A couple days ago I had the chance to go to Park City’s media announcement as they complete the link between Park City and Canyons both as a resort but also as a brand.
Bill Rock and Davy Ratchford tag teamed the content. Here are seven key quotes (followed by brief commentary) from the event.
“We’re a generation of ski industry leaders that aren’t going to have this kind of opportunity again and we’re going to make the most of it.”
Have resorts merged and become one? Yes. But I think for some of the reasons spelled out below the gravity of this instance is something that is very, very unique and carries an extra PR value that Park City plans to take full advantage of as this event illustrates.
“The great thing to work with is that Park City already had amazing brand awareness. Generally it’s in the top 1-4 in brand awareness throughout North America. We’re already working with something that’s amazing.”
It’s important to remember that these guys aren’t building their dream house, they’re adding an extra room and swimming pool to one that’s already existed for years.
“The tagline is: There is only one. You saw it again and again in the video. You know for any of you who have worked on marketing projects or tried to build a brand, you know there are always certain elements…certain things…you try to build and be unique on and try to own, and what does that mean? And in Park City what we’ve learned is that it’s all the ingredients together: that closeness to the Salt Lake Airport, the Greatest Snow on Earth, the resort right here in town that’s one of the best in the world, our authentic town, all of you and the fact that you’re here today. There’s only one community, there’s only one resort, there’s only one place like Park City.”
Again, Park City was already an amazing, year-round destination. Toss in the ability to claim their resort as the largest in the world and you’re starting to get some brand equity that, with the touch of Davy’s brand brilliance, could rival that of Vail.
Speaking of which, that’s one reason I was surprised this happened: I honestly didn’t think Vail would ever let another one of their resorts ever threaten the flagship mountain as top dog.
“So a couple specific things about the logo itself. Specifically, the typeface is the existing Canyons typeface. It’s a sans-serif font – very modern, very sophisticated – something that we like. We went down the road of exploring other types of logos, but ultimately we kept coming back to something that we already liked which is what we saw in that typeface.”
The key, to me, is when Davy says “something that we already like.” If they liked it, the locals probably did too. Speaking of which:
“The other element is the icon. This was an icon that, again, was used at Canyons, and although it was maybe used for a different reason, when we went down that road of exploring as to why we wanted to connect two mountains to an already amazing town, that’s why we came back to what we call an infinity symbol and we really, really liked it.”
There are those words again, “really, really liked it.” While I think the new logo works surprisingly well, I think this was as smart a design move as it was a peace-offering to the locals. By taking two things for each mountain – color and name from Park City, mark and typeface from Canyons – you have what equates to two brands meeting in the middle.
It may represent cooperation between different groups as much as it stands for incredible skiing experiences.
“The other big piece to talk about here is ‘Park City’ the name. And you may be asking yourself, Where did ‘mountain resort’ go in that element? Well Park City Mountain Resort is still the official name of the resort – that hasn’t changed – but as we market and put this out to the world, we’re marketing it as Park City.”
This should come as no surprise. Vail’s mountains have never called themselves Mountain Resorts but, rather, gone by just the core, unique element within the name: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, Northstar, Heavenly.
One Last Quote
Let me end with one more soundbite from Bill.
“I want to thank a couple people, particularly though we’ve got…a friend and colleague, Bob Wheaton, President and General Manager of Deer Valley. You know, the thing that’s most remarkable about Bob is, you know, we’ve been partners and collaborators since we got to town and Bob really epitomizes what I’ve learned about Utah and what I’ve learned about Park City is that people work together and they collaborate and they try to make great things happen.”
So, there you have it. The largest resort in the country (7,300 acres) built on an already powerful brand with some of the industry’s best talent and deepest pockets backed with support from neighboring resorts?
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