Turning Estes Park’s Off-Season into Elk Season
Every fall, Estes Park – the quaint mountain village that serves as the basecamp of Rocky Mountain National Park – is invaded. No, not by space aliens or Vikings.The invaders are lumbering, majestic elk, who descend upon Estes for mating season. It’s one of the nation’s highest concentrations of wild elk – and TURNER knew that it offered a prime opportunity. Say goodbye to October … and hello to Elktober.
WHAT WE DID
Estes Park officially renamed October Elktober in 2007 as a celebration of the rut season, but TURNER kicked things up several notches with a proactive pitching campaign that highlighted the quirkier elements: elk bugling contests, elk-themed craft beers created by Estes Park Brewery and elk-inspired crafts made by local artisans. Additionally:
- We created an evergreen Elktober infographic (see below) that could be used by media outlets that wanted a fun, eye-catching and informative piece of visual content.
- We championed the charge to create a destination-wide “tailgating” elk-watching offering (the name a play on football season pre-game activities) that we were then able to use in pitching efforts.
- We timed our NYC media tour in August to capture short-lead opportunities from key outlets.
- We used b-roll assets of elk bugling to secure broadcast coverage in NBC News.
- We suggested the idea of a social elk tracking component (#EstesElkWatch); and used a Google map of suggested Estes Park elk viewing spots in pitching.
Elkmania! Elktober and Elk Fest are now among the town’s most popular events, with room nights at local hotels filling up during what was once part of Estes Park’s slow season. As a result of our efforts, TURNER secured valuable Elktober coverage in USA Today (who published our Elktober infographic), NBC News, The Active Times, The Weather Channel, Budget Travel and Successful Meetings. Who knew an invasion could be such a good thing?