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Million Dollar Tourism Marketing Campaign Touts Denver & Front Range As Holiday Destinations

November 16, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other tourism business leaders from across the Front Range at a press conference at the Garner Galleria Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex to kick off the tenth annual Mile High Holidays campaign. 

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 through National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in January.

 Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined Crumpet the elf and Front Range Tourism leaders to launch the 2013 Mile High Holidays advertising campaign, an integrated $1 million marketing campaign to promote Denver and Front Range communities as holiday destinations. (PRNewsFoto/VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau)In 2013, the holiday promotion was expanded to include the towns most impacted by the severe floods earlier this year, including: Boulder; Estes Park; Fort Collins; Greeley; Longmont; Loveland; and Manitou Springs.

Sponsored by VISIT DENVER, the City of Denver and more than two dozen other partners, the integrated marketing campaign will reach 10 markets throughout the Rocky Mountain region and the West through radio and television commercials, direct mail, regional newspaper and magazine ads, outdoor billboards, RTD ads, newspaper inserts, digital ads, a dedicated website, public relations 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.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock stated, “The holidays are a magical time of year, but they are also a crucial make-it or break-it period for many businesses in Denver and along the Front Range. The devastating floods in September caused 10,000 people to be evacuated and did more than $2 billion in damage. Coloradans are tough. We’ve picked up, dried out and rebuilt. The Front Range is open again and ready for holiday tourism business, so we thought we would expand Mile High Holidays this year, and encourage people to visit Denver and all our neighbors up and down the Front Range,” Hancock said.

Mayor Hancock encouraged families in the Rocky Mountain region to come and see the Parade of Lights, attend The Santaland Diaries and other productions at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, ride horse-drawn carriages under a canopy of lights 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, RiNo, Golden Triangle Museum District, Old South Gaylord and South Pearl, among others.

“There are more than 200 holiday events, from Manitou Springs to Fort Collins and Greeley,” Mayor Hancock said. “This holiday season, I want to encourage families to start new traditions and by getting out and enjoying live music, theatre, and spectacular lighting displays all over the Front Range.”

Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, said, “40 Denver hotels are participating in the promotion by offering packages, including 17 hotels that have rooms for the ‘mile high’ price of $52.80.” Scharf encouraged locals and visitors to access, where holiday events are listed, as well as many restaurant, hotel and shopping specials.

Scharf said that when the flooding occurred in Colorado in September, many people wondered how they could help those people that were impacted.  “The best way to help after a natural disaster is to visit those areas when they reopen, and that time is right now,” Scharf said.  “Tourism is the second largest industry in Colorado and there’s not an area of the state that doesn’t benefit from tourism visits. But after a natural disaster, there is often a large drop in tourism numbers to impacted areas. So this holiday season, we encourage all Coloradoans and all people in the Rocky Mountain West to come and enjoy the hundreds of events taking place up and down the Front Range,” Scharf said.

In its tenth year, Mile High Holidays is a collaborative marketing program to increase the overall number of visitors to Denver and the surrounding area in the traditionally slow period of November through January. Participating entities include: VISIT DENVER; the City & County of Denver; the Downtown Denver Partnership; Comcast; CBS Outdoor; CBS 4; King Soopers; Yellow Cab; The Denver Center for the Performing Arts; and the National Western Stock Show.

The joint campaign will allow the partners to reach more people than any partner could reach on their own with information about Denver’s holiday activities and the terrific seasonal bargains offered by Denver and Front Range businesses.

One Website, Many Partners:

As part of the cooperative Mile High Holidays promotion, VISIT DENVER created one comprehensive website, This year, the website individually brands every week of the holiday period.  “We know the holidays are so busy, that many families have very limited free time,” Scharf said. “So we arranged the website by weekend. This allows families to see what weekend they have family coming in or when they have a break in their schedule, and see exactly what is going on just for that time period,” Scharf said.

The website has information about all holiday events, from the Parade of Lights to museum exhibits to performances at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts such as A Christmas Carol and Cirque Dreams Holidaze. “In Denver, we are fortunate that our holiday season extends through the end of January,” Scharf said.  “ contains information on all the traditional holiday events, as well as New Year’s Eve packages, and then we go right into events around the National Western Stock Show,” Scharf said.

The Denver Mile High Holidays Marketing Campaign 2013 Includes:

Target Markets

  • Denver Metro
  • Regional:
    • NM: Albuquerque, Santa Fe
    • WY: Casper, Cheyenne
    • NE: Omaha, Lincoln, Scottsbluff
    • KS: Wichita, Kansas City
    • TX: Dallas, Houston
    • MT: Billings
  • In-State: Aspen, Colorado Springs, Durango, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Gunnison, Pueblo,Summit County, Steamboat Springs, Vail

Media Vehicles

Television 1,707 total spots on CBS4, Comcast Colorado, Comcast Albuquerque, Comcast Cheyenne and Entravision TV
Radio Promotional spots and prize package giveaways on multiple top-rated stations including:

  • Entercom (KOSI-FM, KALC-FM, KQMT-FM)
  • Entravision, Spanish-language KJMN-FM
Outdoor Vehicles 6 Billboards, 30 posters, 16th Street Mall shuttle bus boards, RTD Light Rail exposure, Denver Pavilions and Colorado Convention Center/Denver Theater District digital signage exposure and Yellow Cab taxi toppers
Ten-page Newspaper Inserts Reaching 682,000 households
Newspaper Print Ads 10 markets, plus Denver metro with more than 5.3 million impressions
Magazine Print Ads 445,000+ impressions
Multicultural Print Ads 400,000+ circulation in La VozEl ComercioEl Semenario and VIVA! Colorado
Online Banners/Ads 13+ million impressions on five sites (,,,,; seven display, video, mobile ad networks
Direct Mail 100,000 direct mail to consumers in regional/state markets
E-blasts               E-blasts through plus monthly VISIT DENVER
e-news deployed to 770,000+ subscriber database (New York Times “Great Getaways” sent to 425,000 subscribers eNewsletters through, AAA Encompass, Texas Monthly, Westword and Entercom partner stations.)
National &  Regional PR Up to five national and regional press releases distributed to more than 4,000 publications
Social Media Tactics Twitter and Facebook postings and giveaways
Google Keywords Google Key Word buys directing traffic to (In 2012, the Mile High Holidays site had more than 460,000 page views, including more than 250,000 views from organic search and 50,000 from paid search on Google, Bing and Yahoo.)

Partners in Mile High Holidays
A number of organizations joined together in 2013 to market Denver as holiday getaway destination including:

  • City & County of Denver
  • VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Comcast
  • Entercom radio
  • Entravision TV and radio
  • King Soopers
  • CBS Outdoor
  • Denver Post
  • Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center
  • Cherry Creek North
  • Yellow Cab
  • Downtown Denver Partnership
  • National Western Stock Show & Rodeo
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Downtown Aquarium
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Belmar
  • Denver Zoo
  • Hyatts of Colorado
  • Park Meadows Retail Resort
  • Colorado Symphony
  • 40 Metro Denver hotels

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