Get Ready for Chinese Visitation with China Union Pay

Chamber member School Spirit Pays provides an easy and seamless solution for accepting China Union Pay, one of the most common payment methods used by Chinese visitors. The biggest takeaway from our recent Global Ready China Seminar is that this market is arriving in big numbers fast, and our local businesses need to be ready to welcome them in many ways, including looking into taking Chinese visitors’ forms of payment. It’s a simple process to set this up, says Don Paris, founder of School Spirit Pays, and all you need to get started is an internet connection.

School Spirit Pays can provide businesses with a link and a log in to accept China Union Pay. The transaction screen will be in Mandarin Chinese – simple for the customer to understand – and the transaction will be taken as merchants are used to. There is usually a delay of two business days for funds to be transferred, but it’s a secure and reliable process. Since it’s all through the Chinese government, rates can be a bit higher than for American credit cards. The set-up process is fast and easy through School Spirit Pays, and you can contact Don Paris directly to get your business set up.

School Spirit Pays is a re-seller of one of the largest credit card processing companies, and through this they give money to local charities. They match merchants’ rates to the penny, and they take a portion of the fees collected and give those directly to a charity of your choice. The funds must be unrestricted and must go to a non-profit, but which organization is up to your business. The company has a special focus on helping local schools, which is how their partnership with the Mammoth Schools NOW Education Foundation began.

Many Chamber members are already using School Spirit Pays: Holiday Haus, Carmichael Business Technology, Lakanuki, Petra’s Restaurant, Clocktower Cellar, Alpenhof Lodge, Mammoth Hospital, Sierra Sundance Whole Foods, Mammoth Lakes Foundation and A-Frame Liquor.

To get set up for School Spirit Pays credit card processing or to take China Union Pay through SSP’s system, contact Don at Don.Paris@SchoolSpiritPays.com.

#PTOmg Winter Customer Service Campaign

Heading into the busy winter season, burnout is an issue many employees face. Many local businesses are participating in the Chamber’s rewards-based winter customer service campaign to combat employee burnout.

The Chamber is working in partnership with Mammoth Lakes Tourism on its winter social campaign, “Share your #PTOmg.” In the United States an estimated 658 million vacation days are unused by employees. Mammoth Lakes Tourism is encouraging visitors to use their Paid Time Off (PTO) during the week in Mammoth Lakes and to post their stories tagged with #PTOmg (PT Oh My Gosh!) from their adventures with the unbelievable. The push for midweek visitation helps Mammoth Lakes businesses and employees by leveling off the busy times.

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How does it work?

Once a week through March 27, Chamber representatives will act as secret shoppers and visit a local business at random to assess a frontline staff member on three things:

  1. Wearing the “Share your #PTOmg” button and the ability to speak about the campaign and spread the message to visit midweek
  2. Excellent customer service
  3. Ability to speak about the area and give recommendations

If a staff member gets all three points, they will get a gift certificate from a local business ($100 minimum value). Winners will be entered to win grand prizes, which will be awarded on March 28 at Business After Hours.

Mammoth Lakes Tourism provides #PTOmg buttons (images above), information about the campaign, a link to the Peak Performance Program – online customer service course, and visitor guides for reviewing town information.

PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES:

  • A-Frame Liquor
  • Black Doubt Brewing Company
  • Mammoth Lakes Foundation
  • Mammoth Mountain Chalets
  • Bleu Handcrafted Foods
  • The Eatery
  • Gomez’s
  • Sierra Nevada Resort
  • Mammoth Lakes Police Department
  • Edward Jones
  • Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center
  • Stellar Brew
  • Hertz
  • Shilo Inn
  • P3 Mammoth
  • Kittredge Sports

THANKS to Donating Businesses!

Many local businesses donated prizes for the program to show their commitment to elevating customer service in Mammoth Lakes. Thanks to all of these businesses:
Sierra Nevada Resort
The Eatery
Morrison’s Restaurant and Bar
A-Frame Fine Wines and Spirits
Kittredge Sports/P3 Mammoth
Shilo Inn
A big thank you to the businesses that donated our Grand Prizes:
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
Snowcreek Resort Golf Course
Eastern Sierra Entertainment/Advantage DJ
Mammoth Lakes Foundation

Holiday Decorations Contest

The Chamber is sponsoring a holiday decorating contest for Mammoth Lakes businesses. All decorated businesses will be promoted through the Chamber’s channels. A team of judges will tour the town to vote on the best decorations on Monday, December 5, and the winner will get a $200 prize. Decorations for judging should be visible from outside, but businesses are welcome to expand their decorations to the inside of their businesses as well.

Share Your Love for Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra

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Do you have an inspirational, fun, heartwarming or unbelievable story about Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra? A great adventure you’d like to share?

Mammoth Lakes Tourism would love to hear from you. They’re currently collecting stories about the region that can be shared to inspire travelers and promote the destination.

No tale is too little or too incredible to tell; from a favorite walk around a lake to an epic backcountry trek. They’d love to hear any story that provides a glimpse into your personal connection with the region—an unforgettable moment that filled your spirit and left you in awe.

Some subjects they’re in need of, but are not limiting stories to, are:

  • Summer Activities
  • Fall Activities
  • Family
  • Kids stories
  • Couples

You can see a sampling of stories they’ve collected previously on their website here: http://www.visitmammoth.com/landing/no-small-adventure/

Please contact Mammoth Lakes Tourism at info@visitmammoth.com to tell them a little about yourself and your story.

4th of July Weekend – Things To Do

Saturday, July 2

Sunday, July 3

Monday, July 4

Calling All Noon Time Eateries

Mammoth Lakes Noon Rotary is a service club that has provided support to this community since 1982. The club theme is ‘Service Above Self’ and it meets every Thursday to honor and celebrate the work of community members.

The club’s primary goal is to support the community as they attempt to rotate club lunch meetings (held each Thursday at noon for an hour) on an annual basis. As they begin to plan for the 2016-2017 year, they are once again inviting local restaurants to submit a proposal to the club about their ability to host club luncheons over this next year.

Club attendance averages 20 members throughout the year and swells in the summer to almost 40. There is a need for a private room if possible, technology support for presentations such as a wall-mounted television, appropriate parking and a well-balanced, nutritious menu for a reasonable price.

Please send a short outline of your proposal to Rich Boccia by May 20th to allow the committee time to review the proposals, meet with vendors and make a recommendation to the Mammoth Lakes Noon Rotary Club Board at their June 2, 2016 meeting. The first meeting on the property would be July 7, 2016 at noon.

6 Tips for Making Your Business Listing Stand Out

The new VisitMammoth.com shows Mammoth Lakes at its best – inspiring, beautiful, the place you should be right now. The role of the business community is to provide the incredible experience that the new website promises. And the role of the Chamber of Commerce is to help you – the businesses – provide that service. We are committed to helping you get the training, support, networking and partnerships that you need to provide the Mammoth Lakes visitors and locals with the best possible experience – the grand, beautiful, memorable experience that Mammoth Lakes Tourism promises with its new website.

Business listings are an integral part of this new website, but it’s essential that you put some time into managing your listing. Mammoth Lakes Tourism has layered content into the website in many ways, so your listings are even more important than they were on the old website. Check out these six take-aways from Christie Osborne’s website training to learn how to manage your VisitMammoth.com website listing.

  1. Keep the “travel cycle” in mind. The typical traveler moves from a phase of inspiration to a phase of active evaluation to booking. This new website focuses on inspiration and active evaluation. Remember those two aspects as you’re editing your business listing – inspire the visitor and give them everything they need to take the next steps.
  2. The goal is to get the visitor from VisitMammoth.com to YOUR website. Make your listing stand out. Beautiful and unique images and a complete list of amenities you offer will encourage the visitor to click through to your page. And when they click through to your page, they’re more likely to book.
  3. If your guests and customers love your business, show it off by linking to your TripAdvisor or Yelp profile. Great reviews on one or both of these sites show potential guests that you stand by the service you claim to provide. 89 percent of global travelers say reviews are influential when choosing where to book.
  4. Take advantage of the Book Now button. If you’re a lodging property, include a direct link to your booking page (not your website home page) and a Book Now button will appear on your business listing. This makes the booking process even simpler for potential guests.
  5. Tweak your listing to make it perfect. If your business isn’t displaying properly on the map shown on the listings page, hover over the red map marker and drag it to the actual location. If your business is closed during the shoulder seasons or only open in the summer, include that information and those dates. If you have different starting rates for summer and winter, include those as well. Take full ownership of your profile and give the website visitor all the information they need.
  6. If your business fits in multiple categories, write different descriptions for each one. If you’re a restaurant that also caters weddings, you can write two different descriptions so that potential brides see a specific description about your catering services and general hungry visitors find the information they need about dining at your restaurant.

BONUS TIP

When selecting the amenities your business offers, choose Chamber of Commerce Member if you’re a part of the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce. Visitors to VisitMammoth.com can search specifically for Chamber of Commerce businesses, and a Chamber of Commerce Member tag will show up on your business listing.

For a full tutorial on managing your business listing, watch the video below: