Jason Blevins
The Denver Post

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October 7, 2013
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Tourism experts worried Colorado branding effort might derail campaign

Aaron Kennedy, the state's marketing chief, estimates he has presented the state's new branding campaign and logo about 200 times during the past couple of months. Wednesday's 30-minute presentation to Colorado's tourism-marketing leaders might have been the most antagonistic.

Attendees at the meeting called it "passionate," "lively," "contentious" and even "an ambush."

For sure, Kennedy was lambasted. But as the dust settled and Colorado's tourism boosters realized the state's new triangle logo and long-term branding effort would not replace the wildly successful "Come to Life" tourism campaign, Kennedy's meeting with the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations — which kicked off the Governor's Tourism Conference in Telluride — was brushed off as a "miscommunication."

"Yeah, it was a lively conversation until they realized they had come into the meeting with a big misperception," said Kennedy, the former Pepsi marketing whiz who founded the Noodles & Co. restaurant chain before Gov. John Hickenlooper tapped him last year to lead a new branding effort for Colorado.

"We all went in there believing there would be something forced on tourism that could disrupt the momentum that has been built in the last two years with both this campaign and more than 50 years of marketing promotion," said John McMahon, president of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.

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The Summit Daily Updated Oct 7, 2013 12:13PM Published Oct 23, 2013 02:33PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.