Originally published Friday, January 12, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
Once again, Prescott is having a moment on a national listing.
This week, the Expedia Viewfinder travel blog chose Prescott as the only Arizona destination to be included in its “18 Cities That Must Be Seen in 2018.”
The article proposes that visitors should experience America’s cities “when they’re at their best.”
And in Prescott’s case, that happens to be summertime. Or more specifically, July 4.
The list, which is available online at https://viewfinder.expedia.com/features/18-cities-that-must-be-seen-in-2018/, features a wide variety of U.S. cities, ranging from New Orleans, to San Antonio, to Rapid City,
South Dakota, to Kansas City, Missouri.
For Prescott, it was the July 4 holiday and the World’s Oldest Rodeo that made the community stand out.
While praising Prescott as a “quaint mountain town known for its pleasant climate and outdoor activities,” the listing also emphasizes the community’s premier summertime event.
“One of the many reasons you should visit in 2018 is that Prescott is also home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo, which was founded in 1888,” it states.
Other activities of note included picnicking and kayaking at Goldwater Lake, scrambling on the boulders at Granite Dells, perusing Sharlot Hall Museum, browsing the shops on Whiskey Row, and “some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see” from the Prescott Resort.
The article’s writer Meredith Castin points out that the blog chooses communities “that reflect as many travelers’ preferences as possible.”
The destinations are chosen with variety in mind, she said, noting, “Some Expedia Viewfinder readers are looking for the excitement and nonstop action of a big city, while others plan trips to smaller towns, seeking more rest and relaxation.”
Ultimately, the choices are a combination of the memorable experiences of Expedia’s well-traveled writing team and destinations that associates have enjoyed, Castin added.
The recommended activities are product of the timing of the article’s publication and the recommended season for visiting.
“In the case of ‘18 Cities That Must Be Seen in 2018,’ we’re recommending a summer trip to Prescott so readers can enjoy the rodeo, so we wanted to highlight other activities that can be enjoyed during the summer, such as kayaking and bouldering,” Castin said.
Prescott Community Outreach Manager John Heiney notes that Prescott has appeared on numerous lists over the past year, as well as in previous years.
“Prescott was named on 15 similar lists in 2017, including ‘One of the Coolest Downtowns in North America,’ and ‘Best Destination for Nature Lovers in Arizona,’ both by Expedia Viewfinder,” stated a news release from Heiney’s department.
Each time, he said, news of the lists tends to generate more than 10 times the interest of other city postings.
While most of the city’s postings on Facebook have a reach of 500 or less, the posts about Prescott’s latest national listing typically generates a reach of anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000, Heiney said.
That is true on the city’s Facebook page – likely seen largely by locals – as well as on the Visit Prescott AZ page, which is tourism-oriented.
While it is difficult to track how much impact the listings have on actual visitation to Prescott, Heiney said the widespread interest in the lists likely translates to more visitation.