One of the greatest advertising campaign slogans to market our ski hills since the infamous “Uncrowded by Design” has to be the new Snowmass slogan, “Take a closer look at Snowmass. What you don’t know may surprise you.” Amen! Nothing has ever been uttered so seductively with so much obvious truth. It leaves the consumer curious and clamoring for knowledge. It can be applied to so many everyday situations by replacing the noun. Broccoli, the sun, a gay lifestyle perhaps. Take a closer look at your belly button.
I really don’t know why we have to make up a new slogan every year. There seems to be some need in the marketing world to re-identify with the people who probably already know and love our ski areas. New skiers will try us if they think they can afford us. Cheap prices on hotels.com might be a better sales and marketing plan than a new slogan. Take a closer look at $95 per night including lift tickets. Now that might surprise me with full beds across the village.
I make up slogans all the time myself, so if the SkiCo or the town of Snowmass marketing department needs any help, I am available for low six-figures. How’s this? “Snowmass. A great place to sleep.” I believe that slogan says it all. Snowmass is the quiet little sister to the rowdy nightlife of Aspen. An excellent place to relax. And we have hotels we’d like to sell! With beds! For sleeping! Get it? Snore.
Speaking of hotels, Snowmass now has two new ones. We have just completed a $50 million renovation of the Silver Tree and Wildwood hotels, plus the Snowmass Conference Center. We now have four new bars; two or three new restaurants (who’s counting?) and more high-end and low-end hotel rooms than you can sleep in — ever. We are even adding a “Sky bar” type swimming scene this summer open to the public and ready for action. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean? Get a room. (We have them!)
I don’t know if this is as big as the “renaissance” of Snowmass that we were experiencing a few years back courtesy of the SkiCo and Intrawest — or maybe it was Related. Who can remember the claims of so many renaissance artists when they have shoveled so much, uh, art on us? Just as when we constructed Base Village and the remodels started occurring to properties all over town, the addition of the new restaurants and bars has caused new interiors to appear in old establishments.
Zane’s Tavern now looks like an English pub with red woods throughout. Its renaissance is beautiful except for the same ugly faces that fill the bar. I’m not talking about you, unless you think that I am, in which case you shouldn’t be in bars. Okay, I’m kidding. You can take your ugly mug to the bar. That’s what beer is for. Anyway, Zane’s is still the same, only better.
I have another slogan especially for Related: “Snowmass, a great place to scrape!” Most of the properties Related owns are tear downs. The $50 million renovation of these two lodges was an anomaly. Are we really going to spend that much on the Snowmass Center? The faith in the product Wasserman Real Estate turned out was based on that company’s exceptionalism — and The Westin has turned out to be exceptional. However, the new renaissance of Snowmass (and please don’t attempt to use that word in a slogan ever again) will require something weird that hasn’t been attempted since Bill Janss packed up and headed to Ketchum: It is vision and planning. It is regard for something besides total bottom-line thinking. It will have to encompass some sort of true renaissance, something that matters. Something bigger than a real estate scam, which Snowmass is the victim of, and has always played a part in. Transforming Snowmass Village into a functioning town worthy of the community that supports it should be the goal.
The new Westin is a fantastic improvement to Snowmass Village. It is the opening volley in the Snowmass of the future. It will drag the town out of the Great Recession and into the world-class resort realm that has eluded it the last few years. Snowmass is shedding the chains of mediocrity for the pleasure of exceptionalism. The pleasure of exceptionalism? Cool slogan — I’m talking really low six-figures, guys.
Suffice to say that Snowmass is on the move. I would advise everyone to make the trip up here and try one of the new eateries we have acquired, or have a drink in one of our ugly bars. Snowmass is taking pride in itself.
In other words, it’s time to “Take a closer look at Snowmass.” What you don’t know will fill volumes.
Contact Johnny Boyd at email@example.com.