The Hollister City Council on Oct. 6 set June 19-21 as the dates for the 2015 Hollister Airshow but put off a decision on a request to spend an additional $10,000 on marketing the event in the Bay Area. Management Services Director Mike Chambless, who oversees the airport and the airshow, asked for the additional funding to run radio and television ads in English and Spanish in markets north of San Benito County.
The airshow has lost money in four of its five years of existence, running a $25,562.22 deficit this year after spending nearly $64,000 on the event. The only year the event has made a profit, according to city records, was 2010 — its inaugural year — when it made just under $4,500 after spending approximately $19,000.
Councilman Victor Gomez, who formerly ran a Papa Murphy’s franchise in Hollister, said $10,000 “would go absolutely nowhere in the Monterey Bay Area market, let alone the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems to me more precise, targeted marketing to people in the aviation sector and some family fun-type stuff would be better, in my opinion. Ten thousand dollars is going to be really tough for you to get really significant exposure for this. We need to make sure we’re being very careful with how we’re marketing the airshow and very strategic with how we’re using these funds.”
Gomez later noted that he is “not necessarily against spending $10,000” on marketing, but requires more information before voting on it.
Mayor Ignacio Velazquez agreed that the council needs more information on a marketing plan before approving it. “I think we need to step back (and) present more of a plan than an increase in that budget. We need more time to understand what the money will be used for.”
After discussion, the council agreed to continue the item to a future meeting to give Chambless more time to provide details of the airshow marketing plan.
Click here to read the Sept. 10 BenitoLink story on the airshow’s budget.