Aspen stimulus package
July 2, 2009
Recognizing the necessity to provide value-oriented incentives to potential visitors in this recessionary economy, the principal groups who serve Aspen’s winter tourism industry need to begin meeting for the purpose of creating compelling promotions. What is important to consumers can be summed up in one word: value. And value, these days, cuts across all socioeconomic lines, for even the wealthy want to save money. It is therefore critical that the Aspen Skiing Co., the city of Aspen, Stay Aspen/Snowmass, Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Aspen’s lodging, restaurant and retail sectors join together to direct their marketing toward meeting these expectations.
Here are a few possible suggestions that might help attract visitors to our world-class ski destination:
Create a ski pass promotion that gives visitors better value, perhaps by offering a pass that, for the price of a certain amount of single-day lift tickets, entitles them to a longer period of unlimited skiing. This would not only feel like a savings, but would also be an incentive to return during the season to utilize the pass.
Work with the airlines and ground transportation companies to put together travel packages in concert with Aspen promotions.
Use the 1 percent lodging tax or create a pool to fund gift cards that can be distributed and promoted with these packages. These cards would be good for Aspen restaurants and retail. They would be a great incentive to those considering Aspen for a vacation and, at the same time, pump money directly back into the Aspen economy. Imagine a visitor having the opportunity to spend $500 at any restaurant or store in town.
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These are just a few ideas and are just a starting point. What’s important is that we begin, and begin we must. With the ski season soon upon us and the economy showing no signs of recovery, attracting visitors will certainly be more difficult. We need to work together immediately to build incentives to making Aspen this year’s ski destination.
Mark Richards Fine Outerwear