Monday, October 30, 2006

Postcards Showcase Vacaville

Postcards Showcase Vacaville
Local agency for tourism launches six new cards it plans to use in marketing the city's attributes.
By Jennifer Gentile /Staff Writer

A collage shows the six new postcards promoting Vacaville. (Rick Roach/The Reporter)

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, the director of the Vacaville Conference and Visitors Bureau said this week, then the city's latest strategy for boosting tourism speaks volumes.

The Vacaville Chamber of Commerce hosted an unveiling of six new Vacaville postcards, featuring photos taken by Eric Shaw, the bureau's sales and marketing director. The images will be familiar to most Vacaville residents and include Lagoon Valley Park, Andrews Park, the Vacaville Art Gallery, Town Square and the Vacaville Museum.

"We wanted to try to capture the essence of Vacaville," Shaw said. In an effort to increase visibility and exposure for the city, Shaw said, "We took photos of everything we're trying to highlight."

Visitors Bureau Executive Director Antonette Eckert said 10,000 copies have been made of each postcard, which retail for 30 cents each. So far, three businesses, including Bowman's Stationers, Yellow Brick Road and the Vacaville Art Gallery, have them available, Eckert said, with a push under way to bring them to additional businesses.

"The postcard idea has been brewing since I started," Eckert said. "I really want to build a brand for Vacaville."

Andrea McPeak, director of sales and marketing for Courtyard by Marriott and chairman of the VCVB board, said she is including the cards in sales packets that are sent to clients and those who inquire about the hotel. There are also plans to sell them in the hotel's gift shop.

"We are really promoting Vacaville as a sleepover destination," McPeak said. "People are very visual, so I think it will have an effect when they see what a beautiful place Vacaville is."

Mayor Len Augustine, who attended the unveiling, said he is impressed with the postcards and all of the latest efforts to bring people to the city.

"Tourism is a key part of what we strive to attain," Augustine said, "and the Conference and Visitors Bureau is well ahead of the curve in promoting our city." Aside from the postcards, Vacaville events have been featured in a number of publications recently, including the RV Journal; Via, the AAA magazine; and the American Bus Association's Annual Top 100 Events in North America.

Eckert also took the opportunity to announce that the VCVB would be holding a photo contest next month, adding that the winners would be featured on the Web site and in literature.

"We encourage people to capture the essence of Vacaville," Eckert said.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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