H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Aug 5, 2013 8:24 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

SLO life makes a debut in Times Square

For the next week, San Luis Obispo will be on the international stage. A commercial is playing on a digital billboard in New York City's Times Square, featuring some of what the "SLO life" has to offer.

The money for the campaign came from a tourism tax. The tax is 2% of a guest's bill, and this is on top of the 10% bed tax. The collected funds are put into an account designated as "promotional money" for the city to spend on ad campaigns like this. This ad package cost $8,000 and includes some additional ads in a magazine.

"The video is what we call our five second commercial for San Luis Obispo," said Molly Cano, Tourism Manager for the city.

The video shows five seconds of the Central Coast's rolling green hills and a couple enjoying some wine tasting.

"It rolls through a couple of photos that represent the lifestyle and the type of experience a visitor can have here," said Cano.

Cano expects the video to be viewed by 100-million people in the next week. That may sound like a lot, but on average, millions of tourists visit Times Square every day, so a snapshot of the SLO life might impress vacationers just like the ones who are visiting this summer.

"We live in L.A., so it's very, like, hectic and, like, people, like, coming up and down the streets, like, it's just very fast over there. Over here is really much more relaxing," said Billy Escobar, a tourist from Diamond Bar.

A little farther from L.A., the Derus traveled from the Netherlands to see California's coastline. San Luis Obispo is now a place they will tell their friends back home about.

"Actually, we never heard about it but then we read about it in the guide and it said so many wonderful things that we decided to come and have a look, and we were actually very surprised how lovely it is and how beautiful it is," said Nanne Deru.

In addition to the commercial in Times Square, starting in September, San Luis Obispo will also be featured in the Horizon Travel Magazine, which is an insert in the Wall Street Journal.

The five second commercial will play about 120 times in the next seven days.

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