On the trail of new clients | AspenTimes.com

On the trail of new clients

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” One local man has taken promoting his business to new heights.

For the past two weeks, massage therapist and personal trainer Vince Contreras has been distributing bright pink fliers to hikers on Smuggler Mountain Road, announcing discounts on his bodywork offerings. Hikers also can expect to see Contreras on the Ute and Hunter Creek trails in the coming weeks.

He came up with the creative marketing technique after he realized that city laws prevent him from soliciting people at their homes or placing fliers on windshields.

“I thought, what’s a fair way to reach out to people? And I wanted a more relaxed approach,” Contreras said. “These are people who work out and are sore.”

Contreras hit the trail Tuesday with his wife, Jennie, and 4-month-old son, Caden. They handed out more than a dozen fliers.

“I have a family to support, and I need to get my name out there,” he said, adding that sending his message on the mountains was Jennie’s marketing idea. “I hike all over the city, and it’s a good workout, and at the same time, I can do this.”

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Contreras, who also works as a massage therapist at the Aspen Club and Spa and as a clerk at Bleeker Street Gym, started his business a few weeks ago. He specializes in Eastern and Western modalities, including Russian sports massage, trigger-point therapy, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, as well as Swedish, acupressure, structural massage and shiatsu.

Soon, Contreras will incorporate personal training into his business, offering a full menu of services. Contreras said the reactions from people have been positive. If they don’t want a flier, he said, they respectfully decline his offer.

“Everyone has been really nice. … If someone doesn’t want it, I don’t give it to them,” he said, adding that he uses good judgment when deciding whom to ask. “If they look like they are focusing or aren’t smiling, I don’t give it to them.”

While Contreras’ prospective clients have been receptive, the sales materials rub some hikers the wrong way.

“I don’t want a pamphlet when I’m hiking; no one wants trash on the mountain,” Smuggler hiker Kim Montgomery said Tuesday. “I could do that with my catering company, Catering by Kim, but I don’t.”

Another hiker agreed: “It’s kind of a bummer. It’s lame.”

Carolyn Sackariason’s e-mail address is csack@aspentimes.com.