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Frisco considers an image consultant

HARRIET HAMILTONsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc
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FRISCO – The Frisco Town Council will consider hiring an outside consultant Tuesday to develop a “brand essence” for the town.Hill & Company, an Edwards-based marketing and advertising firm, presented the council with a $49,000 proposal to study Frisco’s image, develop the town’s “brand,” and create a marketing plan for 2007. The lion’s share of the project would be devoted to image and brand development, the firm said at last week’s work session.Councilmember Dan Fallon, part of the committee that selected Hill & Company to recommend to the town, expressed his enthusiasm for their proposal.”I’m going to love it, no matter what it is,” he said. Fallon emphasized the town’s need for a professional analysis in order to direct marketing dollars in the most efficient way.Frisco’s 2006 budget allocates $220,000 to marketing and communication. According to assistant town manager Theresa Casey, the cost of the marketing consultant is not in the budget, but would probably come from the town’s lodging tax fund.

Because the amount is less than $50,000 no official resolution is required to hire the marketing company.”How can we not spend it?” Fallon asked. “It would be a very small percentage of our overall budget.”Councilmember Tom Looby agreed with Fallon.”Given the magnitude of our current and anticipated marketing budget it would be inappropriate not to do this kind of study,” Looby said.Although supportive, Councilmember Bill Pelham expressed his concern with the town employing an outside consultant.

“Consultants and surveys have become like four-letter words,” he said. “But I think we can justify spending on this one.”Councilmember Gary Runkle questioned Frisco marketing and communications director Linda Lichtendahl about the need for outside help to develop a viable marketing plane.”We’ve been told we have too many consultants,” he said. “You don’t think we have staff in-house to do this?””No,” Lichtendahl said. “We’ve never done surveys.”Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen expressed concern that the move to develop an individual “brand essence” for the town could be counterproductive to Summit County’s overall marketing strategy.

“Should we charge headlong into this?” he asked. “We’re not a stand-alone deal. Would it not make sense for us to be doing this less as a stand-alone?”Because there was difference of opinion among council members, the decision was made, at the suggestion of Councilmember Looby, to draft a resolution about the proposal for official presentation at Tuesday’s meeting, which would allow more time for public comment. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in town hall.”I think it would be a little better to have a resolution,” Looby said. “It’s a significant expenditure. I’d feel a little better.”Harriet Hamilton can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13624, or at hhamilton@summitdaily.com.


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