Marketing 101: It’s about traffic
The Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC) has its share of skeptics about whether it does a good job.Part of that comes with the fact the town gives it $880,000 in public money to market the resort community. Scrutiny naturally follows.Over the years, the debate has been interesting, if nothing else. Former town council member David Hinton, now departed, focused on the BRC with a laser. He believed the BRC shouldn’t spend a dime on marketing and instead apply the funds to creating the most exquisite guest experience ever.After that, he said word of mouth would fulfill the marketing need. Noticeably, the town council did not bite on that radical thought.BRC skepticism came to a head again last month when the town council surveyed businesses on their support for a new half-penny sales tax. The tax would have raised another $1.2 million to go on top of the $880,000. The cold shoulder for the idea surprised many and brought up the subject, again, of the BRC’s legitimacy.A public forum at an unspecified date in October will address the issue.We do not pretend to know enough to make a pronouncement about the BRC’s effectiveness.We do know that the No. 1 goal of any broad-based marketing effort is to create traffic in the form of people visiting the town, staying in lodging, walking up and down Main Street and walking in stores and restaurants.Breckenridge certainly seems to have the traffic. Still, in recent years, the puzzle for businesses and town officials alike has been flat-to-down sales tax collections. That has spurred arguments about too many day skiers and too few destination visitors, and, of course, whether the BRC was doing its job.The town council and BRC leaders believed the answer to the last question was “no,” because their belief was that too few marketing dollars are competing in an aggressive marketplace. Thus the idea for the tax the merchants don’t like.And there’s the rub for the forum.
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