Community support helps make Breckenridge resort successful
November 2, 2011
When it comes to the guest experience, the Town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Ski Resort are intertwined in many visitors’ minds. A bad time at a local restaurant or store, for example, becomes associated with the resort, and vice versa.
To avoid this, Vail Resorts, the town and local groups work together to make sure that experience is seamless, in every aspect.
The first impression of the resort is on Main Street, Kristen Petitt Stewart, senior communications manager for Breck said. “Having community business leaders and locals in alignment with service, is absolutely the most important thing for our community.”
Long-time owner of Lone Star Sports in Breckenridge Greg Abernathy agrees. Good service at his store makes people want to come back again; If they’re treated well, they come back for both the skiing and the in-town hospitality. He thinks the county’s level of friendliness trumps that of other ski areas in the state.
“I support the resort 100 percent, because it’s our lifeline … the tourists are our lifeline,” Abernathy said.
The town has “a real sense of a historical community, with actual real people that live here. (It’s) not one of those manufactured ski resort towns,” Kieran Cain, Breck Ski Resort’s marketing director said. “Something our guests comment on when they come to town is the realness of it, the personality and the character.”
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To make sure the resort and community are on the same wavelength, the resort has “standing seats” with a couple different groups in town, like the Breckenridge Resort Chamber Board of Directors, and attends meetings for the Breckenridge Lodging Association and Breckenridge Restaurant Association. Breck chief operating officer Pat Campbell attends the evening town council meetings on a monthly basis to provide regular communication and updates.
“From the last restaurant association meeting we went to, we got some feedback they were interested in trying to do something around our 50th anniversary,” Cain said. Together with Grand Lodge on Peak 7, the association is putting $10,000 towards the celebration. The Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee is recommending $15,000 from the town marketing fund.
“Communication with the ski resort is a fundamental part of servicing the Breckenridge visitor, and there is BSR communication on an individual basis relative to lift ticket sales, communication of marketing efforts to the BRC, as well as updates presented at a number of open community meetings,” Toby Babich of the lodging association wrote in an email. “In my direct experience, BSR has been engaged and as open as possible in their communications with the local lodging community.”
The town works closely with the ski resort in a number of ways, according to Breckenridge’s director of communications Kim Dykstra-DiLallo.
“Between the marketing dollars and the amenities the town provides, the town provides substantial support to their business model,” she wrote in an email. “The town also works closely with the ski resort in terms of their development proposals, and in fact, erased the property lines on the most recent master planning exercise of the gondola lots so we could all achieve the best use of this important area.”
Parking and transit are also provided by the town, which also “coordinates with the ski resort to achieve a positive experience for our guests.”
Events like the Dew Tour and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge are results of the two entities working together. “Both the town and the resort worked to get that event here in Breckenridge,” town councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said of the cycling challenge.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship. If we didn’t have a resort, the town would not flourish,” Bergeron said. Likewise, people go to the resort because of the town. “The town is a big attraction in determining where people will ski. It’s a selling point.”