|By Joyce Lobeck, The Sun, Yuma,
Ariz.McClatchy-Tribune Business News
Jan. 31, 2007 - Hotel was named the chain's 2006 Newcomer of the Year
Walking into the Holiday Inn the past several days was like entering a movie set.
"We've had 142 film crew members here all week," said hotel manager Paul Rogers. "They took over the hotel."
But he wasn't complaining. The hotel will be showcased in this year's Holiday Inn Internet advertising and in commercials to be aired for the next 12 months not only around the country but throughout the world, wherever there is a Holiday Inn.
The filming included 10 commercials to be aired during Major League Baseball games as part of Holiday Inn's corporate sponsorship. Other commercials were filmed to air during NASCAR races, for which Holiday Inn also is a corporate sponsor. Still other commercials will be aired on the open market advertising Holiday Inns globally.
Holiday Inn promotional materials for travel magazines, Arizona Highways and other publications also will showcase Yuma's hotel along with the community.
Yuma's hotel was selected because it was named the 2006 Newcomer of the Year for all Holiday Inn hotels worldwide, Rogers said. The hotel opened in June 2005, and was one of 92 new hotels vying for the honor.
Criteria for the Newcomer of the Year honor were that the hotel retain at least 80 percent of the employees for the first year, maintain 80 percent or better occupancy, and meet all Holiday qualifications such as passing regular audits in each aspect of the business. In addition, in a survey of 30 percent of the hotel's customers, it received a 98.67 percent score for customer satisfaction, Rogers said.
"This will be a huge asset for the community," he said. "Yuma will be mentioned on a steady basis for the next year at baseball games and NASCAR races. And all the write-ups of having them here will be phenomenal."
Along with the hotel, many of the commercials will include shots taken around the community, such as Yuma Palms Regional Center, Yuma Regional Medical Center, farm fields, the water tanks, St. Thomas Mission, City Hall, new restaurants, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma Proving Ground.
The crew members, many of them from the East Coast, were impressed with the community, Rogers said. "They were amazed we're the (winter) lettuce capital of the world and at the scope of agriculture here."
Film crew members were also amazed at the growth here, he said. "We took them to medical facilities and they thought the mall was super. We took them to the Peanut Patch and I think they bought them out."
Other businesses also benefitted from the filming process, Rogers said. "They gave us a list of things they needed: a steamer to clean the carpets, a crane for high shots. We rented Princess Limousine to pick up the celebrities at the airport.
"They definitely used city resources," he said.
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6853.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Sun, Yuma, Ariz.
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