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Vail Marketing District had a great 2007

Beth Slifer
Vail, CO, Colorado

This week, many of us took time to celebrate the New Year with champagne toasts with good friends and family. Those of us in business probably took a moment to wish for a successful 2008.

While wishing is human instinct, we all know true success relies on work. So before offering a sneak preview of what the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee (the marketing muscle behind the promotion of Vail’s summer season) has in store for 2008, let’s take a look at 2007 successes.

For starters, summer 2007 saw almost a 9 percent increase in sales tax from summer 2006, with lodging also seeing a 9 percent increase.

These increases came despite the reduced bed base and the daily construction activity throughout the summer season. Here are more numbers that prove Vail summer was a hit:

(Year-to-year comparisons begin in mid-April 2007.)

Concierge at Vail

Calls received: 1,144 by Sept.11, up 144 percent.

Group sales

Booked: $1,199,178 in groups reservations by Aug. 31, up 21 percent.

Public relations

Stories printed: 1,303 by July 31, up 46 percent.

Vail.com

Page views: 378,091 by July 31, up 55 percent.

New Web traffic: 54 percent new to Vail.com, up 20 percent.

Online Media

Online ads viewed: 15.5 million times, driving 37,000 visits to Vail.com by July 31.

What’s the key here? The 2007 marketing strategy to promote Vail and more specifically, summer season, worked. But, just like a new year’s resolution to become a better skier or acquire a better golf swing, every successful business sets its own goals to make the next year the best yet. And that’s what the council did when beginning to plan for 2008 and as a result, we’re shifting a few gears to make even more of an impact.

For example, the marketing district will better marry marketing efforts with key community alliances such as the Vail Recreation District and the Town of Vail’s Commission on Special Events. Working hand-in-hand with these entities will allow us to more comprehensively compile recreation opportunities for guests through the Concierge at Vail service (a district-funded initiative).

For our out-of-state leisure guests, new this year is a potential television sponsorship in which we will align the Vail brand with a key media outlet. The end goal is to draw more visitors to Vail through increased destination awareness and strengthening of the Vail brand. Of course, traditional marketing tactics like online advertising concentrated in Dallas and Chicago and on targeted national Web sites will support this effort.

We’ll look to radio for a similar sponsorship directed to our Front Range guests, with again, the goal to drive more traffic to Vail.

Tried and true promotions such as Spa’d at Vail, Vail at $81.50 and Golden Days at Vail will continue.

Also new in 2008, you’ll the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee move to bring new sports events to Vail. We will be busy spreading the good word through public relations about Vail’s revitalization and its blossoming image as major projects are nearing completion. In fact, next week a legion of Vail summer representatives and spokespeople are visiting top journalists in New York City to “sell” the Vail summer experience.

From culture to adventure to amenities for groups including weddings ” this legion will talk about all the amazing activities and festivals Vail has to offer. The goal of taking Vail to the Big Apple is to bring home media coverage, something all business owners benefit from. Vail has more to offer and it is our job to make the national travel and luxury media aware of our new world-class assets.

So as the holiday celebrations come to a close, the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee will turn in its champagne glasses for reading glasses as we begin executing this summer’s marketing strategy. It may be winter, but we on the committee always have summer on our minds.

Beth Slifer of Slifer Designs is chairwoman of the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee.


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