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Weekends were made for Glenwood

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Glenwood Springs is the perfect weekend getaway; visitors can relax in the famous Hot Springs Pool, revel in festivals and enjoy restaurant dining in an affordable, casual and fun atmosphere.That’s a general idea of the most effective marketing concepts for attracting tourists to Glenwood Springs, according to the second phase of a three-part study by Kelton Research.This phase of the study conducted 613 “online interviews” with people along Colorado’s Front Range – where most of Glenwood Spring’s visitors can be found. The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association commissioned the study to help develop marketing strategies to attract tourists. The first phase looked into people’s perceptions of Glenwood Springs, the second identifies concepts, marketing positions, amenities and offerings that should increase tourism, and the third will offer a new brand image for marketing the city as a destination. The second phase also evaluated which messages and concepts would appeal most to different demographics based on things such as age group and income.”It gives us a valuable tool to look at how the available universe of visitors breaks down by segment to get the right message to the right person at the right time,” the chamber’s Vice President of Tourism and Marketing Kate Collins said. About 27 percent of potential visitors to Glenwood Springs either aren’t aware the town exists or hasn’t “heard any real detail” about it, the study found. Collins said this is probably because those people are new to Colorado. The lack of awareness could mean great opportunity for the chamber, which wants to increase tourism – especially the shoulder seasons – and get people to visit more often and stay longer, she added.Participants indicated they most wanted to visit in June. July and August are the peak months for tourism. In 2006, July led the year in accommodations tax revenue at $94,154. August came in second at $87,001 and June followed at $75,318. The lowest month was January at $34,447. The yearly accommodations tax revenue totals have increased from $491,814 in 2002 to $676,346 in 2006, according to the chamber.In July and August, Glenwood Springs is fairly full, Collins said, so in addition to keeping that core of customers, the city should try to build on tourism in the shoulder seasons.Other main findings of the study include: Emphasizing the “perfect weekend getaway” message is far more attractive than authenticity or small town appeal. The Hot Springs Pool is by far the most appealing activity. Interest in outdoor mountain parks is strong – particularly among women and families with children – but is less of a motivator than the pool.For seasonal events and activities, the study found that outdoor year-round street festivals “resonate strongly across all audience groups and are the best at motivating consumers to make the trip to Glenwood Springs.” Things like outdoor summer movies, an outdoor theater festival, throwback days and farmers markets are also strong.At night, consumers want casual dining at small-town prices. Kid-friendly activities and relaxing bars and pubs are nice, but not as powerful motivators to visit.”Consumers first want relaxation, then affordability,” the study states. “Everything else is secondary.”The study further suggests marketing should highlight a casual, affordable and fun atmosphere that is away from the crowds found at larger resort mountains.”Consumers aren’t coming to Glenwood Springs to be seen or to people watch,” it says. “They want to de-stress and recharge.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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