Town of Farragut staffers — who have long promoted Town businesses — are stepping up even more as re-openings continue in phases following COVID-19’s unprecedented spring shutdowns.
Its new promotional campaign, “Doors are Opening,” started on Memorial Day weekend and will continue through Labor Day, said Town Tourism coordinator Karen Tindal, who is leading the effort.
Tindal jumped in at the very beginning of the shutdowns, keeping a running list of businesses and restaurants that were open and at what capacity on the Visit Farragut website and on social media. Then, while many businesses were still closed or were operating under restrictions, Vice Mayor Louise Povlin asked that additional funds and manpower be appropriated during the road back to recovery.
Tindal, who is working with the Town’s Public Relations and Marketing coordinator Wendy Smith and Media/Tourism assistant Carisa Ownby on the campaign, as well as Shop Farragut executive director Steve Krempasky and Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Julie Blaylock, said it is common in the tourism community when unforeseem emergencies occur they shift focus.
“I know people in Florida, when they have had hurricanes or other disasters, that they move into helping with the recovery efforts before transitioning back to tourism promotions,” she said. “Right now, we are doing all we can to help our businesses and to get all our businesses on board.”
She said Farragut has an estimated 200 businesses within its boundaries. “Not all businesses are ready to reopen, but we have let them know that when they are ready, we are ready for them,” Tindal added.
The group worked to identify five separate shopping districts to highlight throughout the “Doors are Opening” campaign.
The districts are: Campbell Station (west side of Campbell Station Road, south from Interstate-40/75 and the north side of Kingston Pike west from Campbell Station Road to Town limits; Farragut West (south side of Kingston Pike west from Peterson Road to Town limits); Farragut East (east side of Campbell Station Road from Sonja --- to Kingston Pike and north side of Kingston Pike East from Campbell Station to Lovell Road); Farragut Town Center (south side of Kingston Pike from Peterson Road east to Town limits); and Turkey Creek (north side of I-40/75, east side of Cambpell Station from I-40/75 south to Sonja, then north and south side of Parkside to Town limits, encompassing to Chili’s and Men’s Belk).
Already highly adept at filming commercials and promos, Tindal’s team stepped up those efforts, working with area radio and TV stations, as well as continuing its social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Tindal credited Ownby’s “great video skills” for the promotions broadcast thus far, which are being released “every other Wednesday,” she said.
She also said the Visit Farragut website has been redesigned to highlight the current focus.
Additionally, with help of underwriting from the Town, farragutpress is among the advertising avenues offering discounted ad rates. The newspaper’s tandem “Doors are Opening” advertisements kicked off last week and highlighted the Campbell Station shopping district.
“It shows how resilient the business community is here in Farragut, and is allowing the businesses community to stand united, to show the Town of Farragut is open and ready for business,” said farragutpress publisher Tony Cox of the campaign, and the newspaper’s promotion of it. “It’s also about having strength in numbers ... we are ready for business and we are here for you.’”