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Still, she wouldn’t get her hopes up or let her guard down anytime soon.

“Hey, sorry I’m late,” he said a second later, entering the boardroom with a stack of vision boards under his arm.

He may be late, but he came prepared. She sat straighter as he moved to the front of the room.

“Thanks for meeting with me,” he said, setting the boards on the display easel and picking an imaginary piece of lint from his suit.

He’d dressed the part today as well.

Business casual was the typical dress code in the office, and she was used to his dress pants and short-sleeve dress shirts. Today, his charcoal pinstripe suit, purple shirt, and silver tie meant he wasn’t messing around. Whatever this was about was important to him.

“Absolutely. What do you have for us?” Mayor Rodale’s full attention was directed at her son now, and Whitney shifted in her seat. Maybe she needed to put together a formal presentation of her own about some of her new ideas, like creating a new town website. Her boss hadn’t seemed as optimistic that an updated site, featuring local businesses, would impact tourism as Whitney was, but maybe she just needed to deliver the idea in a more concrete way with projected numbers and stats…and vision boards.

Scott smiled as he flipped over the first board on the easel.

Television viewer graphics. Sitcoms, documentaries, TV dramas, and reality television were presented by age and income demographics.

“Television is one of the leading advertising venues—the average American spends six hours a day in front of a screen. However, it’s an opportunity that Blue Moon Bay tourism hasn’t been able to take advantage of…yet.” He glanced at Whitney.

She sat forward. “Television ads are also expensive on our smalltown budget, and research shows that an ad needs to be seen an average of seven times before a consumer responds to it. Our highway billboard advertising has made the most sense in that daily commuters, such as yourself, get that repeat imagery.” Whitney looked at Mayor Rodale for her agreement, but the woman was unreadable, just nodded for her son to continue.

“Right. I totally agree. The billboards are fantastic,” Scott said. “I’m just talking about additional exposure. Exploring avenues we’ve yet to break into.”

“It’s not that we haven’t thought of other avenues…” She paused and changed her tone. She didn’t want to sound like she was on the defensive, but Scott had to realize that she’d considered this option before. “But unfortunately, our budgets are tight, and between the road signs and the tourism video and yearly calendar, there’s not much wiggle room to experiment.” She’d love to run television ads, too, if their small-town budget could accommodate them.

He smiled, undeterred. “Okay. But what if I had a way to spotlight Blue Moon Bay during prime-time viewing to the younger, high-income-bracket demographic we are trying to target…without it costing us a cent?”

She scoffed. “Nothing is ever free, Scott.”

“What opportunity are you presenting?” Mayor Rodale’s interest was certainly piqued.

Oh, come on.There was no way Scott could deliver what he was suggesting.

He replaced his vision board with a new one. “Race Across Americais one of the leading reality television programs as far as repeat viewers…in the twenty-four to forty-eight age bracket.”

“Yes, but an ad slot during those episodes would cost thousands.” Their limited funding couldn’t even secure a twenty-second promo ad during late-night infomercials.

He nodded. “I’m not talking ads. I’m talking about this.” He slid a media release across the table toward her.

Mayor Rodale leaned closer to read over her shoulder.

“The show is filming its sixth season starting in March, and they are looking for new challenge destinations. Key checkpoint towns for contestants to visit to advance in the race. See, each leg of the race, teams have to perform certain tasks—”

Whitney held up a hand. “I’ve seen the show.”

“Great. So I say we pitch them Blue Moon Bay as a location for this season.”

Mayor Rodale nodded, her smile wide. “Yes. This is a great idea…”

“Okay, but can we accommodate the show’s requests? We don’t want filming to interfere with our regular tourists… What about liability insurance?” Had Scott done all his research on this? Where was that vision board—the one with the risks and possible issues with this idea?

“These shows carry insane liability coverage, and contestants sign waivers for their participation. And March is one of the slowest months for tourist season, so this will give us a little boost.”

“I agree with Scott,” Mayor Rodale said.

Whitney’s stomach twisted as she nodded. “Yeah, of course. I do, too.”

“So, Scott, what are the next steps? How do we apply?” Mayor Rodale asked.

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