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Festivals, Special Events Boost Summer Tourism Revenues

It is well known that Flagstaff’s hotel occupancy peaks during the summer months and it can be near impossible to find a vacant room in the city on weekend nights May through September. In June 2016, Flagstaff hotel occupancy hit a record high of 90.3 percent occupancy for the month. While there are many reasons that visitors come to Flagstaff this time of year, June happens to be the busiest month for festivals and special events, and these events attract many attendees who stay overnight and spend money at restaurants and retail outlets; therefore, boosting tourism metrics like occupancy and BBB tax collections.

Visitors coming to Flagstaff specifically to attend special events are a target market for the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau’s destination promotion efforts. For the 2017 festival season, the Flagstaff CVB has created a special festival-themed advertising campaign to highlight the area’s “Spectacle of Festivals.” All of the major summer and fall festivals and special events were invited to have a character dressed to represent their event included in a photo shoot for imagery to accompany this campaign.

The goal of this campaign is to encourage both overnight and daytrip visitor attendance and creating top of mind awareness of the variety of events Flagstaff offers. The Flagstaff Blues and Brews festival drew an attendance of 3,200 in 2016 and the event’s room blocks at hotels near the event site on Country Club Drive sold out. The 2014-15 Flagstaff Visitor Intercept Study found that 75 percent of visitors to Flagstaff stay overnight, but even those who do not sleep here bring a boost to city tax revenues and the CVB is hoping to increase the numbers of summer daytrip visitors with this campaign.

Flagstaff is known as the state’s premier location to enjoy outdoor summer festivals and the variety of offerings means visitors will find something different on the calendar almost every weekend from June to October. Details for most of these events can be found at flagstaff365.com and the “Spectacle of Festivals” marketing efforts direct visitors to this site. If you are planning a festival or event, be sure to list it on Flagstaff 365 for exposure to tourists looking for things to do while they are visiting.

If your business would like to work more closely with festivals and special events, consider creating a special offer or discount for any event attendees that bring their festival ticket stub or wrist band into your business. Please reach out to the CVB at 928-213-2910 or cvb@flagstaffaz.gov if you have any questions or want to know more about the upcoming events. FBN


2017 Festival Dates:


June 3-4: Flagstaff Hullabaloo

June 10: Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival

June 10: Flagstaff Blues & Brews Music Festival

June 24: Pride in the Pines

June 24-25: Flagstaff Folk Festival



July 1-2: Hopi Festival of Arts & Culture

July 1-3: Flagstaff Art in the Park

July 4: Fourth of July Parade

July 4: A Flag Fourth with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra

July 4: Lights on the Lawn

July 15-16: Arizona Highland Celtic Festival

July 21-30: Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival



August 4-6: Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival

August 5-6: Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture

August 11-13: Orpheum Theater Centennial Celebration



September 2-4: Flagstaff Art in the Park

September 15-17: Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival

September 15-17: Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival

September 22-October 1: Flagstaff Festival of Science

September 30: Cornucopia Fall Festival



October 7: Flagstaff Oktoberfest

October 21-22: Celebraciónes de la Gente




By Joanne Hudson





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