Breckenridge Tourism Office explains how its marketing correlates with the state COVID-19 dial |

Breckenridge Tourism Office explains how its marketing correlates with the state COVID-19 dial

The Breckenridge Tourism Office is pictured in October 2019. On Thursday, Dec. 10, tourism office officials presented on various marketing methods, which are adjusted depending on which dial level Summit County is in.
Photo by Liz Copan / Summit Daily archives

As a major travel destination attracting millions of visitors each year, Breckenridge is typically marketed by the Breckenridge Tourism Office as a year-round vacation experience. However, amid the coronavirus pandemic, marketing has been dialed back and even eliminated depending on the state of the virus in Summit County.

The tourism office gave an overview of its marketing strategies for the next six months at its community update Thursday, Dec. 10, including various levels of outreach depending on Summit County’s position on the state’s COVID-19 dial.

“The (Breckenridge Tourism Office) and the resort, we are clearly squarely anchored in today’s immediate term safety messaging,” tourism office CEO and President Lucy Kay said at the meeting. “At the same time, we also have to keep an eye and one foot in the six-months-from-now camp because we know people are not traveling now — especially in the last three weeks there have been a lot of cancellations, there continue to be cancellations — but as more people are postponing their travel, we’re seeing more people showing an interest in researching travel that they’re going to do six months from now.”

Kay said the tourism office is focused on next summer and anticipates things looking more normal in July and August.

As for marketing strategies when Summit County is in level red or orange, Kay said anyone who visits views the “What you need to know” page before moving elsewhere on the website. Aside from the tourism office’s social media channels, outgoing messaging appears only on websites like Expedia or Tripadvisor. Kay said this is because people are already looking for travel in these arenas and might be looking for Breckenridge.

In levels red and orange, the marketing messages, which include phrases like “Safely adventure out” and “Protect what you love,” have soft call to actions such as “explore winter,” tourism office Chief Marketing Officer Brett Howard said.

When in levels yellow, blue or green, safety messaging on the website is in the form of a banner, and outgoing marketing is limited to drive markets with high-risk areas excluded. Under these levels, marketing messages would include “We’re an everyone’s welcome kinda town” and “We’re a protect our playground kinda town,” with the call to action “start planning,” Howard said.

If the county were to go to level purple, essentially a shutdown, the tourism office would turn off all marketing messaging, which is what happened in March. In this case, the website would have a pop-up about what people need to know before traveling to Breckenridge.

In level green, the protect-our-neighbors phase, marketing would involve a national campaign similar to strategies before the pandemic.

Kay and Howard also shared the tourism office’s new campaign called “B like Breckenridge,” which encourages responsible tourism and values like being responsible, sustainable and kind.

Breckenridge Ski Resort spokesperson Sara Lococo also gave a resort update at the meeting. Lococo said the ski area is committed to opening all terrain as soon as possible but is relying heavily on man-made snow due to limited natural snow early this season. As for the reservation system, Lococo encouraged people to cancel reservations if their plans change and to check back if there is no availability as cancellations and more open terrain allow for more reservations.

Lococo added that ski and snowboard group lessons are available but are limited to half-day sessions due to indoor dining closures. Warming inside is allowed at some locations for 15 minutes, but masks must stay on, no eating inside is allowed and capacity is managed.

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