Beaver Creek ‘boot camp’ for businesses coming Friday |

Beaver Creek ‘boot camp’ for businesses coming Friday

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Bob Smith can’t make people buy homes or drag them out for a ski vacation, but he believes he knows how businesses can get themselves through the current economic slump.

Smith, owner of the Genimation Group, a Colorado Springs-based economic consulting company, will hold a “boot camp” for business marketing Friday at the Beaver Creek Lodge. In business for 25 years now, Smith has seen peaks and valleys in the Colorado and national economies.

“Marketing in a recession is a lot different than marketing in good times,” Smith said. “But I have case studies of business that have grown during recessions.”

Smith also has firsthand examples of marketing materials, from local businesses, that could use some work.

A marketing postcard from a local lodge does basically everything wrong, Smith said.

“It doesn’t give me any reason to stay there,” he said.

In this economy, the way to lure people ” whether return customers or new guests ” is to offer your best stuff as a bonus, Smith said.

In a market where the idea of a “discount” can make business owners’ noses crinkle like something bad in the back of the fridge, a “bonus” has a different appeal.

One of Smith’s clients in Kentucky gave a longtime guest ” a pilot ” a certificate for a ride in an old Russian fighter jet. The guest could have bought the ride himself, but getting it as a perk from his favorite vacation hotel meant something different.

“When you’re given an experience, you never forget who gave it to you,” he said.

Besides bonuses for guests, the Friday seminar will look at ways different businesses can make their marketing work better. After a morning’s worth of topics including low-cost marketing strategies, unique selling pitches and ways to get more impact from their Web and print-marketing materials, Smith will put seminar participants to work.

The afternoon session will allow people to break into small groups for brainstorming, and there will be reviews of some participants’ “unique selling propositions.”

As far as Smith’s concerned, this is the time for business owners to ramp up their marketing ” “your competitors are hunkering down,” he said. And the timing of this seminar allows people a few weeks to use some of the strategies they’ll learn.

“These are things they can do tomorrow,” he said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or

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