Glenwood to award tourism contract |

Glenwood to award tourism contract

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Who can best promote Glenwood Springs?

The Glenwood Springs City Council will decide Thursday, when it’s scheduled to award a contract for tourism promotion in 2009. The choices: the Glenwood Chamber Resort Association or someone else.

The chamber has held the contract for more than 20 years; it has never been put out to bids from other agencies, but in recent years, some city officials have questioned how the chamber spends the money.

The council awarded the $600,000 contract for 2008 in early 2007. The money represents most of the revenues from a 2.5 percent tax on short-term lodging in the city. Eighty percent of the revenue goes to tourism promotion; the other 20 percent goes to a fund governed by the city’s Financial Advisory Board.

Among the results of the 2007 effort was the promotional motto “Soak it all in.” The chamber paid an advertising company $30,000 in 2007 to do consumer research and help come up with the brand.

An analysis conducted by the chamber details its promotional efforts in 2007, along with lodging occupancy rates and increasing accommodations tax revenue.

Besides the new brand, a central reservations system was launched in June. It includes a website and phone system meant to provide seamless, one-stop shopping to visitors. It also tracks visitor demographics and sales data to use for marketing. Things like lodging, travel, ski tickets and pool passes are available through the system.

Between June and August, the system saw about $65,000 in business, according to the chamber.

The chamber also established a new photo library and video footage of the city in 2007, and it budgeted $37,500 for website redevelopment in 2007.

Public relations efforts resulted in media attention, including a PBS documentary on Glenwood Springs, a story in SKI Magazine, an article in AAA Encompass magazine, a segment on the Travel Channel, and articles in Alaska Air magazine, USA Weekend, Disney’s Family Fun magazine and People magazine.

“In 2008 and into the next decade, the opportunity exists to create new visitor segments, in higher demographic strata, with increased vacation spending potential,” the analysis said.

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