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Travel: Denver launches winter tourism bid

Denver’s zoo lights are a highlight of a winter visit to the Mile High City. Photo courtesy Denver Zoo.

Marketing campaign, hotel, restaurant deals aimed at boosting visits during slow season

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with residents of Albuquerque, Rapid City and Amarillo, Summit County locals will be wooed to visit Dener with $1 million ad blitz aimed at drawing tourists to the Mile High City during the heart of the winter season.

Alongside tourism and business officials, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the Mile High Holidays campaign at a press conference at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The campaign is a collaborative marketing program to increase the overall number of visitors to Denver in the traditionally slow period of November through January.

“Of course the holidays are a magical time of year, but they are also a critical time for many businesses in Denver,” Hancock said. “The Mile High Holidays campaign continues the City’s commitment to supporting and growing our local businesses by partnering with shopping districts and businesses to sell all of Denver to out-of-town visitors.”

The marketing promotion, valued at more than $1 million of paid and in-kind advertising, is designed to market Denver as the ultimate holiday vacation destination for the period of late November through New Year’s Eve fireworks and on to the end of the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in January.

Sponsored by VISIT DENVER, the City of Denver and more than two dozen other partners, the integrated marketing campaign reaching 24 markets includes radio and television commercials, direct mail, regional newspaper ads, regional magazine ads, outdoor billboards, RTD ads, and newspaper inserts, a dedicated website and social media promotions.  A total of $500,000 is being invested in the campaign, which through media partnerships and in-kind services will generate an advertising value of more than $1 million.

Mayor Hancock encouraged families in the Rocky Mountain region to come and see the Parade of Lights, attend White Christmas, ride horse-drawn carriages down the 16th Street Mall or Larimer Square, and view lighting spectacles such as Zoo Lights or the Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Lights.

The Mayor also encouraged visitors and residents to “shop local,” and support both Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Cherry Creek North as well as downtown shops while also patronizing local artists and craftsmen in neighborhoods such as the Art District on Santa Fe, Tennyson Street Cultural District, Antique Row, Old South Gaylord and South Pearl, among others.

“More than 45 Denver hotels are participating in the promotion by offering packages, including 29 hotels that have rooms for the ‘mile high’ price of $52.80,” said Bruce James, 2012 Chairman of VISIT DENVER.

This year, the website individually brands every week of the holiday period.

“We know the holidays are so busy, that many families have only one weekend of free time,” James said.  “So we arranged the website by date; by the week that you have free or have guests coming, and you can click one button and see all the various activities taking place for that time period.”

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