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Vail All the Love warms the cockles of my old school heart
The heart-shaped symbol is bringing a bit of old school love to Vail Resorts and the town of Vail. It's also bringing lodging and vacation deals.
Courtesy Vail All the Love

Vail All the Love warms the cockles of my old school heart

By Tom Boyd

May 20, 2009 —  It’s not often that I get misty-eyed over a summer marketing package which offers discounted deals and incentives which focus on Front Rangers and regional visitors to Vail.

But after all, it’s a summer marketing package with a heart.

Or at least with a heart as it’s symbol.

It’s the same symbol which used to appear on the rear bumper of my dad’s 1964 jeep when he used to come churning up dust along the gravel road which led home, when Vail’s marketing consisted of a heart-shaped sticker reading “Vail Loves You,” and when everybody – and I mean everybody – in town grabbed a sticker, handed them out, and pitched in to promote the little ski town we loved with all our old school hearts.

The heart-shaped sticker worked wonders back then. Vail went from a “pioneer” ski town with 4,000 residents and legendary Back Bowls to a Valley-wide metropolis with 50,000-plus residents and a world-wide reputation. A few years ago someone at Vail Resorts got the idea to bring the heart-shaped sticker back to life, and the relics re-appear each Valentine’s Day.

Now the heart is back in a bigger way with Vail’s continued "All the Love" marketing campaign, which has placed a redesigned heart on T-shirts, lip balm, shoulder bags, and all kinds of other swag, not to mention print and online advertising.

And, oh yeah, special VATL lodging deals and vacation packages .

But the campaign is more than a logo – it’s a return to Vail’s roots (or, I should say, a return to the Real Vail). There’s something safe and familiar about this campaign.

Think about it. It’s a brutal economy out there. Recent numbers suggest that Vail’s year-to-year bookings are down about 27 percent … and consider that last summer wasn’t exactly a blockbuster season.

The slings and arrows of this economy are raining down on Vail with as much ferocity as anywhere else – perhaps more so.

And, in a way, this heart-shaped marketing campaign represents a collective running for the strongholds of Vail’s past successes. We’re remembering our history, seeking known quantities, stability, hiding behind the inner walls of the old ideas which made this town great in the first place.

It’s going to be a tough haul, a hard summer, and we will all be looking for shelter to last through this storm. But at least we’ve got a little love to rally around.



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