Throughout 2022, several Buhl businesses and city personnel have requested the Magic Valley Business Association consider getting more involved with the management of the Buhl visitor center, overseeing Buhl events, and promoting Buhl businesses. This proposal is the result of those requests.
Buhl Visitor Center & RV Park Proposal
Magic Valley Business Association
dba of Hagerman I.D.E.A., Inc 501(c)3 Charitable Corporation
[Revised: February 2, 2023]
VISITORS: The Magic Valley Business Association (MVBA) envisions the Visitor Center being open from at least 10a to 4p every day with staff answering questions, providing information about Buhl, its recreation, events and RV park and selling item such as Idaho Guides. Information would also be available outdoors in a weatherproof display cabinet and brochure holders for public access during closed hours.
Key Visitor Center improvements would include fixing the LED reader board, setting up appropriate display tables in the Welcome Room with staff desks, computers, printer, scanner, internet, office phone and supplies.
RV PARK: The RV Park would be maintained by Visitor Center staff, and promoted using the reader board, street signs and Magic Valley News advertisements to maximize the Park’s usage and availability to the community. Space rental applications and payments would be handled inside during open hours, and outside in a brochure holder and locked drop box for after hours rental convenience. The MVBA would handle the staff and RV park operational expenses from the generated revenue.
EVENTS: The MVBA would use the Visitor Center as the hub for coordinating and managing Buhl Events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and Sage Brush Days. Event information, such as posters, vendor applications, ST124 forms (State Vendor Temporary Tax Permit), parade entry applications and tickets for sale (dinner, breakfast, rodeo) would be available to both participants and the public. Other rooms in the building would be used for Event Committees, expanding community involvement in the planning and management of the events.
BUSINESS PROMOTION: Locally, the MVBA will promote Buhl businesses with the LED reader board, business brochures and a Buhl Business Map (under development) available in the Visitor Center (and outside) and 20 Magic Valley News distribution sites already in Buhl.
Regionally, MVBA already promotes Buhl businesses in 130 more Magic Valley News distribution sites, 4000 copies per month, the MVBA website MagicValleyBA.org and in weekly radio interviews with BUCK FM.
RESIDENTS: The Visitor Center will be available to local residents and particularly groups for any use deemed appropriate by MVBA. Perhaps a quilt club, a parent group or volunteers to decorate Easter eggs would be very thankful to have the building available for their use.
STAFF: Visitor Center staff must be friendly and knowledgeable, honest and trustworthy handling application and reservation money, and follow procedures as requested. Ideally, staff are comfortable with scanners, gmail accounts including template marketing and Google drives, Google sheets and docs, Mailerlite, Excel and Facebook. Any ability or ease in learning other software such as Publisher, WordPress and Ticketspice would be very desirable.
TRANSITION: In a transition of management from the Buhl Chamber of Commerce to the Magic Valley Business Association, both non-profits, we envision a prorated refund of any Chamber Membership dues paid in the last year. We will need keys, internet information, LED sign information, maintenance contacts, rules and regulations for the RV park and any other necessities required to successfully occupy and manage the property.
Buhl Event Management Proposal
Successfully organizing, promoting and managing an event requires a great deal of preparation over several weeks or months ahead of the event. Typically, many people are involved in the various facets of the event with at least two or maybe three levels of organizational management.
A well-run event starts with securing the venue(s) then requires much computer and online preparation focused on event marketing, vendor, entertainment and parade entrant solicitation. Then Visitor Center staff can accept applications and payments, followed by many volunteers and staff overseeing the physical operations on the day(s) of the event(s).
Following is a generic and basic list of activities needed for a variety of event types.
ALL events require the marketing and promotion list of activities.
MEAL VENUE & SETUP
Reserve and pay for Venue
Line up cooks, servers, cleanup crew
Line up Food Solicit
Online Ticket Sales
At event ticket sales
PARADE VENUE & SETUP
Pay for Permit
Reserve Staging Area
‘Release & Hold Harmless’ Application
Solicit Entrants, accept payments
Volunteers to manage Entrant staging & starts
Volunteers to Manage Parade Corners
VENDOR VENUE & SETUP
Reserve and pay for Venue
‘Release & Hold Harmless’ Application
Vendors, accept space payments
Layout Vendor spaces at Venue
Organize Vendor Setup & Cleanup
Line up Entertainment
MARKETING & PROMOTION:
Posters & Distribution
Signs – street, sandwich board, directional
Facebook Event & Shares
Contact past Participants
Programs for each event
Public Service Announcements
Magic Valley Business Association
The 20 year Legacy of Nonprofit Hagerman I.D.E.A., Inc
From 2002-2016, a legacy of community service and ‘efforts for others’ began with the Hagerman Pocket Park and RV dump station and included:
- The Hagerman high school greenhouse
- The original Hagerman City entrance signs
- Flower planters for Swensen’s city-owned parking lot
- Seven annual Blues Festivals in Billingsley Creek Park
- 1000 Springs Scenic Byway signage coordination
- City Park original swing and slide equipment
- A $60,000 grant for 1400 students to tour fossil beds, national fish hatchery & 1000 springs park
From 2017-2022, and doing business as Hagerman Valley Foundation, our donations and community efforts have included:
- City Park concrete work ($1,000 match to the grant)
- New City Park swing set and installation
- Art sculptures displayed in City Park
- Annual summer-long Farmers Markets established
- Parades & several annual winter festivals held
- Acquired a performing arts mobile stage
- Free monthly Newsletters published and mailed EDDM since January 2017
- Several Seniors hosted through the Dept of Labor SCSEP Program.
- Free Tours of the area’s wildlife and agriculture
- Barn Owl Box program was established
- A Community Business Center (dba) print shop was established
- The Hagerman IDEA Endowment Fund (dba) was established
- Magic Valley Business Association (dba) was established
MAGIC VALLEY NEWS: In January 2017, we began creating and publishing a monthly newsletter mailing it ‘every door direct’ to 1700 residents in Hagerman and Bliss. Then in early 2020, we expanded the publication to include Wendell, printing and mailing to 4,000 residents.
In 2022, Reba Puente, director of the Buhl Public Library, approached us asking if she could advertise in our newsletter, then named Gooding County News. Of course, we agreed and decided to change the name to Magic Valley News.
Because postage was very expensive, we decided to turn every route into a Free Newsletter Pickup from a local business that would become our Newsletter Distributor. Almost immediately many businesses in Buhl wanted to be newsletter distributors. Then folks from other cities discovered the newsletter and the distributor growth was on!
We currently use seniors in the SCSEP program to distribute 4000 monthly newsletters to over 130 distributors in 16 cities. We have expanded the information and resources contained in each edition to include each of the 16 city’s organizations with location, phone and meeting time for a total of 232 organizations. Seven (7) county commissioner boards are listed, plus national and state representatives.
When voting time comes, we emphasize levies in the newsletter and make every sample ballot and article available online. When elections roll around, we offer free 250 word comments with a picture for every candidate running for any office. Our vision includes keeping all the residents and businesses in the Magic Valley Region informed and able to contact any elected representative.
The newsletter offers very reasonable rates, and the layout is done by volunteers. We print in black/white, but online it’s in color. The paper, staples and print costs keep the newsletter more a labor of love not profit.
We have started offering a mailed newsletter for $20/year to cover postage and currently have 67 subscribers.
MAGIC VALLEY BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (MVBA): As the newsletter expanded into the 16 cities in the Magic Valley Region, we felt the need to create a business promotion that would increase business exposure to the residents of the region and help to generate a feeling of community among residents and businesses of all 16 cities. So we created the MVBA dba and the MagicValleyBA.org website and membership decal program.
On this website, we have combined the businesses of the region by category and linked to their websites, listed every city, library and senior center in the 16 cities linked to their websites, and listed all 133 distributors to make it easy for anyone to find a distributor near them, bolding the lettering of those that distribute the most newsletters each month. We also link every radio interview and newsletter from January 2022 to this site.
In early January 2023, Lee Family Broadcasting contacted us interested in setting up a weekly interview about the newsletter and the business association. So now each Tuesday, around 7:40a on BUCK FM, we chat with Paul Johnson about what is going on with the Newsletter and Association. This gives us a great opportunity to highlight our advertisers and distributors with the public and let everyone know how to get free promotion for their events in the newsletter event calendars!
OUR VISION: At some point in time, when the current small newsletter format (5.5”x8.5”) is not large enough for demand, we will migrate to an 8.5”x11” magazine format and upgrade all the newsletter stands.
As business listings on the website increase, we will restructure the categories in such a way as to keep information no more than “2 clicks” away. We plan on adding a “Support our Cities” page highlighting rehab projects around the region, such as the Shoshone Theater, the Gooding Theater and our Endowment Fund.
Due to requests from various cities in the region, our past 6 years of event management will soon be put to good use. We have all the skills and training needed to develop, promote and manage events anywhere in the region.