VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, is launching a $2 million consumer advertising campaign marketing the Mile High City as a summer tourism destination. Built around the theme, “Denver’s Summer of Adventure,” the integrated marketing campaign utilizes television, magazine, newspaper, radio, billboard, transit and Internet advertising.

“The advertising campaign focuses on Denver’s unique position as a city that offers two vacations in one,” states Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER. “We have an exciting, affordable, urban center with cutting edge cuisine, vibrant arts and cultural offerings, great professional sports, a strong Western heritage and great value, all just minutes from exciting day trips to the Rocky Mountains,” Scharf said.
Magazine ads show the variety of vacation options that are available in Denver, juxtaposing scenes of urban energy mixed with nearby mountain adventures. One has a picture of Coors Field and a photo of hiking at Red Rocks with the headline, “There’s Out of the Park. And Way Out of the Park.” Another shows scenes of dining at Larimer Square and views of the city with the backdrop of the snowcapped Rockies, with the headline, “Fresh Ingredients. And Fresh Air.”

Other ads focus on Denver’s Summer of Adventure theme, currently being showcased on the Bureau’s new website, The “Summer of Adventure” site allows visitors to pick from more than 100 urban and day trip adventures to design their own vacation, selecting options that include everything from seeing Real Pirates at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, experiencing Marvelous Mud at the Denver Art Museum, meeting Komodo dragons at the Denver Zoo and riding coasters at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park to hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park or driving up the highest paved road in North America to the top of Mount Evans. Adventures also feature dining, shopping, sports and theater opportunities.

The consumer tourism campaign includes both national and regional advertising. Magazine ads will appear in national publications such as Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Oprah, and AARP, while regional ads focus on the target markets that send the most visitors to Denver including the key cities of Phoenix, Dallas and Kansas City as well as all adjacent states. Campaign elements include radio, television, billboard and transit advertising and magazine ads in Phoenix Magazine, D Magazine, Kansas City Magazine, the Midwest edition of Budget Travel, Sunset and AAA magazines. The campaign also includes information about special hotel rates and deals on shopping, dining and attractions to further entice potential visitors looking for value.

The annual summer consumer campaign drives overnight visitors and visitor spending for the city. Research implemented in 2010 showed that every dollar invested in advertising generated $79 in visitor spending and nearly $6 in local tax revenue.

For five straight years, Denver has seen an increase in “marketable” visitors, including a four percent increase in 2009, a year where nationally, those visitors declined by five percent. A “marketable” visitor is defined as someone who could visit anywhere and chose to visit Denver. “Marketable” visitors are most susceptible to being influenced by advertising and spend $89 per person, per day, versus visitors who stay with friends and relatives and spend only $40 per person, per day.

“Our consumer ad campaigns have been successful in increasing the number of visitors to Denver, and in attracting visitors who stay in hotels, and therefore spend considerably more money,” Scharf said.

Partners in the 2011 campaign include the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Zoo, Elitch Gardens Theme Park and Water Park, Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Cherry Creek North, as well as 35 hotels and three dozen attractions and restaurants offering special deals. Timed to the summer campaign, VISIT DENVER also organized hotel packages with VIP tickets to the Real Pirates exhibition with 11 featured hotels.

The campaign was developed by Denver-based Karsh\Hagan Advertising.