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Vail doing ‘less bad’ than other resorts

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail’s winter marketing campaign, Vail All the Love, may get a $342,200 boost.

The Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee, a board that advises the town on marketing matters, wants to take $342,200 of marketing funds to bolster Vail All the Love, which offers deals targeted at getting Front Rangers up to Vail.

The money was previously set aside for existing Front Range promotions, Front Range advertising and some local recreation programs. The money would add to the $550,000 already spent by the town on the campaign, as well as pay for strengthening the Vail brand in the Front Range.

The town council will discuss adding the funds at its Mar. 17 meeting.

The marketing committee also has hired James Chung, a resort expert from Reach Advisors, for $125,000 to help set up partnerships between Vail and nationally known brands.

“James is helping us meet potential partners of the very highest caliber at the very top level,” said marketing committee chair Beth Slifer.

The first partnership, a continuing education program with Johns Hopkins University through Vail Valley Medical Center, is currently in the works. The university has shown interest, and Vail leaders are discussing the potential partnership.

The partnership could bring medical classes to the area that would bring medical professionals and their families, helping to attract year-round business.

“It’s not a home run, but it’s third-baser,” Slifer said of the potential program.

Chung will meet with Vail leaders on Mar. 9 to discuss details of his work and what other brands he could help bring to town.

Chung’s work and the additional money for Vail All the Love might help Vail to form an economic game-plan for the next two years, something that the town council has asked the board to do.

While it is inconclusive exactly how much Vail’s marketing campaigns have helped business, analysts said that Vail is doing “less bad” than other ski towns.

Reports show that Vail’s numbers are down from last season, but that it is seeing less drastic drops than towns such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Whistler and Steamboat Springs.

“In November, December and January, Vail had collected more sales tax than any other resort town,” said Vail’s Economic Development Director Kelli McDonald.

Also, Vail hotels almost always had the highest occupancy rates out of all the ski resort towns so far this season.

“Why are we holding up? We’re getting a higher usage of the Epic Pass (than other Vail Resort mountains). We’d also like to think it had something to do with Vail all the Love,” McDonald said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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