Chamber/Bureau unveils new marketing plan
Members of the Park City Chamber/Bureau and the hospitality industry gathered in the ballroom of the Park City Marriott Wednesday, July 16, eager to learn what the Chamber/Bureau has in store in terms of marketing for the next 12 months.
Chamber/Bureau CEO Bill Malone kicked off the Annual Marketing Meeting by showing attendees the Tour of Utah commercial that has been airing on NBC during the Tour de France, the first marketing efforts paid for with the funds in the 2014-2015 budget.
The budget this year is comprised of Transient Room Taxes, which account for $6.45 million, membership investments, tourism marketing grants and partnerships, carryover from last year’s budget and contracts for services. Altogether, the funds add up to $7.96 million.
"We have the highest operating budget this year, substantially larger than every other year in the history of the Chamber/Bureau, at just under $8 million," said Dirk Beal, chairperson of the Chamber/Bureau board for 2013-2014. "This budget is also a record for the percentage of income going to operating programs, which is 77 percent and going directly to marketing efforts."
After introducing the new chairperson, CEO of the Stein Eriksen Lodge Russ Olsen, as well as the new Chamber/Bureau board members, Director of Sales and Marketing Cathy Miller presented the 2014-2015 marketing plan.
A playful video highlighted members of the Chamber/Bureau staff and went into detail about results of last year’s marketing efforts as well as this year’s plans. Miller was the first to speak, explaining that her job is to get first-time visitors to Park City and the Chamber/Bureau’s job is to keep them coming back.
The Chamber/Bureau’s marketing efforts last year resulted in an increase in skier days at Park City’s three alpine resorts of 3.9 percent, over 1.8 million skier days. They also racked up just over $22 million in total "earned media" value, not including over $16 million in NBC Network Sochi Olympic broadcast value.
Most importantly, the Chamber/Bureau worked to create tourism marketing partnerships and received $714,500 in grants from the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, the Utah Office of Tourism Cooperative Marketing Program, the Summit County Restaurant Tax Advisory Committee and "in-kind" products and services from Chamber/Bureau members.
Miller said part of the Chamber/Bureau’s marketing efforts this year include television spots like the Tour de France commercial.
"Last winter, we had promotional spots on NBC in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago," she said. "This year, we are adding several more major markets, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland and Houston, Texas."
Tourism Marketing Manager Stephen Lane presented the two new promotional spots, one of which is called "Closer is Better," highlighting Park City’s accessibility. The second is an animated spot that showcases the Chamber/Bureau’s "Park City Easy Escape" website.
"Potential visitors can visit the site, plan their vacation and enter to win one," Lane said. "Our goal last year was to receive 5,000 entries, and we actually ended the year with 22,000."
He added that last year’s promotional spots will be aired in the three new markets, since they did not see them last year.
The Chamber/Bureau will participate in print marketing, continuing to place advertisements in SKI Magazine and Mountain Magazine and attempting to appeal to the affluent market by placing new full-page, four-color advertisements in Sunset magazine once again and in T: The New York Times Style Magazine for the first time.
Last year, a push was made by the Chamber/Bureau to attract meetings and conventions to the area. According to their records, they generated 321 leads and booked 116 meetings, which produced $3.7 million in revenue. Miller said they will continue to market Park City in that area this year.
Bruno Schwartz, international marketing manager, said the Chamber/Bureau will continue to market to Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Russia. Additionally, they will begin marketing efforts in the Dominican Republic and Argentina.
"The most exciting thing, in my opinion, is that we have a community that helps us with our marketing efforts," Schwartz said. "A lot of times, they will travel to these countries we market to and help us promote Park City overseas."
He added that the Chamber/Bureau experienced over $1 million in sales of the Three Resort International Pass last year and will continue to market the pass to the increasing number of international visitors.
To wrap up the marketing plan, Malone took the podium to address concerns regarding the Chamber/Bureau’s motto, "One town, three resorts and endless possibilities." According to Malone, the Chamber/Bureau will press forward, regardless of the legal issues between Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings.
"There is not a lot we can do about it, but we do all talk about it," Malone said. "Rest assured the Chamber/Bureau will continue to invest every available dollar to bring visitors to Park City."
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