Breckenridge doles out 2D dollars for 2011 |

Breckenridge doles out 2D dollars for 2011

Caddie Nath

BRECKENRIDGE – New marketing dollars brought in by next year’s 1 percent accommodations tax increase will be directed largely toward sales efforts and market research in 2011.

The Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee, the body responsible for managing the marketing budget for the Town of Breckenridge, allocated $195,000 to sales and $105,000 to market research at a meeting Tuesday.

“(Other marketing efforts are) going to take us investing dollars to really see where we’re at and where we want to get to,” committee member Toby Babich said of the need to fund market research.

The $195,000 allocated to sales will cover the cost of two new employees as well as new programs for the Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC), the town’s current direct marketing organization. The committee allocated $70,000 to allow the BRC to hire a new sales person and $40,000 for a new sales coordinator. Another $85,000 will go to programs such as sales blitzes, merchandise and group advertising.

An additional $30,000 – a figure that might be matched by Vail Resorts – will be put in reserves each year until the savings reaches $200,000.

Breckenridge’s late January snow-sculpting event will also get a chunk of change from the new funds in 2011 for lighting. In the past the town used inexpensive diesel lights for the event, which were known to produce a bad smell and a lot of noise. With the diesel lights now banned in Colorado, the committee decided to invest $40,000 in new lighting to revive the event. With the additional funding the event might feature color changing lights or possibly even a timed lighting set to music next year.

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After Tuesday’s allocations, the committee has just over $40,000 of the 2D funds remaining to be spent. The money could be used to seed new events to draw guests or to pay for marketing campaigns such as online advertising.

The additional marketing dollars came from ballot question 2D, a voter-approved measure increasing the Breckenridge lodging tax from 2.4 percent to 3.4 percent.

The marketing advisory committee is responsible for managing the marketing budget for the Town of Breckenridge, a fund that, with contributions from the BRC and dollars from the town accommodations tax increase, will be approximately $3 million in 2011.

The majority of the committee members also said they wanted to focus efforts on branding Breckenridge and getting the town’s name out rather than on product and direct marketing pushes.

“The general philosophy of the advisory committee is that we need to figure out ways to market the town as a whole,” committee member and Town Councilman Mike Dudick said. “A brand approach is the preferred approach.”

The other option would be a more direct product marketing approach that would target guests by offering more specific package rates with the goal of getting them to book a vacation.

The final decision on whether to focus marketing efforts on branding or direct marketing will fall to the town council.

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