Breckenridge to revamp marketing plan |

Breckenridge to revamp marketing plan

BRECKENRIDGE – Look out, Fruita. Watch your back, Upper Midwest.Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC) and town officials want the town to rival Moab in mountain biking, Minnesota in Nordic skiing and become a mecca for hikers.Breckenridge is already known for its world-class events and downhill skiing and snowboarding, but it hasn’t done much to tout its hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and cross country ski trails, said Town Manager Tim Gagen.”We’ve got some of the largest numbers of trails anywhere,” Gagen said. “What we don’t have is an easily understood system. The locals know how to get from place to place, but the visitors don’t.”We want to really distinguish Breckenridge, even better than what it is today,” the town manager said.Consultant Rick Purdue noticed the opportunity and has since encouraged the town and BRC to emphasize those three recreational activities in its marketing efforts.Some of that began this summer when the BRC began marketing to the Grand Junction area, encouraging people to get out of the summer heat and enjoy the numerous recreational activities available in Summit County.BRC public relations director Lindsay DeWall said her group is still analyzing the efficacy of those efforts and will present her findings to the town council in a summer recap next month.The BRC now plans to extend those marketing efforts to include some of Summit County’s most popular – and least talked-about – sports.Officials at the Gold Run and Breckenridge Nordic centers are already working on joint marketing plans, and town officials plan to incorporate the Open Space and Trails Department into the effort.”We’re quite excited about the prospects,” DeWall said. “It’s not a matter of creating opportunity; the trails are already here. We want to take on a campaign to expand the image of Breckenridge as a hot spot for these activities. We’ve got great skiing and snowboarding, but there’s more to Breckenridge.”Efforts could include using local bikers, hikers and Nordic skiers to break into niche publications, placing ads, offering packages that cater to those groups and getting the word out at trade shows.Town efforts will likely include erecting signs and creating maps to direct people.Additionally, opening up the 1,840 acres of B&B Mines property in the Golden Horseshoe northeast of town – the town and county hope to close on that purchase next year – will add even more terrain to Breckenridge’s portfolio.The Golden Horseshoe is a horseshoe-shaped area that extends from Tiger Road over Gibson Hill and into French Gulch. Much of the area is untouched, save for old mining debris and scores of trails that crisscross the land.Most of the trails in that area are intermediate level trails, Gagen said – something lacking in many other parts of the Upper Blue Valley.”Our system tends to be difficult terrain, and B&B will give us lots of intermediate loops,” he said. “We’ll still protect the good stuff for ourselves.”It could be tough to compete with the likes of Fruita and Moab, Utah, each of which boasts hundreds of mountain biking trails many singletrack riders say are the best in the world.”The reason it’ll be a big challenge is because it’s all about penetrating that market and branding yourself,” DeWall said. “You don’t hear Breckenridge mentioned the same way when you hear Fruita, but there’s not a huge difference between the opportunities in the towns.”Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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