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New West Daily Roundup for Aug. 4, 2016

Today in New West news: inaugural Heart of the West Show in Bozeman, Banner Health hacked, tourism budget cut in Wyoming, and Denver Broncos want naming rights to own stadium.

Financial advising firm Zoot Enterprises recently announced its art gallery would be sponsoring the inaugural Heart of the West Show, an exhibition aimed at showing off local and regional artists. According to a Zoot press release, the exhibit will take place at the Best Western Plus Grantree Inn in Bozeman, Montana August 11-13. Over 60 juried artists and galleries will be present. From the Zoot press release:

“It was a natural fit for us to partner with Heart of the West. We share the same mission to support artists by giving them opportunities to share their work without a prohibitive investment,” said Darcy Barry, marketing operations manager and art gallery coordinator for Zoot Enterprises. “We’re always looking for new talent to exhibit in our commission-free gallery and this event helps us become better known within the art community.”

“We’re pleased to be working with Zoot to bring in new, talented artists who might not have the resources to exhibit at a big show,” said Morgan Cawdrey, president and show director for Heart of the West. “This format gives collectors and artists a unique opportunity to form connections and friendships while surrounded by other art aficionados.”

“The Heart of the West show provides a wonderful opportunity for the art community to promote our work to a broad audience. We’re fortunate to have this event come to Bozeman,” said Wendy Marquis, artist and painter of “rural romance.” “I’ve had my paintings on display in the Zoot Art Gallery as well. These outlets are an enormous support to local artists. Selling art is so much about exposure. Top notch venues, such as Zoot and Heart of the West, that are professionally promoted are an excellent tool for artists to sustain their businesses.”

The Heart of the West Show is organized by the same outfit that coordinated shows during the annual Western Art Week in Great Falls, MT (between 2010 and 2014). Organizers are also planning a follow-up showcase and auction at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho September 1-4.

The Bozeman show will start 10 a.m. Thursday, August 11, with a reception planned for 6 p.m. that evening. Saturday, August 13, the artists and galleries will auction off approximately 100 lots of artwork. A portion of the proceeds will go toward The Museum of the Rockies.Looking at the region as a whole, according to the Wyoming Business Report, hospital operator Banner Health was reportedly hacked earlier this summer. Banner operates eight hospitals in the New West region—three in Wyoming, five in Colorado. You can see a map of the hospitals above, courtesy of WBR and Banner Health. Approximately 3.7 patients may be affected. From the WBR:

It appears that the attack took place on at least two fronts. The first was discovered on July 7, where cyber criminals may have gained unauthorized access to computer systems that process payment card data at food and beverage outlets at some Banner Health locations.

The attackers targeted payment card data, including cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code, as the data was being routed through affected payment processing systems. Payment cards used at food and beverage outlets at certain Banner Health locations during the two-week period between June 23, 2016 and July 7, 2016 may have been affected. A list of the outlets that were affected can be found at www.BannerSupports.com.

The hospital warned people looking for information on its website that BannerSupports is the only authorized source of this information – and that, “Other sites with similar web addresses are not authorized by Banner and contain content not approved by Banner, possibly including malware.”

The second front was discovered on July 13, when Banner Health learned that the cyber attackers may have gained unauthorized access to patient information, health plan member and beneficiary information, as well as information about physician and healthcare providers.

The patient and health plan information may have included names, birthdates, addresses, physicians’ names, dates of service, claims information, and possibly health insurance information and social security numbers, if provided to Banner Health.

The physician and provider information may have included names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers and other identifiers they may use. The investigation also revealed that the attack was initiated on June 17, 2016.

Keeping with Wyoming, the state’s Office of Tourism has cut approximately $2 million from its 2017-18 biennial budget. According to the WBR, nearly $1.4 million of the $2 million cut was slated to go toward advertising. The cuts could mean anything from a shorter summer advertising season to an entirely eliminated winter campaign. From the WBR:

“This is a big cut for us,” said Wyoming Tourism Director Diane Shober, later adding, “We’re forced to go into our core programs.”

The most recent cuts are on top of others faced by state agencies over the last few years.
They also come just after Wyoming had a record number of visitors – 10.5 million – in 2015.

But with less money to spend on advertising, there’s a possibility that fewer people will be inspired to visit Wyoming.

“That’s how we actually reach consumers and potential visitors,” Shober said. “Anytime you reduce that and reduce that footprint, you’re diminishing the ability to reach potential visitors to come to Wyoming.”

According to data in the tourism office’s 2015 annual report, for every $1 the tourism office spent in advertising that year, visitors spent $202.

An estimated $47.7 million was generated in taxes attributed to the tourism office’s advertising, for a return on investment there of $8.30 per dollar of advertising.

In addition, the tourism office just launched its “That’s WY” media campaign earlier this year, but those budget cuts will reduce the full effect that campaign could have as it continues.

If cuts to advertising result in a decreased visitor count, it likely won’t be felt for a couple years. That’s because tourism advertising can sometimes take a year or two to show results.

For example, if a family encounters a “That’s WY” ad this year that inspires them to visit, they may not actually plan a trip until next year, particularly if they already have a vacation planned for the current year.

The state will also face shortages in its “Team Wyoming” rodeo cowboy marketing programs and its public relations budget.

Finally, down in Colorado, we’ve been following Sports Authority’s bankruptcy proceedings, especially its apparent shortcomings in persuading rival companies to buyout stores, rather than liquidate them. Another pertinent issue in this case: the fate of naming rights to Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, which is home to the Denver Broncos. We previously reported Sports Authority had retained a firm to possibly negotiate and/or sell off naming rights to the stadium—to the immediate objection of stadium managers.

Now, according to the Denver Business Journal, the Denver Broncos themselves want to take over naming rights to the stadium—and reportedly want to pay $19.9 million to secure them:

The team has filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to “assume the naming rights contract for Sports Authority Field at Mile High,” says a statement from the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the owner of the stadium.

The contract — currently held by Sports Authority, which filed for bankruptcy in March and is shutting down its stores — has five years left.

“It was important for us to step up and assume this contract to expedite the shared goal we have with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District of finding a new naming rights partner,” said Denver Broncos CEO Joe Ellis. “Together with the MFSD, we understand how important naming rights are to the future of our stadium.”

The bankruptcy filing by Sports Authority had left uncertainty about the future of the naming rights of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Denver Broncos assuming the naming rights offers some clarity about the future of the stadium’s name, the statement says.

But the Broncos did not say what the stadium would be named if the team gets the naming-rights deal, which is subject to court approval.

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