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Copper Resort Chamber becomes more active

Kimberly Nicoletti
HCBR
HCBR/Mark FoxPeter Siegal, executive director of the Copper Resort Chamber, is working to make the chamber more effective at Copper Mountain.
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As Copper Mountain Resort Chamber revamps its organization, one thing is clear: It can’t go about business as usual anymore.

“The chamber’s been doing the same thing, the same way, and it can’t keep going with the same programs,” said Rob Schwartz, secretary and treasurer of the chamber’s board, at an April 11 resort chamber meeting at the Double Diamond. “It will broaden its scope, with the help of the village company.”

Peter Siegel, executive director of the chamber, scored the chamber’s past success as a “C,” and made a public commitment to “ramp up” the chamber’s efforts by communicating with business owners and homeowners personally and expanding activities at Copper to benefit all merchants and homeowners.

“What makes this unique is we have a higher diligence to make sure we serve homeowners just as much as we’re serving businesses,” he said.

The first step occurred in January, when the chamber and the Village at Copper Mountain entered into a management agreement, which specifies which agency is responsible for which activity.

The agreement allows more collaboration and accountability and less overhead. The agencies considered a merger, but the Village of Copper Mountain is subject to the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act’s rules and regulations, and the chamber is not. The chamber is still working with attorneys to figure out the pros and cons of those regulations to decide whether or not to pursue a merger.

In the meantime, the chamber is cutting a full-time financial position, which allocates more money to marketing. Of the chamber’s $200,000 budget, half of it went to administration and the other half to marketing. Now, it will have $125,000 to put toward marketing, a 25 percent increase, said Peter Siegel, executive director.

The chamber plans to update its website, create more effective e-mail blasts, increase its community network and explore partnerships with Dillon and Silverthorne, similar to the way it works with Frisco to promote events.

It also will become more proactive with group sales, linking special interest activities into groups’ itineraries. And it plans to broaden its coupon book reach, as well as use other advertising tools, such as kiosks and sandwich boards. The goal involves promoting Copper as a whole, partially with a “base camp strategy,” which encourages guests to play golf or ski, then dine and shop. Spokesperson Lauren Pelletreau said the resort started the concept last year, and it worked well.

Carol Schmidt, director of conference sales, reported a high number of bookings for the summer season, with many new companies coming into Copper for the first time. And, every weekend through Labor Day is booked with at least one wedding, she said.

The chamber’s five-year plan includes starting “transportation on demand,” a system of vans that deliver homeowners and guests to restaurants and shops within the village, saving people from walking or relying on the buses.

It hopes to start a public arts program, which could include astronomy, cooking classes, art seminars, jewelry making and more.

It also wants to offer incentives for visitors to stay in the county throughout weekends to reduce Interstate 70 congestion. Siegel said the chamber must find a way to work around the highway traffic problems because, “This is not going away, and it’s not going to get any better.”

In summary, Siegel asked attendees to get involved with the chamber.

“What do you want of your chamber?” Siegel said. “If you don’t like the direction we’re going, let us know; we’ll stop and head in another direction.”


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