Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmy Champ ‘Family’ to Showcase Wyoming

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The primetime network television winner of five Emmy Awards last night is taking “Modern Family” on a Wyoming dude ranch vacation in its season premiere episode this week. Even before the national broadcast Wednesday, state tourism officials say a half-million dollars in publicity has been garnered by hosting the cast and crew of the ABC sitcom on Lost Creek Ranch in Teton County last month.

Jackson Hole residents along with town and county officials provided financial backing and other incentives to entice show producers to choose a Wyoming location. “It’s much more beautiful here than it would have been had we faked it in California,” noted Steve Levitan, executive producer of the hit comedy. The show is also hoping to qualify for a cash rebate from the Wyoming Film Office program known as “FIFI” – Film Industry Financial Incentive. That program was extended by the state legislature in the 20ll session.

Diane Shober, Wyoming tourism director, says a media evaluation service is collecting and assessing publicity values. So far more than 400 newspaper, magazine, and website feature stories have been published about the “Modern Family” premiere set in Wyoming. Shober says the coverage would have cost $492,000 if purchased as advertising. “Once the show is broadcast combined with the re-airings that follow the state will attain publicity on a scale we could never afford in our tourism marketing budget,” Shober added.

Shober’s office bought television time to run Wyoming tourism advertising during the “Modern Family” broadcast Wednesday night in key markets across the country including Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Portland and St. Louis. That purchase totaled $84,600.

The state tourism office has also built a new landing page on its website - that will move into play this week. Site visitors who show interest in “Modern Family” can be registered to win a free Wyoming vacation at the same ranch where the show was shot.

“We truly believe that not only the guest ranches but all of Wyoming’s tourism industry is poised to gain a major boost from this popular show,” Shober said.

Dude Wyo

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