Lexus showcases all-wheel drive fleet in Steamboat (with video)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Wednesday, the award-winning Pub Creative studio blended fast cars and top talent with the Yampa Valley snow at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club in Steamboat Springs to create content for Lexus, one of the world’s top luxury car makers.

“It’s not a specific spot on television,” creative director Bruce Birch said. “It’s really an asset library that Lexus can use for winter tire events. They can put it in their dealerships on large format displays, and they can cut it into some of their digital marketing.”

Birch, who founded Pub Creative, said Alpine Mountain Ranch provided the scenic winter backdrops that were perfectly suited to showcase Lexus’ fleet of all-wheel drive vehicles including the IS, RX, GX and Lexus ES sedan.

Roberto Guerrero, a former Indy car and Formula One racer, drives a Lexus RX in a hay meadow for a marking film by Lexus. (Photo by John F. Russell)

“We needed to have a combination of beautiful locations and beautiful roads that are covered in white,” Birch said. “The idea was not to see cars driving on asphalt with snow in the background. The idea was to see cars running on snow.”

Birch credited location manager Jack Turner for finding a great site for the shoot.

“Through his skills and his relationships, he was able to identify Alpine Mountain Ranch,” Birch said. “It has roads, and homes on the property match the brand. Beyond that, the people were extremely forthcoming and helpful from the very beginning.”

Turner said the approach taken by the staff at Alpine Mountain Ranch and his work with county agencies to get the needed permits were refreshing.

Scott Sesma, director of photography, gets the shot as director Bruce Birch and David Newman keep an eye on the monitor. The team was out shooting for marketing material Wednesday at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club in Steamboat Springs. (Photo by John F. Russell)

“I scout all over, and the things I just love about this place is that we hit them with a pretty unusual idea, and from the very start, they were like how can we get this done versus what are all the reasons we can’t do it,” Turner said.

On Wednesday morning, Pub Creative was set up in a hay meadow working with professional drivers Lea Croteau, who lives in Steamboat Springs, and Roberto Guerrero, a former Formula One and Indy car racer.

Britt Havard, director of marketing for Alpine Mountain Ranch, said the ranch was excited to host the crew Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Pub Creative will head to North Routt on Thursday to get some images around Steamboat Lake before returning to Alpine Mountain Ranch on Friday.

Professional driver Lea Croteau maneuvers a Lexus IS on Wednesday at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club while filming marketing material for Pub Creative and Lexus. (Photo by John F. Russell)

“They visited Alpine Mountain Ranch and really found that this location had everything under one roof,” Havard said. “We had a lower meadow and had it groomed for a whole week to make sure it was hard packed, so they would be able to drive on the snow. They were able to capture their fun snow shots down there and then we also have these beautiful winding roads with a lot of ‘S’ turns where they are able to capture some of the extreme drives.

“This provided the perfect destination for them because all of their driving wishlist was captured in one location,” Havard said.

John Bristol, economic development director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber, said making it easy for these types of projects to do their photo and video shoots is a great way to bolster the local community, depending on the size and length of the project.

Pub Creative founder and creative director Bruce Birch adjusts one of the cameras on a Lexus RX during a shoot at Alpine Mountain Ranch in Steamboat Springs. The footage will be used to market Lexus' fleet of all-wheel drive vehicles. (Photo by John F. Russell)

“Part of it is being a community and a location that is easy to work with,” Bristol said. “That’s really half of it. If you have a lot of hurdles, it makes it pretty challenging.”

He said this kind of exposure also could help promote the community across regions. However, that also depends on how it is displayed and if the people watching realize the setting is Steamboat.

“It depends on the context,” he said. “I mean if you’re talking about a car commercial, you don’t necessarily know that it’s Routt County or if it’s Steamboat Springs. It is certainly the iconic Rocky Mountains, and that gets people thinking about the mountains and places like Steamboat Springs.”

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