OGDEN -- Ogden hopes a new contract with a local travel agency will help put the city on the map.
The city and the Ogden/Weber Convention and Visitors Bureau have reached an agreement with South Ogden-based travel agency Get Away Today Vacations to promote Ogden as a vacation destination for tourists from around the globe.
The initial promotional campaign will focus on the Phoenix/Mesa area in Arizona and all throughout Southern California.
Jennifer Dunyon, vice president of communications for Get Away Today, said the campaign will include newspaper and magazine advertisements in several publications in the two areas.
The travel agency will also establish contracts with hotels and resorts, building travel packages that combine airfare, lodging and transportation with popular Ogden-area activities, such as skiing.
"We've got some unbelievable attractions (in Ogden)," Dunyon said. "Not just the outdoors stuff, but we've got some great hotels and a great city center. There are just tons of reasons for people to come to Ogden, so we're trying to let people know about them and give them some extra incentive to come."
Ogden City Business Development Director Steve Fishburn said the partnership dovetails with the recent commercial airliner service at Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
Through Allegiant Air, a subsidiary of the Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company, the airport offer flights to and from Mesa twice weekly, on Thursday and Sunday.
The city hopes to add more destinations in the future.
"When we were able to bring airline service here, it put us on a whole new level," Fishburn said. "We're trying to take advantage of that."
Dunyon said that while the city offers an abundance of activities, including blue ribbon trout fishing, kayaking, hiking and mountain biking, skiing seems to be Ogden's ticket to tourism success.
"When you look at Arizona and Southern California, these warm-weather areas, it only makes sense people will want to make the short trip up here for some world-class skiing," Dunyon said.
"We've got the same snow as Salt Lake City and Park City, but we're less crowded and more affordable."
Peter Makowski, Ogden City project coordinator, said the contract between the city and Get Away Today is for one year. The city will pay Get Away Today $50,000 as part of the deal.
Makowski said the funds come from a small airports marketing grant the city received from the U.S. Department of Transportation.