Katz argues against Breck marketing tax | VailDaily.com

Katz argues against Breck marketing tax

Robert Allen
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz offered some revenue-boosting tips and thoughts to a crowd of local businessfolk Wednesday morning at Mountain Thunder Lodge in Breckenridge.

He said efforts to enhance customer service at Breckenridge Ski Resort have been successful and that local businesses could benefit as well.

“You can create guest loyalty that will last more than a decade,” he said.

Katz said that while town tax increases proposed for marketing could benefit Vail Resorts, the company is “100 percent against” such increases.

“We are doing everything we can to give the best value to our guests,” Katz said.

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There’s concern that potential visitors could turn to other resorts when word spreads that the town is increasing taxes – regardless of how high those taxes are relative to other areas, he said.

Katz said creative package deals can work even better than marketing in the existing national economy.

He also said the marketing benefit of the proposed Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge Ski Resort “outweighs anything we can do.”

And Vail Resorts would be paying for the terrain expansion and new ski lifts.

During a question-and-answer session, Katz said the marijuana decriminalization initiative in town likely didn’t help the Breckenridge brand, and a tax increase – even to sales tax – for marketing could be interpreted as a tourist tax.

If the town approved a lift ticket tax, he said, the cost would simply land on the consumer.

“We would absolutely be passing that along (to the consumer). We wouldn’t absorb it,” Katz said.

He said the company’s emphasis on social media for marketing is in an early stage so it’s hard to say what the long-term effects will be.

Sally Croker with Breckenridge Resort Chamber said local businesses in the next week could use the 2010 Winter Dew Tour – occurring Dec. 18-20 – to “catch the energy of what’s going on at that time.”

She suggested retailers give freebies to customers who say they’re in town for the event, and that bars offer mixed drinks with Mountain Dew.

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