Snowmass Tourism crafts new icon |

Snowmass Tourism crafts new icon

Snowmass Tourism created this icon, with four variations celebrating different area recreational activities, for merchants and retailers to use in their marketing. While the town marketing board isn't ready to make the icon Snowmass' new logo, businesses can start using it this summer, and Snowmass Tourism will use it on a discount pass.
Courtesy image |

Some village merchants will be using a new icon this summer representing the Snowmass brand.

Snowmass Tourism has been working on a new logo that businesses throughout the village can use, as one created several years ago has been used only by the department and Snowmass Hospitality, the lodging branch of Related Colorado. While the marketing board wasn’t ready last week to completely rebrand, members agreed that retailers could use the icon this summer on their advertising and other materials and that the discussion can continue.

There are four variations of the new icon, all of which read “Go Snowmass,” just as Snowmass Tourism’s website URL does. Board chairman John Borthwick questioned whether business owners would view the logo as a call to action to a destination other than their establishment, particularly online.

“If I’m paying for advertising for my establishment or my business, why would I want something competing with the call to action to come to me?” Borthwick said. “I think there’s some problematic situations around this particular mark.”

Other board members who liked the mark agreed that could be a problem. Scott Calliham said he liked the idea of a “badge of authenticity” for Snowmass businesses but wouldn’t want a competing message on his advertising.

The goal of creating a new logo is that it could be used by retailers villagewide, as businesses in cities such as Las Vegas do. Aspen Skiing Co. has said it will use the new icons when appropriate, and some restaurants and stores have already expressed their interest, said Rose Abello, Snowmass Tourism director.

“A lot of destinations use this very, very effectively to align and amplify their brand,” Abello said.

When the current logo, Snowmass Hospitality was just starting and gladly borrowed the identity. But other lodges had already established their identities and didn’t see adding the logo to their brand as useful, said board member Robert Sinko.

Board members pointed out that the same situation of just one business adopting the logo could occur again, or some retailers could opt out. The Viceroy Snowmass’ parent company has already turned the icon down for its national advertising, said board member John Quigley, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

“I don’t have a problem with the theory of it provided you can get the community to buy into it,” Borthwick said.

Changing a brand is a long, expensive process, Abello acknowledged. Board member Bob Purvis, who used to do branding professionally and helped with the creation of Snowmass’ current logo, had a similar cautionary take.

“Changing your brand is to be avoided whenever you can,” Purvis said. “Not only is it a big job, difficult to do, but it’s also walking away from — hopefully — some equity you built with the last one.”

Organizations can use visuals for different materials without altering their overarching brands, Purvis said, suggesting that Snowmass Tourism could integrate the new icons into its summer marketing without dropping its current logo yet.

“I think you can have both,” Purvis said. “My question is whether there’s ever going to be an overarching logo that everyone will use.”

For now, Snowmass merchants will have the option to use the new icon in their marketing this summer. One retailer wants to print them on T-shirts, Abello said. It will also run on a digital card offering discounts and specials from a variety of merchants that will be distributed at ticketed events this summer.

‘Mass Pass’

This summer, Snowmass Tourism is also launching a package deal called “The Mass Pass” that aims to make it easier and more affordable for guests to book multiple activities at once.

Visitors can buy a three-day or five-day pass and book activities like rafting trips, guided horseback rides, and gondola tickets online. Lodges, tour operators and Stay Aspen Snowmass, a local reservations firm, will be able to sell it, Abello said.

“I think this is gonna change the game for us because it will allow us to sell an actual product, a package,” Abello said. “This is a major step for us.”

“We’re very excited,” said board member Steve Santomo, of Destination Resorts. “This is something we think we can sell because it appeals to everyone.”

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