From the Chamber: 2020 marketing committee hard at work |

From the Chamber: 2020 marketing committee hard at work

Deborah Olsen
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

As we enter 2020, Steamboat Springs is an exciting place to be. The city boasts a vibrant and ever-diversifying economy, a growing population of year-round residents, abundant employment opportunities and an exceptional quality of life. 

As the community evolves, tourism continues to play an important role in our economy and high living standards. Visitors support local businesses and contribute significantly to city sales tax revenue, which in turn, provides an impressive array of amenities and encourages and sustains diverse culinary and cultural experiences. We may know visitors’ importance anecdotally, but Steamboat Springs Chamber is working with a respected research company to create an economic impact survey that will add comprehensive data to that understanding. 

Data is king in the 21st century, and destination marketing is a complex process. At its best, it’s a blend of statistical analysis, discernment and expertise. 

In Steamboat, we are fortunate to have a committee of 21 professionals from a diverse assortment of local businesses who meet monthly to support and advise the Steamboat Chamber in its role of destination marketing during non-ski season months. 

It is my honor to be the chair of the 2020 marketing committee, which was formed in the late 1980s to attract visitors to our area during summer. The object in those early years was to get people here so businesses could afford to pay their employees year-round. Special events, sports teams and conventions were the cornerstone of that plan.

Today, we are in a much different position, and our goals have changed. 

A big part of our messaging is getting the word out that our resources and sense of community, those that make us want to live or visit here, require stewardship. In conjunction with the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace, our marketing messages and goals have embraced Care For Colorado principles, encouraging sustainability among Colorado travelers.

We also actively promote Pledge for the Wild, a coalition of five towns — Steamboat; Flagstaff, Arizona; Bend, Oregon; South Lake Tahoe, California; and Bozeman, Montana — that encourages tourists and locals to financially support wild places. Doing so is as easy as texting WILD4STEAMBOAT to 44321. All money stays in Steamboat and goes to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. 

For 2020, the Chamber and marketing committee are designing a campaign that targets the shoulder season, specifically May, June, September and October, in an effort to even out the times when visitors come here. We are able to accomplish this, despite unpredictable weather, because of our partnerships with organizations like Steamboat Creates and Main Street Steamboat.

Another 2020 goal of the marketing committee is to attract guests from further away, rather than concentrating its efforts exclusively on the Front Range. In reaching out to other markets, we hope to encourage longer stays, thus leveling out the weekend versus weekday swings. 

At our most recent meeting, RRC Associates announced the results of the 2019 summer survey, and the news is great. Accommodation tax collections increased over 11% from the same period last year, and the net promoter score, which is one of our most reliable indicators of measuring the quality of visitor experience, went up 10 points from last summer. This can be attributed to lots of things, from the Chamber’s customer service training program to the completion of work on Yampa Street, but the bottom line is: It’s you.

Deborah Olsen is the chairman of the Steamboat Springs Chamber marketing committee.

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