2014 Annual Report

Mission: To enhance the economic vitality of Breckenridge in support of the community's unique character and quality of life
  • CHAIRMAN REPORT
  • CEO REPORT
  • BOARD OF DIRECTORS
  • BTO COMMITTEES
  • MANAGEMENT
  • MARKETING
  • SOCIAL / CONTENT
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • SALES
  • EVENTS
  • WELCOME CENTER
  • BCR/VACATION ROOST
  • BUSINESS SERVICES
  • FINANCE


In 2014, the Breckenridge Tourism Office (BTO) achieved a number of critical milestones and broke performance records that culminated with high guest visitation levels and generated a significant increase in town tax revenue.

We conducted an in-depth strategic review that resulted in a number of important objectives for the BTO.

Highlights included:

  • Successful transition from a resort chamber structure to a destination-marketing organization
  • A commitment to our committee structure as a primary mechanism for Board input to the BTO team
  • A thorough re-evaluation of the roles and responsibilities of the Board and the BTO team
  • An intense focus on financial performance to put the BTO in excellent financial shape
  • A commitment to assist the town and local businesses in making thoughtful customer-based decisions

The BTO Board of Directors would also like to extend a special thanks to the BTO team and Lucy Kay for their excellent performance and leadership in directing all our customer-facing initiatives in 2014.

Richard Sosville,
2014 Chairman of the Board


Dear Breckenridge business community and stakeholders,

Thank you for your support of the Breckenridge Tourism Office (GoBreck) during 2014, our first year as a destination-marketing organization. You are a tremendous community of passionate, involved citizens who took a well-calculated leap of faith on this new organization and business model.

In April, Mountain Travel Symposium, provided the optimal showcase for Breckenridge to 1,200 industry leaders and buyers of mountain travel. And Breckenridge showed beautifully with legendary spring snow conditions and the epic Valhalla Gala at the Riverwalk Center — which is still receiving raves in MTS circles! Kudos to Donna Horii for leading the community team in this massive production.

Summer 2014 saw Breckenridge business rebounding to former record levels. Retail and restaurant sectors did exceptionally well. Scott Fortner along with Steven Stoker and Jesse Unruh matched by Rachel Zerowin and her team of bloggers, all worked diligently reflecting what our customers love most about Breckenridge back into the marketplace with creativity and authenticity that few places can rival.

Quintessential Breckenridge was perhaps most evident in our steady stream of special events. Large and small, zany or Breck-traditional, events are always a cornerstone of Breckenridge branding.

Sandy Metzger and Gavin Dalgleish evidently do not sleep. They delivered unique, high-energy events appealing to a diverse array of spectators and media. Ullr Fest Shotski, Snow Sculpture, July 4th Parade and Oktoberfest are just some of the highlights attracting record national and international press, as well as, overloading social media networks with awestruck visitors’ shared photography.

Bill Wishowski along with Jen Morgan work hard helping the business community anticipate upcoming lodging forecasts, changing market trends and local issues which may impact business needs. Once our visitors arrive, Jessica Jones and her team at the Welcome Center keep a finger on the pulse of guests’ needs and provide valuable information and sincere guest service.

Breckenridge Ambassadors are integral in helping us maintain all of these intricate connections.

Keeping track of all of us is Deb Neyland, our organizational maestro and handler, along with our accounting manager, Cindy Yarmowich, administering our financial reporting.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our dedicated Board of Directors and committee members. They give a great deal of their time and expertise to this organization. Fortunately, most will continue in their roles through 2015 providing continuity in our forward momentum.

Lastly, we greatly appreciate the support of our mayor, town council and town staff. We are entrusted with public funds and take that responsibility very seriously. You will find our results in this 2014 Annual Report.

Thank you for inviting me back to Breckenridge in April 2014. Working with all of you is a privilege and my pleasure.

Lucy Kay
CEO/President
Breckenridge Tourism Office
dba GoBreck


Chairman

Richard Sosville
Term through 6/15/17
Vice Chair
Rob Neyland
Breckenridge Associate Real Estate
Partner/Associate Broker
Term through 6/15/16

Secretary/Treasurer
Jeff Cospolich
Vice President/General Manager
c/o Great Western Lodging
Term through 6/15/17

Ginny Vietti

Grand Lodge on Peak 7/Breck Grand Vacations
BGV Marketing Services
Term through 6/15/17

Dick Carleton
Storm Restaurants
Managing Partner
Term through 6/15/16

Bruce Horii
c/o Beaver Run Resort
Director of Sales and Marketing
Term through 6/15/16

Steve Lapinsohn
Owner - Breckenridge Ski Enterprises
Term through 8/15/16

Phillip “Phil” Metz
Director of Marketing
Breckenridge Ski Resort representative
*Appointment by BSR

Wendy Wolfe
Breckenridge Town Council representative
*Appointed by town council



* Rob Neyland transitioned from Secretary/Treasurer to Vice Chair - September 2014

* Ginny Vietti replaced Erin Gigliello - Station manager TV8 Summit - May 2014

* Steve Lapinsohn replaced Andrew Zeiset - GM Wyndham Vacation Rentals - September 2014

* Phillip Metz replaced Keiran Cain - Director of Marketing and Sales BSR - September 2014

 


BTO Committees - 2014

Executive Committee:

  • Chairman - Richard Sosville
  • Vice Chair - Rob Neyland
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Jeff Cospolich
  • BTO CEO/President - Lucy Kay

Marketing Committee:

  • Chair - Ginny Vietti
  • BTO Board Representative -
    Richard Sosville
  • BTO Board Representative -
    Jeff Cospolich
  • BSR Representative - Morgan Bast
  • Undertone - Delia Deocampo
  • Yoga Magazine Productions -
    Juli Rathke
  • Visit Breck - Christine Berwyn
  • BTO Marketing Director -
    Scott Fortner
  • BTO CEO/President - Lucy Kay

Finance Committee:

  • Chair - Jeff Cospolich
  • Vice Chair - Rob Neyland
  • InRange Systems - Mark Martin-Wiliams
  • BTO Staff: Director of Accounting -
    Cindy Yarmowich
  • BTO Director of Operations -
    Bill Wishowski
  • BTO CEO/President - Lucy Kay

Business Services Committee:

  • Chair - Kathy Christina
  • BTO Board Representative - Bruce Horii
  • BTO Board Representative -
    Steve Lapinsohn
  • Station Manager - TV8 Summit -
    Erin Gigliello
  • BTO Director of Business Services -
    Jennifer Morgan
  • BTO Director of Operations -
    Bill Wishowski
  • BTO CEO/President - Lucy Kay

Breckenridge Events Committee:

  • Chair - BTO Board Representative -
    Dick Carleton
  • BTO Board Representative -
    Wendy Wolfe
  • Town of Breckenridge Representative -
    Kim Dykstra
  • Breckenridge Cultural Arts
    Representative - Heather Pease
  • BSR Representative -
    Jordan Cole-Rehfeldt
  • BSR Representative - Peter Osorio
  • BTO Marketing Committee Representative -
    Scott Fortner
  • BTO Representative - Sandy Metzger
  • BTO Representative - Gavin Dalgliesh
  • BTO CEO/President - Lucy Kay




CEO/President
Lucy Kay

VP/Director of Operations/Business Analyst
Bill Wishowski

Director of Marketing
Scott Fortner

Director of Sales
Donna Horii

Director of Events
Sandy Metzger

Director of Business Services
Jennifer Morgan

Director of Accounting
Cindy Yarmowich

Marketing Manager
Steven Stoker

Public Relations Manager
Rachel Zerowin

Sales/Service Manager
Angela Wirth

National Sales Manager
Stacy Long

Event Manager
Gavin Dalgliesh

Content Marketing Coordinator
Jessie Unruh

Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Deb Neyland

Welcome Center Management:
Jessie Jones - Manager
Kate Christopher - Supervisor

Information Specialists​:
Sharon Trumbore
Meagan Pierson
Priscilla Larson
Beth Brennan
Rebecca Pechinski

Focus: To inspire, inform and encourage people about the Breckenridge brand with an approach integrating PR, social media and advertising.

Travel Planning Research

With new technology traveler's vacation planning process has become increasing complicated. The Marketing team worked to create a more defined outline of the travel planning process of their visitors. Below are a few charts that help to outline the funnel of where our efforts fit into the travelers planning cycle.



The Breckenridge Experience

2014’s efforts started a shift that showcase the experience of Breckenridge via real people, with real perspectives. Efforts that are scalable across event promotions, print and digital advertisements, content efforts, social media messaging, and much more. These pieces generate two- and three-way conversations that convey the locals’ and guests’ emotional connections to Breckenridge. Best of all, it can showcase the real Breckenridge to the inexperienced and inspires the lapsed visitor to return.

Below are a few highlights of 2014's marketing success:

International Travel

Expanded 'Breckenridge' brand internationally behind successfully launched marketing campaigns in foreign markets: United Kingdom, Mexico City and Brazil

  • 2014 also saw a .5 night increase in average length of stay for rooms booked, partly attributed to international guests

Fall Initiative

Launched beginning of long-term 'shoulder season' growth strategy with a fall focused marketing plan and media buy

  • Saw increased media coverage for fall in Breckenridge as well as significant increases in lodging room nights

Smater Digital Advertising

90% of digital advertising focused on audience finding aka “Programmatic targeting” — the right people at the right time (examples here)

  • Saw click through and view through rates almost double as well as an increase in organic search traffic to our website

Fan Generated Content

Video & social ads sourced from user-generated social content, including photos, video, text or tweets (Example)

  • Trippled our hashtag use on social media and with a reach of 12.4 million with user generated Breckenridge content

Partnered with third party group to produce new Vacation Planner Guide

more cost effective solution to producing vacation planner

New Website

Redesigned gobreck.com updating the content to tell a story tailored to the visitors experience on a redesigned responsive platform

  • shifted the focus on our site from a listings based Resort Chamber to a consumer focus
  • Webtrafic increased 18% in 2014 compared to 2013
  • The new site rolled over in Early December, the improvements directly affected traffic as can be seen below for that time period



Content marketing and Social Media played a critical roll in our marketing efforts of 2014. Using a combination of social media platforms allowed the marketing team to share authentic, targeted and sharable content quickly and effectively to very specific audiences.

BreckConnection Blog

Our Blog offered a channel for our team of local bloggers to tell genuine stories about the Breckenridge community. We were able to use this content in our advertising across all platforms (Paid search, digital dislay, native advertising, social and more).

  • Blog traffic more than doubled over 2013, without taking away traffic from our main website or other platforms

Video Content

Video became a major component of social advertising and general posts. We found that some of our most successful posts were from videos 

  • Gobreck's social outlets saw tens of thourands of video views in their social media campaigns across a varety of social platforms.

Targeted Ads

We dialed in specific custom audiences to get a better return on our social goals. The ads were more targeted then they ever have been.

  • This lead to increased increased engagement in all of our advertising and a 1% increase in the our hashtag users and social media convercations (from 2,400 to over 7,500 with a 2014 total reach of 12.4 million)












 







 

Local Content Profiles

Established the "Who the Breck are you?" series — a new series that highlights the unique character of our community and locals

  • Over 13,108 Video Views (Facebook and YouTube) in 2014

Year Round Messages

All social posts are relative to what is best for the guest, meaning they were more evergreen, inspirational and engaging

  • Helped to build year round messaging for Breckenridge. 



























New Social Channels

We started Twitter and Pinterest advertising in 2014 and found great success with both

  • Single Twitter ad recieved over 6,500 clicks and 66 Retweets
  • Single Pinterest ad recieved over 500 repins and 171 clicks

Focus: Generate media coverage about Breckenridge through proactive initiatives, including targeted pitching, influencer tours, media hosting, strategic content/message development and visits to key markets.


By the Numbers:

Impressions: 1,923,797,171 — 49% increase over 2013
Assisted: 123 — 41% decrease over 2013*
Hosted: 70 — 4% increase over 2013

*decrease in in-bound inquiries is attributed to better content available for immediate media access (photos, video, tip sheets, blog, etc.)

Highlights:

  • Began a partnership with VOCA Public Relations for long-head, national and key market regional efforts
  • Integrated PR efforts with content and social programs for maximum coverage across multiple channels
  • Provided high-quality content that resulted in more coverage of our key messages
  • USA Pro Challenge - In 2014, several BTO staff members continued their roles as sub-committee directors — Bill Wishowski (operations), Scott Fortner (marketing) and Rachel Zerowin (public relations) — for the Breckenridge Local Organizing Committee. Efforts included negotiating more than 700 room nights and 900 meals for event staff and teams, buying/managing all media for the promotion of the Breckenridge stage, developing content and messaging for various marketing channels, pitching and placing media stories and managing volunteers associated with each sub-committee

Chicago Tribune

"an ideal family getaway"

Zagat

"none of the attitude... low-fuss, high-energy hangouts"
 
Al Jazeera America

"a winter wonderland"

Fox News Travel

"Cocktails mixed by expert mixologists."

"ski towns make for great summer destinations"

"sweet deal for 'culture Buffs'"

A sample of best-of stories highlighting town and off-slope activities:


Focus:
Promoting Breckenridge as a premier meeting, conference and group travel destination targeting spring and fall groups to fill the need periods


Our sales team works to bring together all of the components — lodging, town, ski resort and the arts and cultural aspects. By providing a greater level of conference services to attendees, we enhance their experience, generate more return visits and work to strengthen the town product.

Highlights and Successes:

  • Awarded the 2014 Colorado Meetings & Events Magazine Reader’s Choice “Best of” Destination Management Organization
  • Hosted Mountain Travel Symposium which featured more than 1,200 attendees in this prestigious tradeshow, representing mountain resort professionals and buyers, consisting of four components: Trade Exchange, Group Exchange, Forum and MICE
  • MTS generated more than $1.5 million in economic impact to Breckenridge in the final weeks of the ski season
  • Hosted the third annual Breckenridge Bridal Bash, showcasing Breck as a premier destination wedding location, securing sales from 95% of attendees
  • Wedding sales in 2014 generated more than $1.2 million in lodging revenue alone
  • Hosted the Destination Colorado Annual Client Appreciation Event with more than 125 meeting professionals, showcasing Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Golf Club and hosting an “Amazing Race” throughout downtown showcasing historic Main Street
  • Provided services for more than 13,000 conference attendees
  • Hosted Oktoberfest Client Appreciation event in Denver with approximately 75 meeting planner clients just prior to Oktoberfest here in Breck

Sales Missions:

Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder, Dallas and Chicago

  • Hosted 8 meeting planners for the International Snow Sculpture Client Event
  • Meeting industry shows attended and exhibited at: Meetings Industry Council (MIC), CSAE Annual, Destination Colorado Front Range Trade Show, University of Colorado Trade Show, Destination Marketing Association International, Destination Colorado Road Shows in Dallas and Chicago, Colorado Association of Non Profit Organizations, IMEX and SPINCon


Continued Programs

  • Conference Services continuing to improve, working with groups on team building, group activities, group dining, scavenger hunts and more
  • Group Welcome/Discount program offering discounts to meeting attendees and providing welcome signs in storefront windows by increased number of participating merchants
  • Quarterly Group Sales Meetings in Breckenridge — bringing together key players in town involved with group sales and educating all on unique venues and alternative group options, i.e. teambuilding activities
  • Quarterly Wedding Professionals Meeting — bringing together wedding professionals for networking and to showcase Breckenridge as a premier wedding destination
  • Quarterly newsletter distributed to all meeting planners, tour operators and travel agencies in our database — approximately 5,000
  • Offering information booths at registration areas for groups in house with town information (restaurants, retail, activities and happenings in town)
  • Updating and enhancing our "Uniquely Breck" packet of information on the various town-owned venues for group functions.


Focus:
The Events Department hosts innovative and unique events to drive the desination guest to Breckenridge. We also produce events to provide animation for the guests in town.

By the numbers:
Event Revenue: $413,836
Sponsorship Revenue: $78,700
Event Attendance: 160,325 (Includes 10,000 for USA Pro Challenge)

Ullr Fest - January 2014

  • Weeklong celebration to the Norse god of snow – festivities include: Ullympics, king and queen coronation, parade, bonfire, comedy show, pond hockey and more
  • New – Breck’s Got Talent – Locals came out to showcase their unique talents to a panel of judges
  • King and Queen Coronation hosted at the Riverwalk Center with live music provided by the Honey Gitters
  • Family Snow Day hosted at the Breckenridge Nordic Center to showcase the new lodge

Snow Sculpture - January 2014

  • Unique outdoor gallery of sculptures hand-carved from 23-ton blocks of snow
  • 15 teams, representing 10 countries
  • Expanded event footprint to provide better viewing for guests

Kingdom Days - June 2014

  • Celebration of Breckenridge’s heritage — a glimpse of the past in the spirt of today
  • Main Street Party, including Outhouse Races, a local band and family entertainment
  • Gold Prospectors of Colorado offered guests the opportunity to learn to pan for gold. Finders keepers!

Fourth of July celebration - July 2014

  • The famous Budweiser Clydesdales were on display for a week giving guests the opportunity to view these beautiful animals up close
  • MobileBrew Tour — beer enthusiasts were given the opportunity to take a tour of how beer is brewed at the Budweiser plant
  • Largest number of float entries (70+) in the Fourth of July Parade

Oktoberfest -
September 2014

  • Breckenridge Main Street converts to a mini-Munich to host its annual Oktoberfest
  • Three bluebird Colorado days contributed to the events record-breaking year
  • Local band The Pine Beatles provided an alternative to the traditional German music heard during Oktoberfest

Lighting of Breckenridge - December 2014

  • 300 Santas gathered on Main Street for the annual Race of the Santas, raising $3,600 for local charity “Adopt an Angel”
  • Festivities centered in the Blue River Plaza, including holiday-inspired entertainment, free hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas toys for the children
  • Guest appearance by Santa Claus to light the Town Tree to kick off the holiday season
     


By the Numbers:


Revenue: $133,206 — +17% to 2013
Visitation: 278,110 — +4.7% to 2013

To be the Most Inspiring Welcome Center in Colorado — The BWC hosts more than 280,000 visitors annually while representing Breckenridge as a mountain vacation destination. Area maps are the foundation of our visitor needs while the BWC Information Specialists assist visitors with what to see, eat, do, and how to get there. Visitors can reserve concerts, historical tours, recreational activities and lodgeing while visiting the Town of Breckenridge historical museum.

Highlights

  • Real-time connectivity to Riverwalk Box Office for ticket and event sales
  • Increased activity vendor revenue with flexible connectivity
  • Improved merchandising and retail sales


Central Reservations: Vacation Roost/Leisure Link


Lodging reservations booked via the Breckenridge Central Reservations Department have historically represented 2-3% of the total reservations booked for arrival in Breckenridge.

In October 2013, GoBreck initiated a 3-year agreement to work with Vacation Roost/Leisure Link (VR/LL) for the reservation fulfillment of Breckenridge marketing.

Marketing efforts designed to keep the Breckenridge name in front of consumers for 12 months of the year, increased penetration in existing markets, developed more international awareness, invested in research and increased activity in developing markets; enabled the VR/LL team to reverse downward booking trends experienced in the previous 5 years. In 2014, the VR/LL team was responsible for booking 49% more lodging revenue than was booked in 2013. Demonstrating the value of more marketing efforts related to destination markets, the VR/LL team experienced a 31% increase in the Average Daily Rate (ADR) of bookings made in 2014 (+$74). In addition to the positive gains made in ADR, reservations booked in 2014 averaged a .5 night increase in the average length of stay. Forward-looking economic conditions remain positive.


The Business Services Department is the liaison between the Town of Breckenridge and local businesses as well as between local businesses and BTO departments, providing an engaged and informed business community.



  • Shop Hop: All new 'Shop Hops' involving Breckenridge merchants starting on Black Friday, when more than 70 merchants offered specials and sales. Shoppers also used brochures and a map of participating locations to find the best specials in town. Additional Shop Hops followed
  • Hiring Tips For the Winter Season: Robert Gordman presented tips on finding and keeping great employees during the winter season
  • The 2014 BTO's Winter Preview hosted more than 100 Breckenridge community members. Representatives from the ski resort and town also presented
  • Summer and Winter Activity Vendor Expos: were successful, with more than 30 activity vendors presenting to approximately 100 attendees
  • Increased Business Outreach saw Breckenridge ambassadors hitting the streets to gather feedback from businesses on issues such as sign codes, marijuana and sidewalk sales to present back to Breckenridge Town Council
  • The Breckenridge Ambassadors hosted 11 mixers in 2014 with approximately 1,750 people in attendance, raising more than $6,000 for the Breckenridge Ambassadors Scholarship fund

Income

Town of Breckenridge 75% — $2,846,000
Special Events 11% — $418,000
Breckenridge Ski Resort 4% — $150,000
Welcome Center Sales 3% — $120,000
VR Profit Share 2% — $90,850
Misc. Income 2% — $68,273
OTA/MKT Surcharge 1% — $53,900
Advertising Co-op 1% — $22,000
Membership .5% — $8,000
Sales .5% — $1,000

Total Income: $3,778,023


Expense

Marketing/Internet 37% — $1,256,006
Special Events 22% — $743,735
Sales/Group 11% — $385,821
Welcome Center 8% — $291,413
Public Relations 8% — $282,189
Administration 8% — $271,157
Business Services 3% — $116,757
Central Reservations 3% — $109,564

Total expense: $3,456,942