Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism - Thurs Oct 11

Hello, Amador Tourism Supporters-

Amador Council of Tourism’s Board Meeting is next Thursday, October 11, 9 am, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort’s hotel conference room. Please see the attached agenda (below). The board last met in August and as you review the agenda, you will see that promotion of Amador as a destination has continued on its powerful and effective course. Many thanks to  our partners for their investment in Amador Council of Tourism’s efforts: through membership, participation as a co-operative advertising partner, and/or in-kind donations.

All are welcome. Thank you to Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort who generously provides a light breakfast, coffee, hot water for tea. The agenda is usually completed within an hour, and we quickly update one another on what’s new with our businesses, destinations, and towns. I hope you will stay to the end.

If you cannot make the meeting and have any questions, please contact me at or by cell at 209-969-5065.

Thank you for your support,

Maureen Funk 
Amador Council of Tourism
PO Box 40/460 Sutter Hill Road, Ste. D
Sutter Creek CA 95685
Phone: 209-267-9249


Agenda Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort October 11, 2018 9:00 am 

Executive/ Finance (voted)
Lodging Committee
Supper Under the Stars
Minutes August meeting
Executive Board Meeting Report, September 13
Slate for 2019 Board of Directors
Treasurers Report
   Payment to BOS completed 8/28

Supper Under the Stars Report
Yelp “Gold Country Getaway” Report
Membership Drive: 200 members in 2018. 2-3 new members per director.
Voluntary Tourism Assessment Update
   Lodging Committee Meeting, Oct. 25, 3pm, Imperial Hotel

Bay Area News Group insert, August 19
Website redesign

Travel Shows/Industry Forums/Press 2018
Brand USA’s IPW Report
DMA West Leadership Summit report
Southwest Travel Agents, Sep. 19-20

Visitor Center Update 

2018 Schedule, 9 am, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Hotel
November 8
December 18, Tuesday, General Membership Meeting, 5:30 pm 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

CPU Onsite: 6-week Accounting Class begins Oct 2, FREE for first 10 students

10 Scholarships Available to Anyone Age 18+
"Accounting Basics for Small Business"
Scholarship Value $295!
Your total cost for this course is $20 to cover course workbook

Register NOW!
This offer extends to the first 10 students to Register.
No application or qualifications required.

Scholarships Generously Donated by
ACUSD ~ Amador Adult Education

Don't Delay! 
Class Begins NEXT TUESDAY, OCT. 2

The Accounting Basics for Small Business course provides 36-hours of hands-on instruction by Ron Barile, a California State Certified Adult Education instructor, certified in General Accounting Principals, Quickbooks, and Microsoft Master Certified Instructor for Microsoft Excel and Word. 
A full course syllabus is included for your review.
Please feel free to call with any questions or to register over the phone at 209-296-0660.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

ACWN Luncheon: Five Minute Presentations - Wed Sept 26

Presentations are used to inform, educate, motivate, and entertain using the power of words and images.  Join us for these fast-paced presentations and you can decide if you are informed, educated, motivated, and/or entertained!
And remember - all in one hour!
For more information, visit:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ACWN: Iron Hub Winery Field Trip - Wed Aug 22

Join us at
Iron Hub Winery Field Trip
(indoors in the tasting room)
11:30 am networking
12:00 pm lunch then winery tour.

Only have an hour, not counting travel time ?
We try to keep the meeting length to accommodate all working women.  Come check us out!
Don't forget to RSVP with sandwich choice to Debbie LaVielle by Friday August 17.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism - Thurs Aug 9

Hello, Tourism Supporters-

I hope you are staying as cool as possible, and safe this summer. Please read the details below.

1.       If you didn’t hear, Amador’s County Exhibit at State Fair won Best of Show represented by a Golden Bear, a gold ribbon, and a blue ribbon for best marketing. This recognition brought many State Fair visitors to the booth. Thanks to all of our volunteers who shared their passion for Amador County with those visitors.

2.       Our signature fundraiser, Supper Under the Stars, is sold out and there still is an opportunity to participate by bidding on the silent auction before the event, Sunday, August 5th. Please see the list below and take advantage of the “Buy It Now” option , by emailing your interest to, and I will get in touch with you to work out payment.

3.       Attached (below) you will find an advertising opportunity with Bay Area News Group, offered in partnership with Amador Vintners and El Dorado Tourism. These Sunday inserts have been quite successful bringing visitors to Amador. We are publishing earlier than past years, Sunday, August 19, and deadlines are very soon. Space reservation is August 10 and ad copy is due August 15.

4.       Amador Council of Tourism Board of Directors meets Thursday, August 9, 9am, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort’s hotel conference room. All are welcome, member or not. Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort generously provides a light breakfast, plus coffee and hot water for tea. Please arrive a little early so we may start promptly and finish by 10:30.


Auction Items:
Sutter Creek Show & Shopping
Buy it Now! $200
·         $50 Gift Certificate to Element
·         4 Tickets to the Sky Kings at Sutter Creek Theatre on August 24th
·         2 Tickets to the T-Sister at Sutter Creek Theatre on September 21st
·         $25 Gift Certificate to Choc-O-Latte
·         $25 Unique Boutique for U
·         $25 Gift Certificate to Finishing Touches Boutique

Special Edition –
Supper Under the Stars – Silver Amador Necklace
Buy it Now! $150
·         Hand made by Daniel Trassare
of Trassare Jewelers in Jackson

Amador County Wine and Art
Buy it Now! $230
·         2 Tickets to Amador Arts WineFest on November 10th
·         Larry Angier Local Canvas Photo
·         2 Bottles of Amador County Wine

Trashed at Home “Plate”
Buy it Now! $600
·         Gift Certificate to ACES for one year of residential waste service
·         6 tickets to any 2018 Stockton Ports Game
·         Craft Beer and Koozies

Drink and Driver
Buy it Now! $400
·         Gift Certificate for Amador Uncorked - Four hours transportation with local guide
·         Gift Certificate to Iron Hub Winery – Private Tour and a Cheese Plate for four
·         Two tickets to Barbera Festival on
September 15th

Dazzle and Dine
Buy it Now! $300
·         The Clothes Mine Gift Certificate and goodie basket
·         American West Leather Tote
·         $100 Gift Certificate to Lone Wolf

Plasses Cozy Camping
Buy it Now! $450
·         One Week Camping at Plasses
·         Plassses T-shirts
·         Two Bottles of Wine
·         Wine Glasses
·         S’mores Kit
·         Fishing and Outdoor Gear

Roederer Esatate Bubble Box
Buy it Now! $200
·         Three Bottles of Roederer Estate Bubbles

Entertainment Package
Buy it Now! $300
·         Two Tickets to Alice Cooper on August 15th
·         Two Tickets to Joan Jett on August 19th
·         Two Tickets to Jack the Ripper at Baker Street West – Choice of date from October 5th – November 2nd

Tahoe Getaway
Buy it Now! $400
·         Two night stay at Tahoe Vacation Resort in South Lake Tahoe
·         Two bottles of Amador County Wine

Buy it Now! $240
·         Four Tickets to Preston Castle Wine Tasting on August 25th
·         Two VIP Tickets to Preston Castle Haunt – Choice of Date in October 2018
·         Two Tickets to Big Crush Weekend – October 5th

Cool Off – Tee Off
Buy it Now! $700
·         Round of Golf for Four at Castle Oaks including carts
·         Snow Cone Machine Rental for Private Event up to 100 snow cones with a variety of flavors

Drink and Deck Décor
Buy it Now! $250
·         Custom Metal Rooster Décor
2 Bottles of Amador County Wine

Brews and Blues
Buy it Now! $200
·         Provisions Beer Basket
·         2 Tickets to Kyle Rowland Blues Band at Sutter Creek Theatre on August 25th
·         2 Tickets to The Jones Gang at Sutter Creek Theatre on September 8th

Napa Getaway
Buy it Now! $1,400
·         Two Nights with Two Hotel Rooms, Lunch for Four and Aroma Wheel of Fortune Experience at Trinchero Napa Valley

Paw Play Party
Buy it Now! $100
·         Gold Country Pet Resort Two Night Boarding or One Hour Private Pool Rental
·         Dog Goodies
·         Dickies and Jamba Juice Package

Baking and Tasting
Buy it Now! $300
·         “Bakers Delight” Martha’s Baking Mixes
·         Dished from The Biggest Little Kitchen Store
·         Helwig Private Tasting for Ten People

Wine and Wildflowers
Buy it Now! $300
·         Farrell Photography Wildflower Photo
·         Two Bottles of Amador County Wine

Sonoma County Getaway
Buy it Now! $800
·         Two Night Stay at Casa Contenta at Sea Ranch, Sonoma County.  Two Bedroom House, can fit up to four people

Stocked Full of Flavor
Buy it Now! $550
  • Dinner for 2 at Market Tavern
    (farm-to-fork modern American cuisine)
  • One-night stay in a one-bedroom suite
    at the Residence Inn by Marriott,
    includes breakfast
  • Wine tasting for two at Sorelle Winery
  • Two passes to the Haggin Museum
  • Two tickets to a live performance or sporting event during your stay
  • A gift certificate to the shops at Lincoln Center

Interactive Infusion
Buy it Now! $1,500
·         Six-person Interactive Experience
·         Behind the Scenes Barrel Tasting and Tour with the Winemaker at Terra d’Oro
·         Private Cooking Tip and Tricks with Mark Berkner of Taste Restaurant
·         Seasonal Multi-Course Meal Paired with
Terra d’Oro Wines

Vineyard Stay and Play
Buy it Now! $500
·         Two Night Stay at Amador Harvest Inn in Shenandoah Valley
·         Two VIP Tickets to Behind the Cellar Door

Sacred Rock Escape
Buy it Now! $600
·         Two Night Stay in a Quant Ocean View Cottage
·         Dining at Greenwood Pier Restaurant in Elk, CA

Buy it Now! $350
·         Four Tickets to the Farm-To-Fork Legends of Wine Event on September 20th on the Lawn of the State Capitol
·         Farm-To-Fork Goodies

Chefs at Home
Buy it Now! $800
·         Multi-Course Dinner for Ten People in Your Home with Chef Micah and the Argonaut Culinary Arts Chef
·         Two Bottles of Amador County Wine

Jackson Rancheria Meeting Package
Buy it Now! $400
·         Meeting Space for up to Twenty-Five People
·         Seasoned Event Coordinator
·         Notebook for each attendee
·         Granola Bars
·         Donuts

All of Amador Vintners
Buy it Now! $400
·         Two Tickets to Each Amador Vintners Events
·         Barbera Festival
·         Big Crush
·         Behind the Cellar Door
Amador Four Fire

Amador Council of Tourism
PO Box 40/460 Sutter Hill Road, Ste. D
Sutter Creek CA 95685
Phone: 209-267-9249

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism: No meeting in July, see you August 9

Hello Tourism Supporters-
Summer is in full swing and I hope you are hearing the cash register ring, so to speak.
No Board meeting in July  and I want to keep you informed of all our activities.
1.       To repeat, we do not meet in July. See you on Thursday, August 9th at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort.
2.       Yelp: Many thanks to those who attended our Yelp Business Strategies last week. We heard great feedback from you. Big thanks to Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort for the room, décor, appetizers and no-host bar.
We have extended the deadline for Yelp activities to Thursday, July 12, next week. Our nighttime activities are set, and we want to provide some great experiences for the Yelp Elite Squad attending the Gold Country Getaway starting, Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16. Please send an outline of your activity, day, date, time, number of people you will host, cost. If you want to host an event and don’t know what to do, please contact me on my cell, 209-969-5065, and let’s put our heads together. Otherwise, email your plan to or We expect to include all opportunities for the Yelpers and hope you will add your business to their experience.
3.       State Fair, July 13-29: if you want your business brochures in the booth, please contact us immediately. Phone is best to arrange a time for pick-up or drop-off. The last day we can get items onto the grounds before opening day is Tuesday, July 10th.
4.       Supper Under the Stars: tickets are still available and shuttles are available for overnight stays in the following hotels: Best Western Amador Inn, Hotel Sutter, Imperial Hotel and Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Big thank you to sponsors. This fundraiser is our signature event and pays to continue our marketing efforts for Amador County.

Any questions? Please contact me at 209-969-5065. I am in and out of the office and can be reached by cell most of the time.
Thank you for your support,

Amador Council of Tourism
Phone: 209-267-9249

Friday, June 22, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling: Do I really need a permit to install or change a water heater?

The simple answer is YES! Sometimes people think that pulling a permit means excessive costs, invasive inspections and having to bring their entire home “UP TO CODE” on everything they have ever done or repaired. This is not the case.  Most of the time the inspector will limit their inspection to the items on the permit.

 When we replace a water heater (propane, gas or electric) we are dealing with gas, flame, exhaust gasses or 220 volts of electricity. If everything is done safely & up to code you should have many years of good service from your new water heater.

 I used a licensed Plumber or Contractor, so they must have done the work up to code, RIGHT??  I mean they are licensed aren’t they? It is unfortunate, but that is NOT TRUE!

 Recently we have replaced 2 water heaters.  #1 was in a manufactured home, it was installed improperly and when it leaked it caused property damage.  #2 was installed by another local plumber who didn’t install the water heater up to code so the warranty was voided by the manufacturer and our customer had to replace the unit.  On another job, a water heater was vented by the contractor in an unsafe manner, under a deck, within 18” of combustibles & less than 48” away from windows and doors.

The advantage of pulling a permit is that your life & health safety are being protected as an independent 3rd party does the safety inspections. Had the people with the above water heater installations insisted on permits then everything would have been done up to code & safely.  Look for more on this in our next article, and thank you for reading.

 London Plumbing & Remodeling (formerly Stuart London Handyman) is licensed, bonded & insured.  Contractor’s license # is 846653.  We are located in Pine Grove, CA & are a full service Plumber, contractor & handyman.  Please give us a call @ 209-296-3613.  “WE CALL BACK & SHOW UP!” TM

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism: Yelp Business Strategies - Wed June 27

You are invited to an educational session, Yelp Business Strategies,  on Wednesday, June 27, 5 pm to 7 pm, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Attached is the information about our exciting event September 14-16, a Yelp Gold Country Getaway. In preparation for the Getaway, Amador Council of Tourism and Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort are offering an opportunity to elevate your knowledge about Yelp for your business. Appetizers will be available and a no-host bar thanks to the generosity of Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort.

Guest speakers are John Carroll, Yelp Senior Manager of Business Outreach, and Alex Lane, Yelp Sacramento Community Director. Discussion will cover a range of topics like: benefits and considerations of Yelp, how to drive good results from Yelp’s Gold Country Getaway. Amador Council of Tourism will provide a handout on reputation management on social media platforms.  

Thanks to all who have responded with ideas for the Gold Country Getaway. It is really taking shape. We still have room for more, if the opportunity fits your business plan. Please do call or email Maureen Funk, or 209-969-5065, or Emily Tirapelle,, 209-223-8589, with any questions or ideas.

Thank you for your support,

Maureen Funk
Amador Council of Tourism
PO Box 40/460 Sutter Hill Road, Ste. D
Sutter Creek CA 95685
Phone: 209-267-9249

Yelp Gold Country Getaway 2018, September 14-16

We are looking for experiences at Amador destinations for the Yelper Elite on Friday, September
14, and Saturday, September 15. We want exclusive, awesome experiences that will bring them
back to Amador for more.

What is an Elite Yelper? The Yelp Elite Squad is Yelp’s way of recognizing people who are active in
the Yelp community and role models on and off the site. Elite-worthiness is based on a number of
things, including well-written reviews, high quality tips, a detailed personal profile, an active voting and
complimenting record, and a history of playing well with others. Elite Yelp attendees are hand-selected
to ensure our success.
Deadline: May 24th, Thursday
Short list of musts:
Current Amador Council of Tourism Membership
Brick-and-mortar business with an existing Yelp listing
At least 3 stars on Yelp.
Desirable: Guest Wi-fi during event and Amador-awesome
When: Daytimes, Friday, September 14; Saturday, September 15; Sunday, September 16
Make it work: Choose an experience your business will offer. Be playful and think VIP. Set a
maximum-size group for your event that will make it most successful for you and most enjoyable for
your Yelpers. Set a cost. Yelpers will be happy to pay for this experience, and have done so at other
getaway events.
Send Maureen Funk,, and Emily Tirapelle,, an email with “Yelp Gold Country Getaway” in subject line, and tell us your great idea, including the details.
Keep calm: This is about in-person marketing, not the Yelp platform itself. To avoid any perception of “pay to play”, Yelp sets up a separate event listing where attendees can review the event, not the
business itself. These reviews are essentially always positive! This also protects the business from
getting reviews on their business page based on a one-off experience. The event reviews will still live on Yelp and are (most importantly) viewed mostly by Elite Yelpers far and wide, not just those who
attended the getaway. By handpicking our guests, we are getting a concentrated group of influencers to visit Amador County for the first time. Yelp puts tens of thousands of marketing dollars toward
promoting and cultivating an experience for the Elite Yelpers, which is most effective for both our users and the participating businesses.
Here are some examples of other Getaways:
Yelp’s Tahoe Getaway
Yelp’s 10-Year Anniversary
Yelp Winter Break
What else to know:
Yelp Factsheet
ABC’s of Yelp
Guidelines for Yelp Posts
Still have Questions? Contact Emily Tirapelle or Maureen Funk.

Friday, June 15, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling - Toilets: Rebuild or Replace?

Sometimes we have toilet problems. It doesn’t flush completely, there may be drips or water on the floor, stained vinyl near the toilet, or the water keeps running. What do you do, repair it or replace it? Many toilets in service today use up to 5 gallons of water per flush. That’s a lot of clean, fresh water being sent “sent down the drain”! Below are some suggestions.

If you have shopped for a toilet lately you will see that all toilets have a maximum flush volume of 1.28 gallons. This is a federal law! (Some new toilets use even less water). The advantages of the newer toilets are water saving with adequate flushing of solids most of the time. You have the choice of an ADA or Comfort Height toilet, which has an elongated bowl, and is about 2” taller than the standard toilet. Please call us for our recommendations on which brands seem to have less problems than others.
   If your current toilet is having issues, purchasing a new standard size or comfort height toilet will often save you money in the long run over a toilet rebuild. Why you may ask? When we rebuild or renew a toilet sometimes the new parts are not as good as the original parts. If we rebuild your toilet you get a 30 day warranty. New toilets have fewer problems & have a minimum of a 1 year warranty.
   New toilets can be purchased at most hardware stores, big box stores & local plumbing houses. Prices of new toilets can range from about 99.00 dollars to well over 500.00. Other considerations when replacing a toilet is the angle stop or shut off valve just adjacent to the toilet. If your valve is difficult to turn, leaks or is just old we can replace it at the same time as the toilet. The entire job only takes about an hour.
   London Plumbing & Remodeling (Formerly Stuart London Handyman) is here to help with your home improvement projects, plumbing needs & repairs. We are a full service plumber and general contractor located in Pine Grove, CA.
Lic # 846653