Breckenridge to target families for 2011-12 ski season |

Breckenridge to target families for 2011-12 ski season

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – A luxury winter destination with something for everyone is the picture of Breckenridge the town’s marketing organization will send to potential visitors heading into ski season 2011/12, Breckenridge Resort Chamber representatives said last week.

Armed with new funding from the lodging accommodations tax increase, approved by voters last November, Breckenridge marketing teams are marching back into East Coast markets and presenting Breck as a rounded “winter destination” perfect for the whole family.

“One of the unique positions of Breckenridge is we have this broad offering of things to do that a lot of other destinations don’t have. Skiing is just part of the entire winter experience,” BRC marketing head Scott Fornter said. “We know that we’re an incredible ski destination, and well continue to lead with that message, but we also think there’re all these other things to do.”

The message lends itself to appeal to the “modern” multi-generational family, which likely includes a few skiers, but will also bring in family members who might be more interested in shopping, the arts or other winter sports.

The benefits of marketing to families are that they tend to stay longer in town and may rent larger units as well.

“We feel there’s an opportunity there,” Fortner said. “Where there is somebody who’s been here in the past and wants to (come back and) bring the family and have family time and a vacation at the same time. It’s seen in the cruise industry.”

Breckenridge is already popular with people in the Midwest, particularly Chicago, as well as California and Texas. This year, the BRC will begin marketing the community in once-popular markets such as Florida, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and the Northeast coast, where there seems to be some growth opportunity.

Marketing efforts will target potential-visitors early, in October and November, as they begin thinking about their vacations and making decisions, but before they lay down their credit cards, Fornter said.

“There is research out there that says people are looking and planning anywhere from three to four months prior to their arrival,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is build awareness and credibility.”

Marketing teams will do that through traditional advertising avenues, as well as public relations pitches, encouraging travel magazines to paint Breck as a winter destination ideal for families and worth a longer stay. Packages and specials through the Central Reservations system will be built around the same ideas.

The Breckenridge Resort Chamber is contracted by the town to market the whole community, using dollars from a business tax, sales taxes and lodging taxes, town officials said.

“It’s community dollars that are out there for the good of the community,” town spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said.

The winter marketing plan will be vetted by both the Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee, a panel of local marketing specialists and the town council.

The BRC designates approximately 60 percent of its marketing money for winter.

Last season, marketing efforts focused on December and the holidays, events in the first quarter of 2011 and the new “Spring Fever” campaign.

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