Inside the Chamber column: Colorado’s new regional branding
In 2018, the Colorado Tourism Office conducted workshops across the state to discuss how Colorado’s seven travel regions could be reimagined, not only to drive consumer awareness of the various landscapes and offerings of each region, but also to serve as meaningful platforms for regional marketing collaborations.
The necessity for this regional branding exercise became apparent through findings during the Colorado Tourism Roadmap project. Participants at various listening sessions throughout the state brought concerns that the seven geographically defined travel regions, like Southeast or Northwest, did little to provide travelers with insight of the amenities and activities found in those areas.
Colorado has a unique ability to offer travelers diverse experiences in every corner of the state. By identifying and defining the unique qualities of each area of the state into cohesive regional identities, Colorado will build its tourism industry’s competitive advantage by providing tourism partners with effective assets and collaborative marketing opportunities.
Eight newly branded regions capture the distinct attributes and experiences available to travelers. The borders of the regions are intentionally blurry. The intent of the regional map is to create meaning for consumers and foster industry collaboration; hence the identity bleeds into different parts of the state. It was not designed to result in competition amongst different parts of the state, but rather to foster collaboration.
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The eight regions are: Pioneering Plains in northeastern Colorado, Canyons and Plains in the southeastern corner, Denver & Cities of the Rockies, Pikes Peak Wonders, Mystic San Luis Valley, Mountains & Mesas incorporating Grand Junction and the southwest region, The Great West in the northwest including Steamboat Springs. Rockies Playground is where Glenwood Springs resides.
Rockies Playground encompasses multiple mountain ranges and is the only region that is located 100 percent in the Rocky Mountains. Its specific experiences unify it around a cohesive identity and appeal to travelers; one that has established it for iconic, world-class ski areas that combine luxury with family-friendly resorts in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Vail, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Winter Park and more. While winter sports are undoubtedly the main attraction here, this region offers a plethora of experiences including hot springs attractions, white water rafting and exploring historic mining towns. It goes without saying that this is an area where people come to play.
The regional brand identities serve to strengthen the destination experience by creating common themes. This means that destination marketing organizations (DMOs), such as Visit Glenwood Springs, local businesses and other stakeholders, can find their alignment with the brand and incorporate it into the experience. By aligning communications and experiences across all traveler touch points, each region has a powerful opportunity to create a strong, collective identity for their destination. Every local DMO, business and resident has a story to tell. Tell your story on social platforms using #rockiesplayground and #visitglenwood.
For more information about how you and your business can help strengthen the Rockies Playground and Visit Glenwood Springs brands, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Langer is director of tourism promotion for Visit Glenwood Springs, a department of Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. For more information checkout VisitGlenwood.com.
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