Minneapolis, MN, Jan. 17--Colorado Ski CountryUSA (CSCUSA), along with the Colorado Tourism Board and United Airlines, inan effort to promote Colorado skiing, is spearheading a three-yearmarketing campaign in the Minneapolis area that is leaving some Midwest skiarea operators hopping mad. In particular, one TV spot, created by CSCUSA'sad agency, depicts two young men who build a jump out of hay with a voiceover inviting Midwesterners to try some real skiing and real snow inColorado with a two-for-one offer. The scene is actually footage from therecent Warren Miller movie "50." The two young diehards, Luke and AdamSchrab, set the jump up in Wisconsin during a no-snow spell.
But, a few Midwest resort operators didn't like CSCUSA's take on thefootage. Leigh Nelson, President of Welch Mountain, Minn., said, "Sure thead is funny, but it's a real slap in the face to the breeder areas of theMidwest. Besides, we're not putting together ads here talking about thegouge marks Midwest skier's equipment returns with after spending theholidays in Colorado. The industry is just too small for that type ofthing."
John Frew, president/CEO of CSCUSA said, "I grew up skiing in the Midwestso the last thing on our minds was to steal skiers from its slopes. Infact, we thought we'd actually help the region's operators by gettingpeople to think about skiing." In the campaign's first week, UnitedAirlines received hundreds of phone calls and reported a good conversionrate, which according to Frew, confirms the fact that the TV spot isworking to get people, especially lapsed skiers, back to the slopes.
"It's funny and creative and is certainly getting noticed," said AmyAugustine of Afton Alps, Minn., "But we're tired of people always gunningfor the brown-ground scenario. Of course we don't have the terrain or snowthat Colorado does, but we do have snow and lots of snowmaking and Coloradois just biting the hand that feeds it. The offer of a two-for-one ski tripto Colorado could certainly stand on its own without attacking Midwestskiing."
"The main point of that TV spot was to show that Midwesterners will go toany length to ski," said Charles Mayfield, VP, marketing at CSCUSA. "It isa testament to skiing and to Midwest skiers in particular."