Marketing campaign ready to make the dream of Aspen a COVID-19 reality – Aspen Times

MKT Plan

A CDOT snowcat plows up to the Independence Pass summit preparing for the summer traffic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

As destination marketing operators around the state are reeling from what’s been described as mischaracterized media reports that the Colorado Tourism Office is telling potential visitors to stay away amid the COVID-19 crisis, agencies like the Aspen Chamber Resort Association are ready to hit the “go” button when public health orders allow tourist accommodations to open in the next few days.

Media outlets last week reported that the state’s tourism office four-phase “Wait, Ready, Set, Go” marketing plan effectively told people not to come to Colorado during the waiting stage.

That set off panic among local lodging companies and businesses, believing that dollars were being put toward “stay away” messages.

That’s not the case, according to a May 14 letter from Cathy Ritter, the director of the Colorado Tourism Office, who explained to industry partners in the state that media reports sensationalized the plan into falsehood.

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“Right now, there’s no question our state is in Wait mode,” the letter