The Monterey County Hospitality Association, the organization that serves the industry including hotels, inns, restaurants, visitor attractions, and hospitality-related businesses, has launched an updated website and unveiled a new logo. (www.mcha.net)
The Monterey County Hospitality Association has rolled out an updated website and new logo “to better serve the local hospitality industry and MCHA members,” it says.
The new website, mcha.net, is touted as an easy-to-navigate platform for timely, relevant information important to the local hospitality industry, and the new logo conveys the idea of an inclusive Monterey County with a nod to its mountains, valleys, and ocean.
According to Kristin Horton, Monterey County Hospitality Association executive director, the Board of Directors began discussing a new logo in 2019, but the pandemic hit and changed the organization’s focus.
"I don't think that COVID was the catalyst but it gave us the opportunity to look at programs and membership benefits,” said Horton. “The old website was not user-friendly.”
As the Monterey County Hospitality Association grows and evolves, the website is meant to have the capacity to enhance member tools and information on advocacy, training and development and employee engagement.
Solterra Strategies lent its expertise in marketing and communication by providing the tools to move the website project forward resulting in a new, user-friendly, professional site for MCHA members and the community, according to Mark Watson, MCHA Board Chair and general manager of Inns-by- the-Sea in a press release.
Watson said that the partnership with local designers 62Above was key to getting the process started. The designers specialize in tourism and hospitality branding, as well as marketing with an emphasis in Monterey County. The design team helped to bring the MCHA brand to life through the new logo design, brand identity and website art direction.
Horton said, “the logo hasn’t had a refresh in many years and the timing was just right.”
The MCHA has served multiple facets of the county’s hospitality industry since 1975. In 1990, the organization turned its focus on hospitality businesses countywide and what was then the Monterey Peninsula Hospitality Association, became the Monterey County Hospitality Association. The hospitality industry is second to agriculture in importance to the Monterey County economy.
Horton said that through the logo design process, the goal was to incorporate aspects of the entire area, suggesting the mountains and the ocean in its look to represent the whole county.
The MCHA website navigation has been reworked to enhance highly trafficked areas of the previous website such as the “training and development” section, which now links to specific programs benefiting members, including MCHA-hosted seminars and workshops, compliance links and certification opportunities for employee advancement. A new “career pathways” page was developed to serve as a resource for those interested in joining the hospitality industry, according to Horton.
She said there is an emphasis on showcasing what is available to workers in the industry and careers in hospitality geared to students.
“We have worked very closely with Monterey Peninsula College and California State University Monterey Bay’s Sustainable Hospitality Management program to create easy-to-access information and relevant pathways to success,” said Horton.
The success of the Monterey County Hospitality Association over the years has relied upon an active and dedicated membership, which Horton says numbers between 200-300 members.
“We’re working to build that up after COVID,” said Horton.
The hospitality association serves as the voice of the industry in Monterey County, maintaining partnerships with local government, elected officials and community groups. It works to the vitality of the industry by providing education programs for the workforce, employee recognition and advocates for the more than 20,000 employees in the hospitality industry in Monterey County.
The updated website gives the MCHA the ability to communicate more effectively with membership and the community, and hopefully increase involvement throughout the county because access to information and increased communication are both essential to creating value for our membership moving forward, said Horton.