Snowmass to spend $720,000 on marketing
SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Snowmass will spend about $720,000 on marketing and special events this winter, the town’s marketing board decided on Tuesday. That’s almost double what Aspen collects through a lodging tax and spends on marketing, year-round. The Aspen Skiing Co. doesn’t disclose budget information, said senior vice president David Perry, but its marketing and events funding “is many times larger than what Snowmass spends.”Funded by a 2.5 percent sales tax, Snowmass’ marketing and special events budget is more than $2.5 million per year, a hefty sum for such a small town. Budgets for summer and winter are about equal, said Marketing Director Susan Hamley, coming close to $800,000 apiece. The balance of the funds are spent on administration and year-round programs, like the marketing bus.Breckenridge nearly decided to place a marketing-specific sales tax on the Nov. 2 ballot, but decided not to after discussion among the town council.Snowmass’ proposed winter program, which though big on funds is as yet short on details, includes advertising in national publications, direct mail campaigns, online advertising, plenty of collateral and event promotion. Full-page inserts will be placed in SKI, Skiing and Outside magazines, national publications with a lot of reach to typical Aspen/Snowmass customers. New this year is advertising in Freeskier magazine and 5280, Denver’s glossy magazine.Snowmass also will have a greater presence online this winter, with advertising planned on Travelocity and Expedia, for example.In the past, Snowmass has relied on Skico to do the bulk of winter promotion and events. But this year, the two entities are working more closely together than they ever have in the past. For example, Skico is picking up the tab for national media advertising in October and November, while Snowmass concentrates its efforts further into the winter. “One thing we’re trying to do is dovetail our programs so that they’re successful,” said Perry.That includes cooperation on winter events, which has Hamley working closely with Skico’s events department to “custom tailor a winter events lineup,” said Perry.Snowmass has slated $155,000 for special events this winter. The bulk of the spending, $125,000, will be on Skico events on Snowmass, such as the Budweiser Hi-Fi concert series and the Bud Light Big Air contests. Hamley is working on a way to bring some X Games related activity to Snowmass, and has plans to enhance “Snowmass-owned” events such as Christmas on the mall and Mardi Gras.Local entities like Snowmass’ marketing department and the Skico have been spending more and more money on marketing and events in the past couple years, as the pool of skiers has been shrinking.”It’s a big program,” said the Skico’s Perry, who noted that 30 people work for him full-time, year-round (in marketing, sales, communications and events). Snowmass’ marketing department is currently comprised of two full-time employees and an events contractor. A search for a communications manager, to handle public relations, is underway.
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