Silverthorne forging new brand with town core project
While many traveling to Summit County may think of Silverthorne as a quick food, gas or shopping stop just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel, the town wants to put itself on the map as a vibrant community where visitors can stay a while.
The town has engaged two marketing partners, Betty Ashley Public Relations and Spin, to share its story and vision. Betty Ashley PR specializes in brand positioning, media and community relations, message development and strategic planning. Originally founded in Breckenridge, and currently headquartered in Denver, Spin specializes in brand assessment and development, marketing strategy, design and production.
Ryan Hyland, Silverthorne town manager, said the public relations effort would highlight current and upcoming plans to revamp the town’s image.
“These projects encompass a broad range of topics, but all have a unifying theme, making Silverthorne a better place to live and visit,” he said.
Hyland explained the town has a comprehensive plan for development that includes a vision for the town core, along with a new arts and culture plan.
To further those plans the town is currently constructing a new performing arts center.
“In 2016 Silverthorne will welcome the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, which is relocating from Dillon to a temporary space next to the Colorado Welcome Center in the Outlets at Silverthorne before moving to its permanent new home next to the Silverthorne Pavilion,” Ashley Lowe, founder of Betty Ashley PR, said.
Another significant player in the rebranding efforts is the town’s Economic Development Advisory Council, which has been actively working to improve the town’s business environment and economy. The EDAC is a community-based group that advises and makes recommendations to the town council on financial issues. The eleven citizen members are appointed to serve staggered, two-year terms.
“Most importantly, we have a town council that is fully committed to delivering on the community’s goals,” Hyland said. “With so much potential, we have engaged creative partners to help us refresh our brand image and tell our story.”
Lowe said she relishes the chance to assist Silverthorne share its vision for enriching the quality of life and economic sustainability of the community.
“Our first step is to conduct research, including working closely with key stakeholders throughout the town, and then develop recommendations to enhance the town’s brand image,” she explained. “It’s incredibly important and rewarding work that will have an impact for years to come.”
The town is in the process of creating a new town core district to extend between Brian Avenue and Highway 9, from 2nd Street to 6th Street. The proposed new zoning regulations would restrict certain types of new construction, such as fast food drive-thru restaurants, gas stations, automotive repair shops and warehouses. Mayor Bruce Butler said existing business would be grandfathered in as an exception.
“These zoning changes are necessary to promote the establishment of new uses desired by the community, including new retail shops, sit-down restaurants, outdoor cafes, offices, hotels, entertainment venues and residential opportunities,” Butler said.
Lowe said the envisioned town core is the outcome of Silverthorne’s new comprehensive plan and urban renewal plan.
“The town has been working diligently in recent years to formalize plans for a revitalized downtown,” she said. “Rezoning is the next necessary step.”
Polling has revealed a growing interest in developing a downtown core area, Lowe said. When asked to name the most important issues facing the town, Lowe said in a survey from 2007 more than 29 percent of respondents mentioned the new downtown core concept. By 2011 that number had grown to 42 percent.
“The new zoning proposed for the town core is an important step toward developing the vibrant, walkable downtown that our residents have been asking for,” Butler said.
The town continues to solicit public feedback, beginning with a coffee chat with property owners last month and a community open house at the Silverthorne Pavilion this past week.
“We’ve had good turnout at the last two community meetings, from both property owners and community residents,” Hyland said. “I anticipate that the formal public hearing process will be held in January or February.”
According to the town’s mission statement, Silverthorne seeks to provide a year-round, family-based community; providing economic, recreational and social opportunities for residents to enjoy a mountain quality of life. Lowe said that new businesses locating within the town are a positive indicator.
“Locally owned and operated Baker’s Brewery and Higgles Ice Creme both opened in 2015, as did Summit County’s first Starbucks drive-thru,” she noted. “Hampton Inn and Suites will be opening before the holidays, bringing one of the first new hotels in many years to Summit County.”
In addition to a new Dunkin Donuts scheduled to open before the holidays, Lowe said next year would also bring new food options to the town.
“2016 brings more culinary excitement directly to Silverthorne’s downtown area with Angry James Brewery and Sauce on the Blue scheduled to open,” she shared.
Hyland said a group of 15 community stakeholders have been assisting Betty Ashley to compose the core-marketing message.
“We have so much to offer here in Silverthorne, and we are excited about sharing that story with the community and Colorado in an organized and intentional way,” he said.
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