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Mine breaks summer attendance records

JONATHAN BATUELLO
summit daily news

The Country Boy Mine saw record attendance this past summer, despite a slumping national economy.

“Everyone is saying they are having a ho-hum summer and I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve been having a great summer,'” owner Paul Hintgen said.

In August alone, the mine saw a 35 percent increase compared with the same month last year.

The mine recently changed its marketing strategies, Hintgen said, working closely with the Breckenridge Resort Chamber and local media outlets to help push the mine’s publicity.

“(Breckenridge and the mine) get along real well, and we cross-market each other,” Hintgen said. “It’s hard to talk about Breckenridge without talking about gold mining, because that’s what put Breckenridge on the map.”

Hintgen began to implement these changes when he took over ownership of the mine in December of 2006. With strategies already in place for the 2007 summer, 2008 was the first year he got to use his marketing background to help the mine.

He changed the messages in paid advertisements and changed the public-relations attitude within the mine, trying his best to accommodate any media outlet.

“We get lots of inquiries from the media … and we try to provide them some stories and contact and try to make it fun for them,” Hintgen said.

The mine was established in 1887 and provides the only underground gold-mine tour in Summit County.

The experience the mine offers has garnered national media attention from outlets like The Today Show, the Washington Post, The Travel Channel and, in 2009, the mine will be part of a PBS documentary about Barney Ford.

“I enjoy working with these talented individuals, and the support of the mine has been wonderful,” Hintgen said.

The mine is hoping to continue the trend as Breckenridge celebrates its 150th birthday next summer and Hintgen expects to host more than 25,000 visitors.

“It’s very hard to describe the mine, but once you’ve been in the mine, it’s a trip you’ll be like: ‘Wow, it has exceeded all my expectations,'” Hintgen said.

Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or jbatuello@summitdaily.com.


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