The Supes and the Rood Center just agreed to spend tens of thousands of dollars on GoNevadaCounty.com, the tourism website that The Union newspaper (supposedly a “watchdog” of our county government) now is managing. (How’s that for wearing “two hats”?) It is the bulk of a $70K deal to promote tourism via the County Economic Resource Council. The budget is at the bottom of this post, and more details of the tourism deal with the ERC are HERE.
I revisited the website — we were the founding website administrators until the end of 2015 — and it was a big disappointment. I found countless examples of mistakes or outdated listings. Aargh!
And this comes as the summer tourism season is getting into full swing. This deal brought back memories of “the western Nevada County ‘good old boys network,'” where it’s not what you know but who you know. I had hoped we’d outgrown that reputation.
The egregious examples (and this was not a “deep dive” but a brief review) include:
The listings for wineries in our county includes ones that are closed, such as Sierra Knolls and Bent Metal. See it for yourself.
2. The listings also included golf courses in our county that are closed, such as the Darkhorse Golf Club. Even The Union reported this. Does one hand at The Union know what the other is doing?
3. The restaurant listings are not up to date. Grass Valley Pasty Company, Meze and Roost in downtown Grass Valley are not listed, for example. It’s endless.
4. The website states that the National Hotel will “reopen in December 2019,” but that is outdated information. As KNCO and others reported, the target date is the “first half of next year.”
5. County events that have long since been discontinued, such as Gold Rush Days in downtown Grass Valley, the Italian Festival in Penn Valley, or the Open Art Studio Tour in Truckee, are still listed on the events page. I guess the website administrators don’t get out enough.
6. Other events are listed with themes that no longer exist or have been changed, such as “Grills and Grills” in Penn Valley, not the “BBQ Battle and Foreign Car Show.” The current show is no longer limited to foreign cars.
7. A slideshow on the front page of GoNevadaCounty.com begins with skiing, though we’re in the middle of summer. The slideshow needs to be reprogrammed.
8. A feature to encourage reporting on our county from out-of-town journalists and to showcase coverage called “Nevada County in the News” has not been updated since 2017. It’s 2019, though.
9. The “press portal” of press releases is out of date, even though we’re in the peak summer season. The last press release promotes an event that is over (“Archaeologist Hank Meals will lead a hike … this Saturday, June 8.”) An image gallery for the media is “coming soon.”
What a disappointment. We worked hard to keep this website updated, with fewer resources, but it became clear that few (County analyst Eve Diamond was an exception) understood what was involved, including the Supes. It became a political football in the grab game for Rood Center dollars. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Here’s the budget: