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Elk Grove Citizen

Visitors are Good Business

Feb 28, 2020 12:00AM ● By Story by Margaret Snider

Marc Sapoznik, RCTT Executive Director, speaks at the February Rancho Cordova Luncheon. Photo by Rick Maness

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Marc Sapoznik started off at the February Rancho Cordova Luncheon by sharing a little bit about tourism.  “When you’re looking at tourism, really at the core of it is hospitality,” Sapoznik said.  “We’re here to welcome people, to invite people to come in, and when they are here, to make sure that they’re having a good time.”  Sapoznik is the executive director of Rancho Cordova Travel and Tourism (RCTT), and works closely with the hospitality industry in the Rancho Cordova area.

Lisa Jones is regional director of sales with Aimbridge Hospitality, which has three hotels in Rancho Cordova.  She said that helping give a visitor their best experience has to do with understanding the amenities that we have.  “The diversity of the restaurants, the recreational activities, and then just the convenience to being in the center if you want to go to Folsom, if you want to go to Sacramento... it’s easy to access different areas of the Sacramento Area.”

There are 17 hotels in Rancho Cordova.  “It’s far more than the hotels,” Sapoznik said. “It’s what’s happening in the restaurants and other service industries.”  Some of those restaurants and services would not be in Rancho Cordova were it not for the visitors and tourists.  There are over 3,000 people working in hospitality and tourism in Rancho.  The $7 million in transient occupancy tax from the hotels is split between the County and the City and can pay for things like firefighters, police, and other community necessities.

In 2019 RCTT entered the digital marketing competition of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, up against such giants as the Marriott Bonvoy, who won the gold and had an agency of 55 people working on their digital marketing program.  But with Rancho’s 2 ½ person staff, Sapoznik said, “We were able to come up with some pretty cool digital campaigns that were very effective.  And so we received the Silver Adrian Award, which is a great honor for Rancho Cordova and really put us on a big stage there literally in New York just a few weeks ago.”

Sapoznik said that RCTT is a tourism bureau, but he can’t book you a cruise.  “What we do is pretty unique in that we are bringing people into a region – we don’t control them, we don’t own anything, but we are here to... promote everything that’s going on here,” Sapoznik said.  “Beyond what the hotels are doing, beyond what they’re doing at the restaurants and at the service level, all of you, really, in this community are part of that welcome team.  Everybody here can be an ambassador for Rancho Cordova.”

Diann Rogers, president and CEO of the Rancho Cordova Chamber, was talking after the luncheon about Sapoznik’s address.  She was impressed with the statistics he presented.  “It’s important for the residents of Rancho to know and understand the significant impact that our hospitality industry has,” Rogers said, “when you talk about numbers like 600,000 room nights, and nearly 800,000 visitors.” Rogers is one of only two members of the RCTT board who are not directly associated with the hospitality industry.  The other is Micah Runner, Rancho Cordova Deputy City Manager.

RCTT, Rogers said, is a separate entity, a 501 (c) (6) nonprofit, similar to the Chamber of Commerce. “We are not an entity of the City, we’re completely separate, we’re managed separately, we are funded separately, the City is not responsible for our management or for organizing us.”