What do you do with a ski resort after the show melts?
Short answer: Plenty.
Idaho’s 18 ski properties don’t close up shop just because the slopes are bare. Once the last of the white stuff is working its way towards a river drainage, wildflowers take over and beckon you to come play! You can attend a music festival, ride a chair life, scream down a hill on a mountain bike, take a hike, take some amazing photographs, be one with a trail horse, or cast your gaze towards the cosmos. Idaho’s ski resorts make summer fun in the mountains just as great as winter skiing, sledding, boarding, skating, and warming up in the lodge!
Mother’s Day is generally the kick-off date for the summer season at most resorts, and Bogus Basin, Schweitzer, Silver Mountain, Soldier Mountain, Sun Valley, and Tamarack have events planned.
You can visit the website of your favorite hill or see what’s happening around the state with a visit to the Idaho Ski Area Association’s event page.
Most of the resorts have Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, and following is an excellent way to find out what’s happening. And follow VisitIdaho.org and @VisitIdaho to find out all the great events happening at lower elevations.
It’s time to take action to get the early-bird registration price for the Idaho Conference on Recreation & Tourism. The cost of registration will change from $150 to $200 on April 1, and even though it’s $200 well spent, it’s always nice to save money.
The Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism will be in Idaho Falls at the Shilo Inn May 7-9. Keynote speakers include speakers: Hollywood Asst. Director Kenny Chaplin; Ben Vadasz and Wiliam Bakker from Think! Social Media; John Thornton, Destination Marketing Specialist at Google; and Randy Gravatt, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.
The field trips to the Museum of Idaho; Yellowstone Bear World; or zipline, hot spring, or ATV action are limited, so early registrants have the extra bonus of joining the activity they want.
See the complete agenda at http://bit.ly/14onbI4; to register on-line https://etouches.com/ICORT2013; and follow ICORT developments on Twitter at @ICORT #ICORT and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/idahoconference
Americans love to travel, and they are optimistic about their ability to travel in 2013. According to a January report, Americans travelers averaged 4.6 trips purely for leisure in 2012, the same number as they took in 2011. But 34.5 percent of the survey respondents plan to travel more this year than last; just 27.5 percent had the same expectation in January of 2012. The report—“The State of the American Traveler”—is the product of a survey conducted every six months by Destination Analysts, Inc. The survey defined a “leisure trip” a journey of 50 miles or more one-way from home.
“The percent of leisure travelers expecting to travel more in the upcoming year (compared to the previous year) is approaching its highest level since before the 2008 economic meltdown” according to the survey’s results, although gas prices and other financial limitations will heavily influence whether these expectations are realized.
In Idaho, early indicators show that lodging tax collections are up 8.5 percent for the first two months of 2013; website analytics for visitidaho.org have visitation to the site at 12.68 percent over the same January and February 2012.
Where will this optimism take travelers in 2013? When asked to list the five domestic destinations they would reasonably expect to visit in 2013, the most named cities are:
- Las Vegas
- Orlando/Disney World
- New York City
- Washington, DC
While no Idaho city made the short list, there is some excellent news in the report: 60.0 percent of those taking leisure trips will “visit friends or relatives”; we know from a 2008 Longwood’s International study that the number one reason people report that they visit Idaho is to see friends and family.
Why buck the trend? Call you friends and family and invite them for an visit!
It’s a new year and it’s also the time we invite the managers of Idaho Travel Council grants to Boise to learn about new products, rule changes, the state’s marketing plan for the new year, and most importantly, to meet and mingle with their counterparts from around the state.
We detail co-operative opportunities that leverage state, grant, and private monies to promote the state. With Idaho Tourism’s non-generic call-to-action on the top half of a page, two or three complimentary messages bring home the point that Idaho is a unique place to visit!
Details of the advertising opportunities as well as staff presentations have been posted on the ITC grant’s Cooperative Marketing Opportunities webpage.
It’s been a wonderful season for ski resorts this year–by December 26, all resorts were open. Precipitation-to-date ranges from a low of 100% of average to Tamarack’s whopping 165%. Here’s how things stand on December 31 according to the National Resources Conservation Service:
Basin-wide percent of Average Precipitation YTD
Did you know that you can win ski-related merchandise and ski packages by visiting www.idahowinter.org? Check out the weekly prizes from the “My ID” promotion, and watch some gnarley video from Idaho Ski Areas Association.
Planning for the 2013 Idaho Conference on Recreation & Tourism is starting to heat up. The theme of this year’s conference, which will be held in Idaho Falls May 7-9, is “Be Unforgettable.”
The format of larger, all-attendee presentations with fewer break-out sessions fared very well in the post-conference survey of attendees, so we plan to continue that configuration. Last year’s speakers were absolutely outstanding, and this year’s line-up will be even better. But no hints yet.
In 2012, we had businesses calling as late as the week prior to the conference wanting to exhibit, so in order to not disappoint, we are getting the conference on everyone’s schedule early. Act very soon if you would like to sponsor one of the conference events.
Right now, most sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. The costs to exhibit is $400, which includes one registration. Sponsorships amounts start at $400 for the Tweet-Up on May 7 and increase to $2500 for the Governor’s Award Luncheon on May 9.
Diane Norton will be working with speakers, exhibitors and sponsors this year. Please feel to contact her @ email@example.com
If you are thinking of attending, early registration is only $150 (not yet available). We will post developments in this blog, so keep reading. You can also follow developments via these social media:
ICORT is a great way to meet your tourism peers from around the state, share problems and solutions, and keep on top of what’s going on in the industry. Save the date!
Guest blogger Dave Kulis, Director of Sales & Marketing at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, needs our help today and tomorrow to keep Sandpoint on top…time is of the essence!
As most of you know, Sandpoint, Idaho is in Powder Magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown competition. We’ve made it to the FINAL FOUR in North America, with Sandpoint now going head to head with Nelson/Rosslund, BC to make it to the finals. To vote, you must “like” Powder Magazine on Facebook and visit: http://www.facebook.com/#!/powdermag
There are two resorts from the US in the final four and 2 from Canada. So, this is much bigger than just Sandpoint! Now’s the time to step it up and vote American! Spread the word via social media, call your friends, etc!
You can vote once per 24 hours per internet enabled device. So grab those cell phones, computers, i-pods, i-pads, etc. and lend your support. As of this writing, Nelson/Rosslund has a substantial lead due to strong tourism efforts by Tourism BC, the Powder Highway, etc.
Thanks for your support!
Even it’s not the end of the year, it is time to plan for late winter/early spring marketing campaigns—Valentine’s Day falls at just the right time to promote a get-away package to shake off cabin fever. Lodging properties that combine an event and/or attraction with lodging are encouraged to get the package on VisitIdaho.org
Go to VisitIdaho.org–when you hover over the words “Places to Stay,” it brings up “Vacation Deals” conveniently located directly under your cursor! Looking through what is currently available may spark some ideas.
If you would like to get this information more quickly, follow VisitIdaho on Facebook at www.facebook/visitidaho and Twitter at on @visitidaho
The Division of Tourism’s marketing plan for FY 2012-13 was recently has been posted on-line. This plan details the State’s overall tourism program and identifies the main marketing components that support the industry on a year-round basis. It provides some detail into how the lodging taxes are used to support and grow the tourism industry that is so important to the state.
We have recently learned that our friend Gretchen Anderson is VP of Marketing at central Idaho’s Pommerelle Mountain Resort.
We also have news from the re-energized Soldier Mountain Ski Area: Don & Kristi Schiermeier are the general managers for the resort, and the excellent folks at Red Sky Pubic Relations are on-board to keep us on-top of news and developments.
Our congratulations to both properties for snagging some worthy Idaho PR pros to keep us in-the-know.