receive one from Laura Gill.

Anonymous said...

"has an average of 800 visitors a month." No doubt...trying to find out where the grow is located.

Sometimes I think our city council are not playing with a full load.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is the DESTINATION of THE RAMA GATES. Visit Elk Grove at your own pleasures. To express our gratitude to you, our city LEADERS may have EGPD escort you home because Elk Grove is the home of the GROW.

Kim W said...

I just now read this and it looks like your article got someone's attention... It appears quite a lot of updating has occurred in the last few days. :)

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