Tourism Mount Washington embraces Guerrilla Marketing

When Tourism Mount Washington got off the ground three years ago, its goal was essentially to put Mount Washington Alpine Resort on the map as a vacation destination.

Co-ordinator Sarah Nicholson said the Boards for all three of those years have laid a solid foundation for the organization to build upon for the next few years.

“We have definitely done our part in putting Mount Washington on our global map,” Nicholson said.

“Our successes to date have proving we’re living up to our vision,” Nicholson said. “We’re steadily achieving everything we set out to do.”

Despite two and a half years of economic downturn and global challenges, Nicholson and the rest of the Tourism Mount Washington board have used whatever tools were available to them, including guerrilla marketing.

Nicholson’s biggest marketing initiative to date is arguably the surprise arrival of the rare Snow Leopard at Mount Washington in January.

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, or the Snow Leopard, was Ghana’s lone Olympic athlete in the alpine skiing events, and drew a lot of international media attention when he arrived at Mount Washington for two weeks of practice before his events at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.

Nicholson fielded calls through the night for two weeks, and was able to bring journalists over within hours for face-to-face interviews – something that proved being situated on an island is not an impediment, she said.

Olympics aside, Tourism Mount Washington has enjoyed other accomplishments. The Resort has acquired Tourism B.C.

Accommodation status for the managed rental properties, under the Tourism Mount Washington banner. “It gives a guarantee of quality of rooms,” Nicholson said. “It’s an accepted standard that tour operators want.”

Nicholson and the board will continue developing the travel trade and Mount Washington’s reputation with tour operators, she said. Nicholson sits on the marketing committee for Tourism Vancouver Island (TAVI) as well as the UK marketing committee for the Canadian Destination Ski Consortium.

She also continues to work with other destination marketing organizations to maximize Tourism Mount Washington’s dollars, and said there is room to increase membership.

“Tourism Mount Washington is actively encouraging participation and support from the Resort community,” she said, adding that the organization is always looking for people interested in sitting on the board.

She is also looking at hiring people to again staff the information and check-in desk at the general store, a successful enterprise that was shared by the rental management companies at the Resort.

The home market will be key for 2010-11, and Nicholson will also continue to build relationships with tour operators overseas in an attempt to attract multi-night stays for the long term.

Tourism Mount Washington’s elected directors are: Rick Gibson, Peter Foreman, Ray Culberson, Tobin Leopkey and Lana Blair. The two appointed Mount Washington Alpine Resort directors are Tim Defert and Cathy Saflin.