Episode 216:

Jennifer Lazarz has worked with the City of Gallup for over five years, four of which have been as its Tourism and Marketing Manager. Jennifer’s projects with the City of Gallup include the execution of the 2015 LEDA Grant for Historic Theatres at the historic El Morro Theatre, serving on the team for design and implementation of the GallupRealTrue tourism brand, coordinating the Gallup Native Arts Market with the Native Artists Commission, and design of gallupnativeartsmarket.org. In addition, she manages the marketing, PR, sales, lodgers tax fund, and long-term tourism development of the City’s tourism initiatives. COVID-19 mixed things up for Jennifer, who also acted as the Public Information Office for COVID and ran the CARES Small Business Grant Program for Gallup, New Mexico.

Jennifer is currently the treasurer on the board of the Community Pantry, a local non-profit ensuring no mother’s child goes hungry in McKinley and Cibola Counties in New Mexico. Prior to her time in Gallup Jennifer worked in the arts as a professional opera singer for multiple companies and as an arts administrator for Chicago Dance, Land of Enchantment Opera, and Voicexperience/Savannah Voice Festival. She also served in the hospitality industry in food/beverage and as a tour guide in Winston Salem, NC.

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Lazarz, the Tourism and Marketing Manager for the City of Gallup, New Mexico. On our podcast, Jennifer talks about how her background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry. She also discusses the importance of building relationships within the industry to promote a destination, the value of ‘people’ in tourism marketing, and the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Jennifer’s background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry
  • The importance of building relationships within the industry to better promote your destination
  • Why travel is about the people, not the experience, and how we can leverage that notion
  • How Jennifer is preparing for the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66
  • How Jennifer has been able to capture the unique character of Gallup using creativity and collaboration
  • What Jennifer has done to help Gallup stand out from the crowd
  • The lessons Jennifer has taken away from the global pandemic, and how coopetition helped her through

The City of Gallup

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Lazarz, the Tourism and Marketing Manager for the City of Gallup, New Mexico. On our podcast, Jennifer talks about how her background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry. She also discusses the importance of building relationships within the industry to promote a destination, the value of ‘people’ in tourism marketing, and the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66. Jennifer’s insights provide us with a great blueprint to approach our destination marketing strategy for 2021.

Capturing the Character of Gallup

Jennifer describes Gallup, NM as a city hiding in plain sight because it is a very substantial town despite what you might expect. Gallup is thirty miles east of the Arizona border on Interstate 40 and the Historic Route 66. It is surrounded by Native American populations and a significant amount of indigenous land, so Gallup has essentially become the economic hub of the entire region. There is an amazing culture derived from a combination of its coal mining roots and the influence of native cultural arts. Jennifer’s mission has been to capture this unique culture in her marketing efforts, and she has employed an incredible use of creativity and collaboration to do so.

Opportunity Through Networking

Throughout her tenure as the Tourism and Marketing Manager for Gallup, Jennifer has put a lot of effort into simply letting people know Gallup is there. Social media, digital marketing, and traditional out-of-home advertising have all played a major role in the growth of Gallup’s marketing platform. However, Jennifer’s approach to networking is what sets Gallup apart. She has spent a ton of time attending travel and tourism events and developing relationships with industry partners. Once they understood Jennifer’s vision and Gallup’s accessibility, they started providing her with resources to realize that vision. Don’t underestimate what your destination has to offer, there is always an atypical opportunity out there if you are willing to find it.

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