Kobe economic spinoffs continue | VailDaily.com
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Kobe economic spinoffs continue

Cliff Thompson

The old maxim that problems create business opportunities is demonstrating itself in the Kobe Bryant case.The expansive press coverage of the NBA superstar’s sexual assault charge in Eagle County has created a spillover demand for hotel rooms and other services as far east as Vail, prior to and during Bryant’s court appearances.That perceived shortage of rooms in close proximity to the Eagle courthouse provided a marketing opportunity for one Vail hotel. The Cascade Resort & Spa is offering a special lodging package to members of the press.The several hundred members of the media expected to attend Bryant’s Oct. 9 preliminary hearing will fill many of the available hotel rooms in Eagle and Edwards.”The fact of the matter is that during his initial appearance there was a lot of concern from members of the media about the cost of lodging,” said Cathy Kruzic, spokeswoman for the Cascade. “We weren’t shy about addressing the opportunity. The accommodations we could offer were much more tailored to them.”During Bryant’s initial court appearance in August, many of the hotels in the Eagle area were already full because summer is the busy season there. That forced the more than 300 members of the media to seek accommodation farther east, toward the ski-resort bed base of Vail and Beaver Creek.Eagle-area hoteliers said the added attention to Bryant translated into full hotel rooms even on traditionally less-than-busy weekdays.At the Cascade Resort, for $129 a night, credentialed members of the media will get a room; access to a private press hospitality suite from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. during peak media coverage; a complimentary continental breakfast at Chap’s Grill & Chophouse; a complimentary drink voucher; access to the health and fitness club as well as complimentary Internet and other communications service.Even Eagle County, has, by necessity, been forced to demonstrate an entrepreneurial bent. The county is close to inking a deal with the owner of a lot across the street from the Criminal Justice Center for $10,000 for two months. It will then rent out spaces to the media for camera and commentator platforms. During the advisement hearing in August, the media crowded onto Chambers Road, creating traffic problems for the town and county.But there is one difference between the county and private business.”The board (commissioners) just wants us to break even,” said county spokeswoman Becky Gadell.Media won’t be the only people present at the Justice Center for the preliminary hearing. At the advisement, more than 100 spectators -many of them cheering for Bryant- were present.Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com


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