Yukon City Council hires company for economic development data

Vice Mayor Wootton votes no, opposes ‘tracking’ citizens


By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon city leaders have hired a company to help with economic development efforts.

Placer Labs, Inc. will provide software to City of Yukon staff that they will use to access economic development data. First-year cost is $24,250.

The Yukon City Council on March 7 voted 3-1 to enter into an agreement with Placer Labs, of Covina, Calif.

Tammy Kretchmar

“This helps with retail recruitment, sales tax estimation, workforce attraction, event analysis, transportation, infrastructure, parks, and open spaces,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “We can use it for travel and tourism, and for marketing reports.

“We feel this will be a great tool for us for economic development as well as for all of our events to really see where the people are coming from – and where they’re going (after).”

In a memo, Kretchmar told the city council that Placer Labs’ software will allow City staff to access:

  • Insights on a wide range of retail data
  • Retail leakage
  • Insight into the right mix of retailers to appeal to residents and visitors
  • Ability to run data reports to attract business
  • Customer visitation and insights
  • Trade areas
  • Compare competitive performance against local, state and national competitors.
  • Retail area analysis
  • Spending habits

Placer Labs comes highly recommended, Kretchmar told council members.

Jeff Wootton

Yukon Vice Mayor Jeff Wootton cast the lone dissenting vote on the Placer Labs’ agreement.

“I can understand there are great benefits in using a service that will track where people go while they are in Yukon,” Wootton said after Tuesday’s meeting. “However, I believe privacy and security are more important than tracking the citizens of this town.”

During the meeting, Wootton questioned City administrators about following Yukon residents “via their phones” to get this data.



“It does not track the individual,” Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort replied, trying to assure Wootton. “All we receive is the data that somebody from Yukon went to say, Lowe’s, and then went back home. Or they went to Target.

“It does not show us who that person is. We were concerned about privacy too.”

Yukon city officials reviewed a marketing report about Yukon’s Christmas in the Park shared by the City of Mustang, which uses Placer’s software program.

“It told how many visits there were to the park, how long they stayed and how many times they came to visit – this is all done by phone data,” Kretchmar explained. “This report told us where they went after the left the park, what restaurants they went to… where the visitors came from who visited the park, and then where they went afterwards.”

As an example, Mustang utilizes the data to see what restaurants Yukon has that their residents are going to eat.

Mitchell Hort

Assistant CM Hort believes this program will be a great marketing tool for the City of Yukon’s special events by showing which restaurants and other businesses attendees are coming to.

He also thinks it will be helpful for business expansion and to find out people’s favorite places to visit.

“It’s a pretty robust system,” Hort noted. “It tells a lot.”

Yukon city officials won’t know the return on their investment with Placer Labs until after about 1-1/2 years, he said in response to Wootton.