RACVB expands to California Welcome Center Ridgecrest

RACVB expands to California Welcome Center RidgecrestRIDGECREST AREA CONVENTION AND VISIORS BUREAU

Ridgecrest, Calif., February 26, 2021 – In a strategic shuffling as California prepares to reopen, Kari

Crutcher has been elected by the board of directors of the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors

Bureau (RACVB) to serve as interim Executive Director to focus on marketing and opening the California Welcome Center Ridgecrest this year. Kari led the charge that advocated and earned designation from Visit California to become a California Welcome Center in 2019, but plans were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By leading the team who developed the winning proposal, Kari has since been instrumental in the design, development and

project management to make the center a reality.

She will continue in her role to manage the marketing and events of the organization moving forward, along with running the Ridgecrest Sports Commission.

The CWCs are independently operated, but subject to standards developed by the California Office of Tourism in partnership with Visit California. They act as a concierge service for travelers to California,

providing destination, attraction, and accommodation brochures from member destinations statewide.

With Ridgecrest joining the Visit California family, access and exposure to millions of people visiting

California will be exponentially higher for businesses in the Ridgecrest region. Each of the CWCs will have brochures, magazines, and advertising information for local attractions, dining, and hotels in and

around Ridgecrest.

The designation has traditionally led to a significant increase in the percentage of travel-generated employment for each region represented. This effect has led to documented positive

impacts in secondary spending and employment, as each region increases their share of California’s instate travel spending. Construction on the California Welcome Center Ridgecrest expected to begin early Spring.

In anticipation of an increase in film production after an industry-long closure in 2020, Doug Lueck will focus full attention on filmmaking in the region as the Film Commissioner for the Ridgecrest Regional Film Commission. Lueck has been with the RACVB since 2007, where he led efforts to expand Ridgecrest’s

marketing presence throughout California.

As Film Commissioner, he connected Ridgecrest to the Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS) to promote filming throughout the state, and worked alongside the California Film Commission.

His leadership brought Ridgecrest to a larger audience through statewide

events that include the Film in California Conference, the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, and the

annual Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival.

He led the way for the first Petroglyph Festival in 2014 inspired by his wife, Meris Lueck. Meris is considered to be the “godmother” of the festival and helped spearhead the adoption of the local petroglyphs as a regional identity. Working alongside NAWCWD leadership, Lueck’s efforts attracted hundreds of small businesses and national defense contractors just a year later for the first California Contracting/Acquisition/Procurement (CCAP) Industry Days Expo. The CCAP Expo

brought speakers that included VADM Michael T. Moran, former commander of NAWCWD, Joan

Johnson, Executive Director of NAWCWD, and Shannon C. Jackson, Acting Director DoD OSBP.

The RACVB hopes to continue to serve the region and tourists at the highest standards with confidence

that a change in leadership will allow for better management in multiple areas of growth. Both the

Executive Director and Film Commissioner will continue to advocate for businesses and attractions

throughout the region, and will continue to expand promotion across the state.

Pictured: Kari Crutcher

Story First Published: 2021-03-12