Two years ago, the city of Steamboat Springs started focusing on marketing its own amenities, City Manager Deb Hinsvark said.
Marketing the 'Boat
Among Colorado’s mountain resorts, the competition is fierce to become year-round destinations rather than strictly ski towns. In the competition to capture summer tourists, resort communities are throwing large amounts of money toward marketing themselves and their amenities.
Visitors who had been coming to Steamboat for years largely were unaware of the amenities owned or managed by the city.
“We had nothing in place,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, who leads the city’s current marketing efforts.
Now, she said, the city is targeting visitors who already are in Steamboat to let them know about all the amenities the city has to offer.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association receives money from the city to market outside of Steamboat.
“This year was a ground-building year,” DelliQuadri said. “It takes certain things to put together an ad or marketing campaign, and we just didn’t have any of it.”
The city has allocated $25,000 for the marketing efforts, and DelliQuadri said she has been trying to use those resources to create a library of advertising stock images and video as well as foster partnerships with the groups that oversee the amenities.
“I’m not spending it on ad placement,” she said.
DelliQuadri said she’s working with the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, Haymaker Golf Corse, Howelsen Ice Arena, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series.
“We’re just trying to get some of the basics in place,” she said. “All of our facilities are now on TripAdvisor and Yelp. They never were before.”
The effort has produced stock images and video for amenities to use to advertise themselves, banners at some facilities, advertising in city bus shelters and cross-marketing among facilities.
Flyover videos were produced for some facilities, DelliQuadri said, and Haymaker is planning to use that footage on its website and at golf expos outside of Steamboat.
“I’m trying to put tools in place,” she said.
DelliQuadri said she’s also been working on consistency. For example, coupons and data collection on visitors are done differently across city facilities.
“We hope to eventually get all these disparate groups collecting data in the same manner,” she said. “We spent some time talking about what would be useful for people to track. That will be an ongoing discussion.”
“Do we have everything in place?” DelliQuadri asked. “No, but we’re making progress.” ■