So far, marketing plan works | ParkRecord.com

So far, marketing plan works

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record staff

The Park City Chamber/Bureau marketing plan’s slogan for 2007-’08 could be: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

"Last year we had 200 inches less snow, and we ended up with 1.8 percent (visitors) above the previous year, so something’s working," said Bill Malone, the executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.

So this year, the marketers haven’t changed much.

"Just to go out and go in a different direction isn’t something we are looking to do," Malone said. "We will build up on what we have already done, and do it smarter."

Cathy Miller, the director of sales and marketing for the Chamber/Bureau, said the city will remain competitive with other resort towns by analyzing the market and adjusting, however.

"The mood of market conditions change, and we must stay on top of it," Miller said.

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Miller said the focus of the marketing plan is to reach the target in a cluttered advertising world.

"Consistent branding is the answer," she said.

The brand for Park City has three parts: three resorts, a fun town and easy accessibility.

That’s the message the Chamber/Bureau is delivering across the country and internationally. Park City’s advantage over other resort towns may be accessibility, the Chamber/Bureau said.

"There are not a lot of ski resorts that you can actually fly in and ski on the day of arrival," Malone said.

Quick Start Vacation promotion

The Chamber/Bureau has taken advantage of Park City’s accessibility with the Quick Start Vacation promotion, which gives Quick Start-registered travelers free skiing the day they arrive. Malone said about 17,000 visitors use it each year.

"So far it’s generated 65,000 visitors," Miller said. "Thirty-five percent of it being first-time skiers."

Malone said the number of first-time Park City skiers drawn into town by the Quick Start program is significant.

"It’s such a strong promotion because no one else has been able to do it," Malone said. "There are 150 flights that land in Salt Lake before noon each day. They can come up and grab lunch and ski for free that day."

New Web site

Miller said the current Web site is outdated, and the Chamber/Bureau plans to launch an updated site, with a different design, in August.

"It’s just been a lot of years since we’ve been running the same Web site," Malone said.

The new site is designed to help track numbers, create databases and register visitors more efficiently.

Online partnerships

The Chamber/Bureau plans to have online partnerships with sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, and Onsnow.

"We have had partnerships with them in the past, and we will be doing another campaign with them," Malone said.

Malone said they will partner with companies that are willing to link viewers to the Park City Web site.

"A lot of them won’t let you get out to our Web site," Malone said. "We want them to get to our Web site to get a feeling of the depth and breadth of what we have to offer."

Meetings and Conventions advertising

Malone said the meetings and conventions aspect of Park City brings lots of business into town, especially during the spring and fall, when it’s not as busy.

"It’s pretty important to us," Malone said. "We have 22 properties that participate in the meetings and convention business."

The Chamber/Bureau has placed ads in 15 trade publications, and sent out mailers.

"These aren’t publications I’m going to be reading on my coffee table, but if I’m in the business of planning meetings, those are the publications they look to," Malone said.

Organizations, he said, want to hold their meetings in Park City because of the array of activities.

"A lot come here for golf or fly fishing or mountain biking. That’s a big part of why they selected us to hold those meetings," Malone said. "It’s not just, do we have all the necessary equipment for their meetings, but, what else is there to do?"

International marketing

There’s been an increase in international ticket sales.

"It’s grown 16 percent over the previous year," Miller said.

The Chamber/Bureau sells the "Trip Pass" to international travelers. It’s a package that gives them access to all three resorts.

"We’ve sold just under $500,000 in lift tickets (last year)," Malone said. "It’s a growing part of our business."

Malone said places like Vail and Aspen, in Colorado, had a monopoly on the international market, but Park City is creeping in on that success.

"We’ve been in this market for a few years, and we are adding some more effort towards that customer," Malone said. "We’re seeing that market grow, and it grows when we can use the business."

He said visitors from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina like to ski in April, when local skiers start waning off. England and Australia are also a big part of the market, Malone said.

Cooperative efforts

With the nature of competition between businesses, Miller said it’s key to cooperate in order to bring more visitors.

"We are pretty fortunate," Malone said. "When it comes to, especially, winter marketing, our ski resorts are competitors of one another as well, but they come together as well to make an entire product, not just one ski resort."

Malone said the Chamber/Bureau relies on the collaboration between the restaurant industry and the arts- and cultural- organizations in order to promote Park City.

"There’s a lot of cooperation," Malone said.

Winter vacation planner and summer vacation planners

"A high percentage of summer visitors come back for the winter," Miller said.

The Chamber/Bureau uses planners for both seasons to bring visitors back to Park City. Malone said the Chamber/Bureau’s main job is to get visitors here the first time.

"Once we get them here, they understand what we’re saying about accessibility, the whole ease of the town, the transportation system and close proximity, dining, shopping and services."

No matter how much marketing is done, Malone said Park City’s product basically sells itself.

"The real interesting reason is the quality of the experience people have here," Malone said.

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