Golden revamps winter promotions to draw more visitors

Visit Golden adds Western Week, rebrands Winter Lights Winter Nights

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/6/20

It's no secret that the early months of the year tend to be among the slowest for retailers. After all, the annual shopping and spending frenzy that is the holidays has just come and gone, mainly …

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Golden revamps winter promotions to draw more visitors

Visit Golden adds Western Week, rebrands Winter Lights Winter Nights

Posted

It's no secret that the early months of the year tend to be among the slowest for retailers. After all, the annual shopping and spending frenzy that is the holidays has just come and gone, mainly leaving bills to pay in its wake. And then there's the weather, which is often downright unpleasant.

But Golden city officials say the winter months also come with their own potential for attracting visitors and spending to the city's center, particularly with the city's holiday lights providing an additional attraction. So it is offering one new city promotion and another rebranded one the next several weeks in the aims of doing just that.

According to Steve Glueck, Golden's community and economic development director, the city has historically aimed to hold promotions to attract visitors in the winter months through its tourism arm, Visit Golden and take advantage of the decision to keep the lights up into mid-February.

But starting about three years ago, it began to hold discussions about how it could revamp those efforts to better take advantage of the attraction the lights provide.

Glueck said many of those conversations centered on the idea of a promotion that would encourage visitors to come try out Golden's growing selection of restaurants. Business leaders debated whether it would make more sense to encourage the city's restaurants to participate in the larger Denver Restaurant Week event held in late February, when participating restaurants offer dishes at set prices, or hold a separate similar restaurant week event focused on Golden.

Visit Golden staff ultimately decided to go with the latter option and launched a 10-day promotion called “Winter Lights Winter Nights: A Golden Dining Experience” during which restaurants offered set specials.

“There wasn't anything overly complicated about it,” Glueck said. “It was about encouraging people to come stroll around Golden in the early evenings and visit some restaurants and stores.”

But while the city feels the concept was sound, it has decided the branding of the event was not as memorable or clear as it could be. So this year, it will be promoting its restaurant week under a different, more direct name.

“My Visit Golden staff said if it's a restaurant week why don't we just call it Golden Restaurant Week?” said Glueck.

This year, 18 Golden restaurants will offer specials during that event, which will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9. The participating restaurants and their specials are posted at visitgolden.com. They include and a three-course prix fixe meal at the new Bella Colibri Italian restaurant to a $10 special consisting of a burger with two toppings, a side and a drink at Bob's Atomic Burgers. Diners must mention Golden Restaurant Week to get the special.

MORE: A "Bella" new eatery opens in Golden

The other promotion Visit Golden is holding this year is a new Western Week which will attempt to highlight Golden's western-centric offerings and attractions in order to attract visits to come to Golden during the National Western Stock Show.

Glueck said such a promotion makes sense not only because Golden's western feel is a fit for stock show visitors but also because Golden hosts the Colorado Cowboy Gathering during the second weekend of the stock show.

Western Week will be held from January 11-18 and encourage visitors to visit existing Western-centric attractions such as the Gold Mine Escape Room (which will offer a 15% discount) and the collection of western valuables at the Mines Museum of Earth Science. A full list of Western Week attractions can also be found at www.visitgolden.com.

Glueck said Visit Golden will evaluate how the promotions go and could plan to coordinate with businesses in the Golden community on more if they prove successful. He said Visit Golden is also now committed to holding such promotions at the start of the year, although it is unclear what forms those promotions will take.

Though Golden attracts many visitors from out-of-state during its peak tourism months, Glueck said the winter efforts are aimed more at luring residents from other metro Denver and Front Range communities to spend time in the city.

Those local visitors make up the majority of Golden's tourism traffic and spending, a trend which Glueck said the city is happy to encourage.

“We always say you would rather have people from the metro area come visit Golden 10 times a year as opposed to having someone from out of state come once every 10 years,” Glueck said.

 

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