Breck losing competitive edge to resort villages
BRECKENRIDGE – New resort villages at Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Keystone are eroding the sales tax base in Breckenridge. But it’s not too late for Breckenridge to recoup those losses – and even come out ahead.
That’s what Rick Purdue, a business professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said is what Breckenridge faces in its efforts to maintain a competitive advantage. The town, the Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC) and Breckenridge Ski Resort hired Purdue to evaluate past marketing efforts and develop a strategic plan for the future. He plans to present a draft at the next town council meeting on July 22.
The town, the BRC and the ski area are doing many things well, he said. Most of the information Purdue outlined was gleaned from past studies, but it was still valuable because it validated what officials have always thought about the town, said Breckenridge Town Manager Tim Gagen.
Purdue said Breckenridge should continue to capitalize on its reputation as a historic mountain community that offers world-class recreation amid an eclectic array of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. But it could lose that image if it doesn’t address its current target market, encourage the private sector to expand its product offerings, expand into new markets, diversify what it offers large groups and monitor the success of each change.
A large part of that, he told the town council Tuesday, could involve revamping the BRC budget and designating 2 percent of sales tax from lodging, restaurants and activities to the chamber.
The BRC, in turn, should concentrate its efforts on destination skiers and summer tourists, he said. Additionally, the town needs to figure out a way to get visitors who are staying in other towns but skiing in Breckenridge to change their lodging plans. The three entities also should concentrate less on the Front Range market and expand into the growing second-home market, he said. Other opportunities might be found in the convention, weddings and travel writer markets.
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