Sodergren: Family marketing has created the Breckenridge we love today
I’ve lived in Breckenridge 35 years. I object to marijuana on Main Street because of the huge risk to our family destination business. About 30 years ago we charged our town council with becoming a “World Class Resort.” About the same time the National Ski Area Association at their annual convention recommended that ski-area owners/operators should market to families to “grow the sport.” The president of NSAA repeated this plea at a Breckenridge Resort Chamber Quarterly Breakfast. The BRC and Breckenridge Ski Area worked together marketing to families. The resulting formula worked! Breckenridge has become #1 in the nation for skier days.
During this same time, Aspen ignored the plea and marketed to their traditional “jet-set” market. After years of stagnant growth, compared to rapid growth of areas that marketed to families, Aspen realized they goofed. They tried to capture this family market; but they were behind in the race. It took 10-15 years to establish themselves as a family-destination business. If marijuana on Main Street backfires on our family marketing, it may take 10-15 years to recapture. Consequences could be huge!
Another example of ignoring the family market is Central City. Before casinos were voted in, the town was a quaint, old mining town. Before the vote, they promised only a few casinos. Over time, all the retail shops and restaurants left; casinos lined the streets. If you were to ask those who voted then if they would do it again, it’d be hard to find anyone who still lives there. They’ve all left town.
The BRC recently did a branding survey; guests ranked the “town” higher than the “ski area” in reasons for visiting. Our formula works! Do we really want to mess with this formula? Keep marijuana on Airport Road; vote NO on allowing marijuana on Main Street.
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