‘Small-town feel’ sparks Frisco’s tourism
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
FRISCO ” Frisco’s biggest strength in attracting tourists is its small-town feel and the ability of residents and businesses to make tourists feel like locals, the town council heard this week.
“Residents here let visitors feel like they’re local,” town marketing director Tim Bock said during a town council work session. “In Telluride, locals act like they’re mad that you’re there. … Frisco is unpretentious and real, not glitz and glamour like Aspen and Telluride.”
Updating the town council on marketing efforts, Bock outlined a few tweaks to the town logo and tagline and underscored efforts to draw travelers off Interstate 70 and into town.
“The Frisco brand promises a small town and big experiences, a feeling of belonging,” he said.
Several council members said they support the vision Bock outlined and encouraged him to go even further in updating the town’s brand and tagline: “Main Street to the Rockies.”
“We need to emphasize the locals, ‘Where you are a local’ aspect of this,” said Councilman Bruce Fleet. “All this needs to be distilled down to a tagline.”
Councilman Gary Wilkinson suggested that the marketing effort emphasize the town feeling instead of merely Main Street.
“I like the logo … but I think we’re missing the ‘town aspect,'” Wilkinson said. “We need to incorporate that … I don’t think the ‘Main Street’ tagline says that.”
Bock said attendance at the town’s special events this summer climbed 10 percent from last year.
But wallets are shrinking as gas prices go up. Visitors aren’t spending as much, choosing to cook dinner in their condos or returning home after a day trip rather than spending the night in town, he said.
The retail sector has felt the biggest pinch, while lodging is doing OK, he said.
About 8,000 people attended the Blue Oyster Cult concert, up from 6,200 visitors at last year’s headliner concert, Bock said. Alcohol sales were up 33 percent over last year.
“Special events are the key attractors to drive trial and return visits … Brand advertising won’t do it,” Bock said. “Dollar for dollar, events will create the most interest … and get ’em out of their cars.”
Former council member and business owner Dan Fallon said the town needs ensure that special events don’t detract from commercial activity on Main Street. He said the Frisco Marina grand opening this spring hurt his restaurant business.
“Those three weekends crushed us. You did everything you could to get people off Main to the marina … If the marina is so horrible that you have to give food away to get them there, then you’ve got bigger problems,” Fallon said.
Instead of giving away free food and alcohol, the town should use other attractions that highlight marina features, then work with Main Street business by passing out restaurant coupons, Fallon said, drawing affirmations from several council members.
There was another problem with the marina opening, Bock said.
People wanted to rent boats, but there was not enough water, he said, adding that the timing of that event needs to be reconsidered in light of Dillon Reservoir water levels.
Along with the town’s marketing advisory committee, the council recognized the need to find ways to draw people off I-70. What’s missing is a visible gateway structure, something like a pedestrian overpass or a clocktower, Bock said.
Similarly, the town needs to explore ways to get people to turn off Summit Boulevard on to Main Street, using some sort of “compelling feature” as an attention-getter.
Feedback from the advisory group also suggests Frisco tourism could benefit from better data collection, including more detailed information on how and where visitors are spending their dollars.
Bock said he will work on developing a data-collection plan this winter.
The town also wants to look at the potential for developing some additional infrastructure for outdoor sports, helping to draw various tournaments to town.
Adding infrastructure for small conferences of 100 to 200 people would also help spur overnight lodging visits, as well as retail and restaurant spending, Bock said.
Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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