Park City Chamber/Bureau wins top dollars
Money from the Utah Tourism Board is making it possible for Park City to advertise itself in both Los Angeles and New York City this winter.
The two markets have consistently been No. 1 and No. 2 for destination skiers in Park City, said Park City Chamber/Bureau president and CEO Bill Malone. Furthermore, research suggests skiers from the two cities may also be the town’s biggest spenders.
Never before has the Chamber/Bureau been able to advertise in both cities in the same season, he said.
The money is allocated by the Utah Board of Tourism Development headed by Hans Fuegi. The money is given by the Utah Legislature to be used for marketing Utah outside of the state. To qualify, an entity must form partnerships and commit joint money to marketing. Then the board can match it, explained Office of Tourism managing director Leigh von der Esch.
Only $1.4 million was available, but $1.8 million was applied for. Fuegi and others on the board used a point system for determining merit. The Park City Chamber/Bureau scored the highest number of points, prompting the board to grant it the maximum amount possible: $169,750.
That is the same amount granted Ski Utah and more than the amount to the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"This was about the best applications proving a return on investment," von der Esch explained.
Money was awarded to those most likely to attract out-of-state visitors and who had the broadest partnerships for mutual benefit, she added.
Malone said the money will help Park City reach the "right customers."
There are many options on how to spend the money for television advertising, but one would buy spots in San Diego as a bonus, he said.
"This is good news and we’re really excited," he said.
Ski Utah will use its money on print and online advertising, said director of marketing Raelene Davis.
"We don’t have the luxury of duplicating efforts. Park City is doing television in its key markets. The Office of Tourism will do television on a national level. We come down to the next level and we do print and interactive. We try to tier it so we’re not duplicating efforts," she said.
The message for winter 2011 will focus on the "hows" and "whys" of skiing and snowboarding in Utah.
"We’ll push the Greatest Snow on Earth, accessibility, variety and value," she added.
Lodges, resorts, rental shops and other businesses will offer deals and packages through the Ski Utah website in an area called "The White Sale," Davis said.
The Kimball Arts Center and the Park City Performing Arts Foundation were also awarded money.
Teri Orr, executive director of the foundation, said both summer and winter events attract out-of-state visitors. Of the nation’s best outdoor concert locales, few feature the natural slope of the Deer Valley Resort amphitheater giving everyone a good view, she said. The $37,740 given will help market that.
Ironically, the foundation’s best market for advertising is Las Vegas, Orr said.
"There’s all the entertainment in the world there, why go somewhere else?" she asked rhetorically. "Because seeing something in Park City, especially in the summer, is spectacular for those people and they escape the heat."
For example, the band One Republic performed in both Las Vegas and Deer Valley in 2010. Yet many Las Vegas residents came here to see them and made a vacation of it, she said.
Country music performers draw big crowds from Wyoming and Idaho, she added. There are venues in Boise, Twin Falls and Colorado, but people like vacationing in Park City while here to see a concert, she explained.
In the winter, the Eccles Center hosts "edgier" shows that attract people from all over. Dance fans can see companies here that don’t tour Colorado, she added.
The Kimball Arts Center was awarded
$6,750. Robin Rankin, executive director, said the money will help promote the 2011 Kimball Arts Festival. Her marketing partners include several Main Street restaurants and clubs.
Another recipient was Meet In Utah the Utah Association of Destination Marketing Organizations that received $37,440. It represents seven areas including Park City. It will use the money to improve its online marketing, von der Esch said.
Increasing business, conference and convention visitation is also a crucial part of the state’s strategy because once they come for work, they often return to play, she said.
Meetings in communities like St. George and Park City in particular, she said, are especially productive in introducing people to Utah’s recreational offerings.
"The importance of marketing to the out-of-state traveler cannot be overemphasized," von der Esch said. "We’re competing with states with $50 million in their marketing budget. Our Life Elevated campaign has been well received and helps push our partners’ brands as well as our brand."
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A Deer Valley Resort executive on Wednesday said the resort by the end of 2019 or in early 2020 intends to submit plans to City Hall for the initial infrastructure work needed for the eventual development of the Snow Park Lodge parking lots.