Ann Barrett Steward of the City of Prescott Tourism Office Considers Herself the “Everybody’s Home Town Advocate”
By Katie Chatham
Each year, Prescott locals have the opportunity to interact with tourists who make their way into our little hometown. Recently, for the second year in a row, Prescott was named one of the “19 Cities That You Must See in 2019,” by travel blog Expedia Viewfinder (and it was the only destination to make this list twice).
Have you ever considered how people discover our charming town? How visitors make it this direction? What draws them here? Ann Barrett Steward, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for the City of Prescott Tourism Office (COPTO), has the answers.
As the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for COPTO, Ann works with travel trade and media professionals—including travel agents, tour operators, meeting planners, sports commissioners, social media influencers, and travel writers—to develop and implement campaigns and initiatives designed to increase tourism.
The Transient Occupancy Tax, less formally known as the “Bed Tax,” funds these campaigns and initiatives. And although the Bed Tax funds the efforts of the Tourism Office, it is also important to note that these collections as well as sales tax revenues go to benefit the locals, not just tourism, Ann said.
“This is a benefit not only to our visitors, but residents alike,” she said. “It is important to keep in mind [visitors] are also contributing to our sales tax revenue while they are here spending as well.”
Thirty percent of the tourism budget goes back into the community, funding recreation improvement projects and providing grant money for many local events and programs. The Tourism Office is also assisted by the Tourism Advisory Committee.
Ann is passionate about her role with the Tourism Office because she is equally as passionate about protecting the city’s small-town charm and its history and heritage. She said she feels privileged to tell others how special Prescott is.
When anyone is visiting and asks her what she would recommend to do, her answer is: “Start with the Prescott Heritage Trail or History Hunt Adventure, visit the breweries, distillery and meadery, go on a hike, visit our four museums and our two new centers, The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center and the Prescott Western Heritage Center (opening this spring).”
Ann, who lives downtown, always knew she wanted to make her home in Prescott, and she is delighted to be able to live, work and play in her hometown. She is a member of P.E.O. Chapter Y, Meeting Planners International, and a committee member of the NACOG Tourism Board. Ann is proud of her hometown roots. Both of her grandfathers were local businessmen who accumulated a combined 75 years of hard work and history. Ann has three nephews, one niece and an 11-year-old godson.
The fact that she’s personally invested in our hometown—as a resident and an employee—is evidence of the pride she exudes through her work with the City of Prescott Tourism Office.