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Tracy Farhad, executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, is tasked with bringing folks to Solvang from around the world.

PBS-TV’s “Travels with Darley,” Motor Trend TV’s “My Classic Car with Dennis Gage,” Bravo TV’s “Vanderpump Rules,” and the Netflix movie “Paddleton” starring Ray Romano all debuted in the last two months and feature Solvang.

Filming movies, television shows, videos and commercials in Solvang is an important source of revenue for our economy in the short and long term, especially in the winter season and mid-week.

That’s why Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau staff is actively engaged in working with location managers, producers, directors and media reps to share the benefits of filming in “California’s Denmark,” only two hours up the coast from Hollywood — yet a world apart.

Initially, when a film/movie/TV/video cast and crew stays in a hotel, dines in area restaurants and buys products and services, the multiplier effect of their purchases trickles down into all segments of our local economy in the form of hotel and sales tax revenues, as well as helping pay wages and salaries in local businesses.

The same multiplier effect occurs when the film/movie/TV/video or commercial airs and viewers generate new interest or rekindle previous memories and want to visit Solvang to experience what the stars experienced.

Both location filming and the end products create positive, measurable sources of revenue for the tourism industry and benefit the entire economy long-term.

Here is a specific example: Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau staff worked with star Darley Newman, her cast and crew of PBS-TV show “Travels with Darley” for several months last spring, and they filmed here for two days last June. “Travels with Darley” reaches 44 million homes and has a social media following of 200,000-plus. The show featuring Solvang first aired on KCET — PBS-TV in Los Angeles — on Jan. 31, Feb. 4-6, and our website www.SolvangUSA.com

Google Analytics showed an immediate spike of more than 1,000 users compared to 2018 over those dates. The show continues to generate hundreds of email and social-media posts/requests for information. The show will air on PBS stations around the country for years to come as well as Amazon Prime network and others. You can see a preview video at: https://vimeo.com/283226678/39322aee05

You’ll recall the movie “Sideways,” filmed here in 2003, premiered in September 2004 and won multiple awards including an Oscar. Visitors from around the world want to experience what the stars did on that week-long wine-tasting adventure. And Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau still receives requests and provides specialty maps to do it. For more details, check out http://www.solvangusa.com/about-us/movies-filmed-in-solvang/

The more eyes focused on Solvang on silver, TV, video, computer or smartphone screens makes positive economic sense. Stay tuned.

Tracy Farhad is executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, the nonprofit agency promoting the culture, cuisine, shopping, arts and attractions of California’s Denmark. For more information, stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Dr., open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or call 805-688-6144 or visit www.SolvangUSA.com


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