Elk Hunting Capital of the World | CraigDailyPress.com

Elk Hunting Capital of the World

Craig Branding Committee makes the campaign official

Collin Smith

— From many accounts, the town has decided, and the Craig Branding Committee agrees, Craig is the Elk Hunting Capital of the World.

The town made its decision by buying hats, shirts and banners created by John Ponikvar, Craig NAPA owner, who started the Elk Hunting Capital campaign about two or three months ago with his own money.

He went forward on his own because the branding process stalled in committee, he said.

Ponikvar’s merchandise has been in demand by locals and tourists alike, said Christina Currie, Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The Branding Committee made its decision at its Monday meeting, which makes the Craig identity official, at least for the marketing campaign.

The job now is to figure out the campaign’s finer points, and deciding how best to deliver the message.

“Our job is to make sure that people that want what we have here discover it,” said Tammie Thompson-Booker, Moffat County Tourism Association Board of Directors president.

To that effect, the committee brainstormed possible options to help promote what Moffat County can offer, above and beyond hunting.

Although hunting tourism is the campaign’s muscle, the committee wants that to be the first level, an entry point to everything else that is found here.

“We have the hunters here. Now, we need to market to them the other things we have here,” Ponikvar said.

One idea was to promote Moffat County as a choose-your-adventure destination, where rafting, wild horses and snowmobiling are available.

“We can sell that independence, because that’s what you get here,” Currie said.

Other ideas included promoting ruggedness, wide-open spaces and discovery.

Campaign specifics would be malleable depending on what audience is being courted for which services, but the committee wants a unifying theme.

It’s a good idea to create a campaign that incites emotional reactions in the audience, said Sandy Evans-Hall, executive director of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. She attended the meeting to share strategies Steamboat Springs used to promote its summer activities.

The idea behind the campaign should be to associate Craig and Moffat County with specific images and feelings, Evans-Hall said. For example, Steamboat uses the ideas of wide-open spaces, Western cultural heritage and friendly people.

Which is a lot of what the tourists who already come to Moffat County probably feel and think about the area, committee members said.

Budget constraints currently are the only hamper on the program. The committee plans to look at local and regional marketing firms for the campaign.

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