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Mountain News: Park City boosting marketing to bikers



PARK CITY, Utah — Tourism officials in Park City think their biking trails are very good. But the marketing fell somewhat short. They intend to change that.

The Park Record reports that mountain biking this summer will be a much more dominant part of the resort's marketing focus. Just maybe Park City can cut into some of Moab's business.

"Park City has always been a bit of a cycling town, but the potential growth of cycling was untapped," said Charlie Sturgis, executive director of the local non-profit Mountain Trails Foundation. "Whether or not these increased marketing efforts work — well, I guess we'll see."

Terrible winter was still pretty good

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Last year was feast, and this year was famine as U.S. skier visits in the United States were down 15 per cent. The National Ski Areas Association reported 51 million skier and snowboarder visits, the lowest total since the winter of 1991-92. This compares with a record number of 60.5 million in 2010-2011.

Some were bigger losers than others. Vail Resorts reported a 24 per cent decline at Northstar and Heavenly, both in California, and a nine per cent decline at its four ski areas in Colorado.

Loss of skiers does not necessarily equate to a comparable loss in revenues. Vail Resorts did just fine in early winter, thanks to pre-season sale passes. The Aspen Skiing Co. also seems to have survived well enough.

Aspen had marginally better snow this year than many other Colorado resorts. Visits by season-pass holders, especially locals, dropped, but the destination business seems to have held up. Overall, skier visits dropped only 1.8 per cent at its four ski hills.

"Financially, we had a good year," said Jeff Hanle, spokesman for the company. The ski school, restaurants and hotels all had a good year.

Aspen trademarks the phrase "Defy Ordinary"

ASPEN, Colo. — "Defy Ordinary" is now a trademarked expression, owned by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

The Aspen Daily News explains that U.S. trademark regulations require owners to use or lose their branding phrase.

Steamboat has not made that mistake. It adopted "Champagne Powder" in 1968 and takes care to ensure that nobody poaches that expression. It has attorneys who regularly send cease-and-desist letters to anybody who uses it without connecting it to Steamboat.

Aspen's chamber trademarked the expression "Defy Ordinary" because the promotional organization wants to use that for branding for years to come. "We want to protect it and not have another resort use it," said Julia Theisen, vice president of sales and marketing.

The Aspen Skiing Co. has trademarked dozens of brands and slogans over the years. At one point, it trademarked "Epic" as it relates to providing facilities for skiing or snowboarding, but the company allowed it to lapse.