>We were munching down on our $3.95 piece of chocolate cake in a small bakery along the Blue River running through Breckenridge, Colorado last week. Eating didn’t slow us down from making plans for our next meal, and we asked the cute chick behind the bakery counter if a certain restaurant was any good. She gushed, “Yes, it is.” and nothing more.
That’s the kind of less-than-friendly responses we got from people in this tourist-dependent mountain town. The website says that friends are welcome, so it was quite a shock to see the brand disconnect between the communication and the reality. Perhaps it was simply that time of the month, er, season – they must have been dog-tired from the winter ski season and hadn’t yet geared up for the summer season that, by the closed attractions, must start around June 15th.
The front desk guy at the time share resort that had invited our friends to visit treated her like the guy behind the glass at a hotel that rents rooms by the hour. When he couldn’t find her reservation, he told her “sit down over there and I’ll got figure out the problem.” When my friend relayed this incident to the salesperson showing her the resort, the salesperson replied “that’s because you aren’t an owner.” I wasn’t there so I don’t know if this was said in jest as a bizarre sales pitch or if she really believed it, but it, too, was shocking. She was more important than an owner: she was a prospective owner!
We received the opposite treatment from a man in the tiny town of Fairplay, a burg on the other side of Hoosier Pass from Breckenridge. It was a small mountain town that catered, I’m sure, to workers and residents more than the occasional tourist who stumbled into town. We were considering driving over Boreas Pass, and when we pulled up to ask directions and get some feedback on the safety of crossing the pass in our gas-sucking family minivan, he was quite friendly, telling us that it was a nice drive, not a bad road because it had been regraded two years ago. Then he gave us perfect directions to two different parks in which we could have our picnic lunch.
It was a completely different experience. Two contacts with locals divided by a mountain, and a world apart.
The town of Breckenridge and the entire area was beautiful. Clean. Easy to get around. But, based on our experience, the Breckenridge brand warriors need to get everybody on the same page.
This is a great picture from The Korky on Flickr…I lost my camera somewhere along the way 😦