Vail marketers say strategies are working |

Vail marketers say strategies are working

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Vail guests are surfing more than they have in the past, and they’re spending more time on the website – successes the Vail Local Marketing District’s Advisory Council claims are results of its marketing strategies.

The website became a huge focus in 2010 because it helped serve the overall marketing strategy of creating a seamless brand throughout Vail’s winter and summer seasons.

The goal for creating that seamless brand focused on the summer, the season that needs the most help in terms of local revenues. Driving business from May through October is the primary focus of the Vail Local Marketing District.

Graham Button, a partner at Genesis Inc., a marketing strategy firm, told the Vail Town Council Tuesday that the goal this year was to create a marketing equivalent of Vail’s Back Bowls in the summertime.

“The center of the effort was the website,” Button said.

The website focused on the fact that people could pursue their passions in Vail – whatever those passions might be, they could find them in Vail.

“The idea is to drive everyone to the website where the rich content is,” Button said.

Content like videos about Vail’s ambassadors – people like professional kayaker Brad Ludden and professional cycling, triathlon and endurance training coach Chris Carmichael – are meant to draw people in and show off the Vail area’s recreational opportunities as well as its athletic residents. The marketing group is working on creating a library of these videos that will be available on the website.

Strategies like offering the right guests the right offer at the right time, but without ever putting Vail “on sale,” are also going to continue into 2011.

“As we begin planning for 2011, in understanding 2010 successes, there are not going to be any major shifts,” said Saloni Shah, of Genesis Inc.

Button and Shah told the Vail Town Council that strategies have been working – occupancy levels did increase during June, July and August over the same months in 2009.

“We continue to outperform all our major mountain resort communities and competitors,” said John Dawsey, the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council’s secretary-treasurer. “The going is still pretty tough out there.”

Councilman Andy Daly wasn’t overly impressed, as June sales tax revenues seem to show the only real successes during the May through October sales tax revenues and projections, with a 22 percent increase over June 2009. He and other council members want Genesis Inc. and the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council to show more data, such as whether the tactics are really working in terms of stealing market share away from other resort areas.

“Against whom are we measuring market share and from whom are we stealing market share,” Daly said. “I think you need to do a little bit of work.”

The Advisory Council’s 2011 marketing goals include increasing sales tax revenues at 1 percent above inflation. But with inflation now just above 1 percent, the goal isn’t all that lofty.

Kelli McDonald, the town’s economic development manager, said weekly reports on economic activity allow the group to shift plans quickly when needed.

The Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council plans to get its 2011 plan to the Town Council by its Nov. 2 meeting for budget approval. The proposed budget for 2011 is $1,899,750, up more than $150,000 from the 2010 budget.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at

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