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Breckenridge ski resort ads designed for "new generation’

BRECKENRIDGE – Oooh, baby.

The Breckenridge Ski Resort released one of its advertising campaigns Thursday for the 2002-03 ski season, and, suffice to say, your mother probably wouldn’t approve.

That’s exactly the point.



“The thing we have to be careful as a destination is not to be thought of as, “That’s where my parents ski,'” said Corry Mihm, executive director for the Breckenridge Resort Chamber. “It’s important to reinvent yourself for a new generation.”

According to Mihm, the ad is targeted to the 13- to 18-year-olds of America – a group that totals 88 million people. That’s larger than the generation of baby boomers, who totaled 83 million – and included almost two decades of people, Mihm said.



The one-page ad debuts in various magazines next week, including Freeze, Transworld Snowboarding, Stance, Transworld Skateboarding and Axis – magazines that appeal to the “extreme, Gen-, young snowboarders or freeskiers who are all very core to the sport,” said Amanda McNally, communications coordinator for the resort.

The ad features a photo of three Gen-ers wrestling in the night; the headline reads, “The hill may dominate you. But the town will still be your bitch.”

Text beneath the photo reads, “Other partygoers can be an excellent source of cushioning for your after-hours antics. Provided they’re not too bony, of course. You see, in Breckenridge, it’s all about having fun. So whether you can go as big as Shannon “Shaggy’ Schad or you can’t huck your way out of a drainage ditch, it’s all good. Everyone goes huge in town.”

The ad goes on to tout the town’s nightlife – and it’s “not the tea and crumpets variety.”

“We’re talking nightlife here. The kind of over-the-top, wide-open nightlife that your friends can only make up stories about. The sort of raucous nocturnal insanity that can easily overshadow a less-than-stellar performance on the hill. The best kind of nightlife of all. The kind you pin down and ask “Who’s your Daddy?'”

This ad won’t grace the pages of Ski, Skiing and Powder magazines, which appeal to the older crowds.

“We’re certainly not going to put these ads in a ski magazine that’s geared to older skiers who wouldn’t appreciate it,” she said. “We’re putting in front of them (the younger demographic) the things about Breckenridge they’ll enjoy once they’re here.”

Mayor Sam Mamula commends resort officials for pursuing the younger set.

“I think they’re trying to find a niche in the new paradigm, and the new paradigm is a youth market,” he said. “They’re responding to a pretty significant change in demographics. And how they do it? I’m not going to comment on taste. They’re the experts.”

Marketing officials at the ski resort gave town council members a courtesy review of the ad before placing it on the market.

“The driving force in the market are young people,” Mamula said. “They’re the future of skiing and snowboarding.”

Mamula also recognized the ski resorts’ history of reaching out to new niches before other resorts.

“I think the thing that saved the Breckenridge Ski Area was in the late 1980s when they started encouraging snowboarders to come to Breckenridge,” Mamula said. “That was the salvation of the ski area – a brilliant move. They realized where the market shifts were taking place. They have to be aggressive, and I think that ad is an aggressive ad. The taste … I’m not going to judge.”

Ski resort officials have received positive feedback about the ads from magazine ad managers, town officials and industry experts, McNally said.

“Personally, I liked them,” said Jen Radueg, director of public relations for the Breckenridge Resort Chamber. “They’re fun, they’re eye-catching, and for that age group, it says Breckenridge is pretty cool. Those guys are a hard market to sell; they’re not into traditional marketing, the stuff their mom and dad are into. Teens today turn away from that kind of stuff. They want stuff that’s genuinely cool, hip, underground. I think they’ve accomplished it.”

“It’s the headline that’ll grab them,” McNally said. “And the text that will sell them.”


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