2015 Visitor Profile Study Findings Released

A visitor profile study was conducted in Kokomo/Howard County earlier this year.  The 2015 study found that most travelers visit Howard County to see family and friends, attend local festivals and events, or conduct business or corporate travel and stay for a short trip; and that the community ranks highly with visitors for hospitality, safety, family-friendliness, and affordability.

Artist Alley

Artist Alley in Downtown Kokomo

The study was completed by Certec, Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based firm specializing in destination research and market analysis, and found that over one-third of Howard County visitors come to the community to see family and friends, while another 28 percent visit the area to enjoy local events or attractions.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed say they visit Kokomo for a short trip lasting 1 to 3 days. The findings are also good news for the local economy: in addition to visiting friends and relatives, visitors listed shopping, dining, and attending area sporting and entertainment events as top activities during their stays in Howard County.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Furthermore, over 85 percent of those surveyed stated that they are either “completely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their tourism experiences in Howard County; in fact, less than 1 percent were not at all satisfied with their experiences.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Primary markets for Kokomo visitor travel were Indiana (non-Howard County), Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan
  • Typical visitor party includes 3 people who stay for an average of 2.4 days
  • Popular attractions for visitors include Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, Seiberling Mansion, Elwood Haynes Museum, Kokomo Opalescent Glass, and Kokomo Automotive Museum
  • Overall, visitors averaged 4 trips to Howard County in the past 2 years
  • Nearly 87% of visitors say they are likely to return to Howard County in the next 2 years

Learn more about our recent visitor profile study here.

Plan a Summer Getaway to Kokomo!

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

 

Kokomo is a short drive for a fun (and very affordable) family-friendly weekend getaway.

Spend the day enjoying high-energy water slides, riding on the lazy river, playing in the splash pad, and swimming at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center.  Admission is only $5 for adults and $4 for youth (ages 2-11.)

For a local experience, make sure you visit one of Kokomo’s local restaurants. Several are located Downtown in unique, historic buildings!  These include The DistrictFoxes TrailCook McDoogal’s Irish PubDrakes Bar & GrillPepperwhistle Bakery & CafeMain Street Cafe, and Jamie’s Soda Fountain.

Learn more about Kokomo’s rich history at the Elwood Haynes Museum, Seiberling Mansion, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory, or Kokomo Auto Museum.  Or explore the Historic Downtown Architecture Walking Tour!

Elwood Haynes Museum

Elwood Haynes Museum

Check out fun-filled festivals and the Summer Concert Series at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Downtown’s Foster Park.  Enjoy FREE admission to all concerts and festivals!  Many genres are represented with a great line-up of talented musicians and well-known bands, including rock, country, and blues.  For a list of all concerts this summer, go to www.KokomoSummerSeries.com. Upcoming festivals include:

Haynes-Apperson Festival – July 3-5, 2014
Parade, car show & cruise-ins, food, fireworks, rides, and concerts featuring Molly Hatchet, Here Come the Mummies, and 38 Special.  To see a full schedule of events, visit their website at www.haynesappersonfestival.org.

WeberFest – August 2, 2014
Food, medieval festival, and afternoon KidsFest.  Evening concerts will feature Cracker along with several opening bands.

Taste of Kokomo – August 16, 2014
Enjoy the tastes of local Kokomo cuisine from over 30 restaurants, beer garden, food competitions, kid’s activities, and concerts featuring American Idol winner David Cook.

While visiting Downtown, take time to explore local shops and trails.  The Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence and Industrial Heritage Trail are perfect for walking, running, and biking.  Don’t miss the colorful murals created by local artisans located along the trails and throughout Downtown!

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Love comedy?  Laugh House Kokomo just opened this month bringing premium, live comedy to Downtown Kokomo.  Upcoming summer shows include Donnie Baker, Steve-O, and Jamie Kennedy. Visit their website for ticket information.

To plan your summer getaway, call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app!

Download the Visit Kokomo Mobile App – for local information at your fingertips!

The Visit Kokomo mobile app now has a NEW design!  Check out our newly updated and redesigned app that has a fresh, new look and is more user-friendly than ever.  Find information on local attractions, local restaurants, tours, upcoming events, walking & biking trails, and much more.  The Visit Kokomo app is FREE and available on both Apple & Android devices.

Kokomo mobile app screenshot - Things to Do

 

Kokomo Visitors Bureau recognizes Dean Hockney with the 2013 FIRSTS Award

Dean Hockney, recipient of the 2013 FIRSTS Award

Dean Hockney, recipient of the 2013 FIRSTS Award

The Kokomo Visitors Bureau presented Dean Hockney with the 2013 FIRSTS Award, which stands for FANTASTIC INDIVIDUAL  RECOGNIZED  for  SUPERIOR  TOURISM  SERVICE, on November 7, 2013.

Dean has led the Kokomo Visitors Bureau’s sports initiatives through the leadership role of the Greater Kokomo Sports Authority committee for 2 years, which has brought awareness of sports tourism to our community.  Under Dean’s leadership, more than 10,000 hotel rooms have been occupied in Howard County because of sports.  This translates into 1.5 million dollars of visitor spending!

Along with his other community service efforts, such as coaching, mentoring youth, immediate Past President of the Kiwanis Club, Vice President of the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame, Advisory Board member of Prevent Child Abuse of Howard County, just to name a few, Dean is also an award winning journalist and owner and editor of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana.

Awarded since 1997, the FIRSTS Award is given to an individual who has gone the extra mile in contributing to the tourism efforts of the Kokomo Visitors Bureau, has given over-the-top hospitality through a single act or through on-going efforts over a period of time, has given assistance to a visitor, or has sponsored an event in the community that makes a significant difference to the hospitality industry in Howard County.

For more information about the Kokomo Visitors Bureau, visit www.VisitKokomo.org.

Josh Yocum of Kokomo’s Comfort Inn presented with 2013 Hoosier Hospitality Award

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presents Josh Yocum of Kokomo's Comfort Inn with the Hoosier Hospitality Award

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presents Josh Yocum of Kokomo’s Comfort Inn with Hoosier Hospitality Award

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presented Josh Yocum of Kokomo’s Comfort Inn with a 2013 Hoosier Hospitality Award for outstanding contributions to the tourism industry during a ceremony on May 8, 2013 at the Indiana Statehouse.  Twenty representatives of the tourism industry earned the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Hoosier Hospitality Award for their high level of service in tourism-related jobs at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations.

Josh has been in the hotel industry over 10 years and is currently the Front Desk Manager.  He was acknowledged for the care he takes to ensure each patron receives exceptional service and for going above and beyond the normal duties of his position to help all staff with everyday tasks in the hotel.  Josh was nominated by Marlo Stevens, General Manager of the Comfort Inn Kokomo, for doing  a fantastic job at the hotel.  His on-going service to visitors was recognized in a recent letter from a guest which stated that he did an “outstanding job of making our visit very special.”  The guest also stated that “during the snowstorm, he kept us informed, comfortable, well fed, and treated us as family.  We’ve traveled all over the world and the Comfort Inn Kokomo was the best hotel we ever experienced, because Josh looked out for us and all other guest.  He has excellent customer service skills.”

The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau congratulates Josh on receiving this award, and we thank him for his outstanding service to visitors in Howard County!

Kokomo CVB Sign Grant Program Assisting Downtown Businesses

Pepperwhistle Bakery & Cafe

Pepperwhistle Bakery & Cafe

New signage is popping up around Downtown Kokomo.  Local businesses are partnering with the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau’s Perpendicular Sign Grant Program to enhance business signage, as well as the look of Downtown.  The grant program is designed to offer financial assistance to downtown businesses wishing to install perpendicular or blade signs to storefronts to increase visibility to visitors and residents and improve the quality of place.  Up to 50% of the total cost of sign production and installation may be granted up to a maximum of $1,000.

Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe and the Law Office of Corbin King have both installed perpendicular signs this spring after receiving grants from the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau.  Both signs were designed and installed by Huston.  For more information about the sign grant program, call (765) 457-6802 or visit our website.

Law Office of Corbin King

Law Office of Corbin King

Celebrating Kokomo’s Tourism Leaders

The Kokomo Visitors Bureau recognized Kay Frazer for her dedicated service in the tourism industry on March 4, 2013.  Kay is the Curator at the Elwood Haynes Museum and announced her retirement after 33 years of service.  We appreciate all the wonderful hospitality she has shown to visitors, her support of Kokomo/Howard County tourism, and her passion for sharing the fascinating story of Elwood Haynes and his legacy to Kokomo and around the world!  The Kokomo Visitors Bureau salutes Kay as one of Kokomo’s tourism leaders.

 

Kay Frazer is recognized for 33 years of service in the tourism industry

Kay Frazer is recognized for 33 years of service in the tourism industry

 

Kay Frazer retirement award