Steamboat Chamber unveils new strategy, slogan
The chamber plans to emphasize destination management in new marketing strategy
The Steamboat Springs Chamber unveiled its new destination management and tourism communications strategy, “Kindness Floats the Boat,” before Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, May 24.
The new slogan is part of the chamber’s new emphasis on destination management, which started with the pandemic-era slogan “Visit Responsibly.” The pandemic brought an influx of summer visitors, many of whom were first-timers in Steamboat, so the chamber shifted efforts toward informing visitors how to be responsible guests.
The chamber apportioned 75% of its budget toward destination management, with the other 25% going toward destination promotion.
Typically, the chamber doesn’t spend much money on media during July and August because those are the summer months when tourists are already here, but this summer the chamber wants to invest heavily on communicating ways that visitors can leave smaller and better footprints in the community. The chamber lists wildfire prevention, wildlife conservation and leaving small ecological footprints as top priorities for visitors.
“This is a significant shift in how we are spending our resources,” said Laura Soard, marketing director at the Steamboat Springs Chamber.
Soard explained that “kindness” in the context of the new slogan includes both environmental and social awareness. She said she wants to encourage visitors to be mindful of how they affect the land and the people, especially service industry workers.
“We’re really looking at how can we balance the needs of our community with local quality of life and with our strong visitor economy,” Soard said.
The chamber plans to use targeted digital marketing toward people in Houston and Chicago, dubbed “fly markets” since flights frequent those two cities from Yampa Valley Regional Airport, as well as people whose internet browsing tendencies suggest they may likely visit Steamboat Springs. The goal would be to lure current and potential visitors to a landing page featuring a “Kindness Floats the Boat” home screen with links to information on activities and ways to fit in with the land and community.
The new design for the chamber’s website is already live.
Soard also says the chamber wants to direct visitors toward areas that aren’t used as often as popular spots like Fish Creek Falls.
One of the chamber’s listed goals is to promote visitation during the shoulder seasons, to which City Council President Robin Crossan took issue.
“We’re hearing from our community that more is not better, anymore,” Crossan said, referring to the mud season traffic in town.
Crossan asked Soard how the chamber planned to get the community on the same page, and referenced the service excellence training provided for retail, hospitality and service staff in town. Alexis Herman, marketing and administrative coordinator for the chamber, who manages the service excellence training program, said the chamber plans to add a module to the training that reflects the new slogan and communication priorities.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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