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New Castle hopes to improve its marketing strategy

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – The Town Council on Tuesday got an earful about possible ways to market New Castle’s amenities, attractions and access to the great outdoors, in order to increase tourism-related revenue for local businesses and the town’s bottom line.

“New Castle is in competition with every town and city in the world,” declared marketing specialist Ann Stuckey, wife of council member Patrick Stuckey and president of the AJ Design and Associates firm.

In a presentation that lasted close to an hour, Stuckey took the councilors through a range of possible strategies for marketing, beginning with a redesign of the town’s website.



“All other marketing collateral will be directed to the new website, which will become the main marketing tool,” she proposed.

Stuckey has not been hired by the town, noted Town Clerk Melody Harrison.



“It was informational only,” she told the Post Independent on Wednesday, adding that Stuckey was invited to give a presentation by Councilor Bob Gordon, who has taken a particular interest in beefing up the town’s marketing presence.

Should the Town Council decide to embark on a marketing campaign, Harrison said, “It will be put out to an RFP,” (request for proposal) to give other marketing firms a chance to bid for the work.

In her presentation, Stuckey suggested the town should form marketing partnerships with nearby communities and other entities, in order to share both the costs and the benefits that might come with a broader-based marketing strategy.

“There’s no reason why we can’t get partnerships with the oil companies, the airports, with anybody,” she said hopefully.

As an example of the work her firm has done, Stuckey urged the council members to check out the city of Aspen’s Parks and Recreation website (aspenrecreation.com).

But it is important, Stuckey said, for the town to remain separate from the local business community, which she said must do its own marketing either individually or as a combined effort with the town’s chamber of commerce.

“What the town does is, it enhances their business,” she said of the relationship between government and commerce.

Town administrator Tom Baker is expected to write up a report on Stuckey’s presentation for review at a future Town Council meeting, along with suggestions as to how the town should proceed.

In other action the council:

• Gave final approval to a moratorium on the sale or public use of marijuana recreationally. The code, which in part brought New Castle’s ordinance into agreement with state law, was in response to passage last year of Amendment 64 of the Colorado Constitution. That voter-approved amendment made the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana legal for those aged 21 years or older. The constitutional amendment included provisions for local governments to opt out of compliance.

• Agreed to become a full, paying member of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC), with annual membership dues of $2,500. New Castle had previously paid partial membership dues of $1,000.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council decided to accede to a personal request from AGNC Director Scott McInnis, asking that the town move up to full membership.

Baker explained in a memo that McInnis, “in order to entice Council” to go for full membership, “pointed out that AGNC received a $50,000 grant from DOLA (the state Department of Local Affairs), which AGNC will use to provide its members with $3,000 matching grants.”

Before voting to approve the increase in the dues payments, council members discussed possible uses for the unexpected windfall of a grant from the AGNC.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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