Tourism industry leaders are setting the stage for winter, from bubbly new commercials tagged with "Life Elevated" to resort upgrades to a strategically-placed billboard on the road to LAX International Airport. At the annual Tourism Fall Forum Thursday, Park City Chamber/Visitor Bureau members were introduced to the big plans coming this winter, hearing from the three local resorts, the chamber and the Utah Office of Tourism.
The Tourism Fall Forum pulled in 270 chamber members to hear about business trends and get in the mindset for winter.
"This event gets the business community in mindset that winter is coming," said Craig McCarthy, the Member Service Director of the PCCVB. "It's on the way and we're pulling everyone together with this one event, get people on the same page This is our largest event each year and a lot of work goes into it."
While popular marketing techniques such as snow quality and accessibility to resorts will remain a staple, the Chamber/Bureau is adding a new tagline, "One Town, Three Top 10 Resorts," into the mix following the Ski Magazine rankings.
Chamber/Bureau representatives are traveling to China for the first time this month, and more contests are on the way to attract visitors. Advertising efforts are concentrated on television spots in major markets such as Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, with the Chamber using roughly $1 million to promote Park City on networks such as NBC and ABC from December through February.
"Park City, and Utah as a whole, will be hard for skiers to miss," said Bill Malone, the Park City Chamber/Bureau CEO and President. " There is a lot of excitement this year, more anticipation than usual, for this ski season. People are chomping at the bit."
Deputy Director for the Utah Office of Tourism David Wallace spoke at the forum, discussing the finalized plans for winter marketing from the state.
"We have such great collaboration with our partners," Wallace said, referring to the co-op marketing fund distributed by his office to organizations such as the Chamber. "This community, this state, is very well-served because of the partnerships we have."
Familiar hashtags will appear online such as "Where #GettingDumped is a Good Thing" and "#PlanetoPow" in Less Than an Hour." Billboards are already up in certain markets and television spots are expected to launch later this year.
"Getting our message out there, it's like a pep rally for the ski season," Wallace added. "And we're staying focused on our two key points: the greatest snow on Earth and the unbeatable access from our airport."
The three resorts each had representatives at the forum to discuss changes and upgrades made over the summer. Mike Goar, general manager of Canyons Resort, said changes included upgrades to the food and beverage services and the snow-making operations. The resort has also been working on the golf course.
"The enthusiasm this year people are excited for snow," Goar said to the crowd. "There's an incredible optimism for snow."
Chuck English, the Deer Valley Resort Director of Mountain Operations, said snow making and installing a new lift were the big improvements made this year. Deer Valley Resort also added heated pavers to the Empire Lodge and remodeled Snow Park to allow better server flow into the dining area.
Park City Mountain Resort General Manager and President Jenni Smith said one of the biggest upgrades has been replacing sewer lines. The resort also invested in its snow making operations and will be introducing a new terrain park, Neffland. The new park is the result of a partnership with Neff Headwear, an up-and-coming brand, and will resemble "Candyland," Smith said, complete with a giant donut feature.
With the resort opening in two weeks, Smith said she also saw the enthusiasm for the season to start.
"We're really looking forward to the season getting started," she said.
The Town Lift is scheduled to open in early December, Smith added.