Colorado Tourism Board Pushing Snow
The Colorado Tourism Board took the unusual step last week of enhancing our ongoing winter campaign with an additional $200,000 to share the news nationwide that our incomparable snow, though it took its time this season, is here.
In a deployment that took a week from start to finish, we launched a multi-pronged video takeover over the weekend on social, preroll and rich media outlets, pounding skiers across the U.S. with the reason why they should book a trip to Colorado now. Because, as our script goes, “There’s snow. And then there’s Colorado snow.” Visitors to OpenSnow’s Utah Daily Snow also are getting the message, starting today.
Some in our industry may have been underestimating the impact of this year’s late snow season in Colorado. After all, even though last year’s snow got off to a slow start, the ski industry ultimately recorded its second-best year ever.
This year has been different. As of today, one resort still hasn’t opened, several had delayed starts and many were operating with limited terrain until the snow finally arrived. Skiers who booked their Christmas holiday travel last summer showed up, keeping ski towns bustling during the winter break. Now, however, is a critical time for Colorado to influence bookings in February, March and April, especially for the Presidents Day weekend and spring break. Not just ski resorts, but ski towns and all of the other snow-related tourism offerings in our state would be sharing the pain if skiers go elsewhere for snow this year.
Of all the travelers in our state, skiers are the highest-value travelers, spending an average of $1,306 per visit, compared with $531 for the average overnight visitor to our state. Their impact is felt not just in the mountains, but in destinations as unexpected as Burlington, whose collection of new hotels has filled the past couple of winters with Midwestern skiers streaming to the slopes on I-70.
Our historically snowiest months still lie ahead, but the booking season for our long-distance travelers is typically all but complete by the end of January. Last week, this meant we essentially had a two-week window to win the hearts of skiers, especially in the Northeast, where slopes have been pounded with un-Colorado snow.
As the state tourism office, we are in a unique position to promote our entire state as a destination for snow seekers. With resorts around our state amping up budgets and messages to save this year’s season, we shaped an overarching message to drive action: “Don’t miss it. The snow is here.” Our message was out in time to buttress Vail Resorts’ purchase of full-page ads in the national Sunday editions of both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal with a headline that benefits all resorts: “It’s Snowing in Colorado.”
Our expansive natural areas in Colorado are our calling card, but it also means that our destination appeal sometimes is at the mercy of forces beyond our control, whether wildfire, floods or, this year, the latest snow season in decades. It’s in those times when it’s critical for our industry to rally in support of a message that benefits all. We hope you’ll join us in amplifying the message that the snow is here.