Next season, the Utah Travel Council will try to sell potential tourists on some of the state's most popular warm-weather activities, such as mountain biking, river rafting and ballooning.
But what likely will stand out in the $1.2 million advertising campaign are some not-so-subtle reminders that Utah was picked as the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice to host the Winter Games in 1998.Those connected with the annual advertising campaign say showcasing the state's suitability to host the Winter Games will boost the effort to attract summertime visitors.
"The fact is, we're America's choice for the Winter Olympics. We're going to get as much mileage out of that as we can," said Jay Woolley, state director of travel development.
Woolley said the theme will probably continue to be used in both summer and winter advertising campaigns at least through June 1991, when the International Olympic Committee is expected to name the site of the 1998 Winter Games.
Mickey Gallivan, executive vice present of Harris & Love, Inc., said emphasizing the state's selection by the USOC will help overcome some of the concerns winter and summer tourists have about Utah.
Many potential tourists still see the state "as a dry, arid desert populated by unfriendly people," according to Gallivan. "We want to sell civilization."
The state's selection by the U.S.O.C. to host the Winter Games "says we have to offer world class facilities and that we are in fact, or can become, a world-class destination."
In a 60-second television commercial produced for the state by Harris & Love, Inc., a shot of a ski racer is squeezed in after the opening line, "Utah - a place where winter playgrounds host summer games, too."
Viewers are asked at the end of the commercial to call a toll-free number for additional information and to "make America's choice your summer vacation choice."
Both the 60-second and 30-second commercials that will be aired in Los Angeles, Phoenix and other Western cities beginning in February feature footage of the official USOC announcement that Utah had been selected.
Perhaps not as obvious to an out-of-state audience is that the music used in both television spots is the same song written for the state's Olympic bid, "Higher Ground."
Despite the emphasis on the Olympics in the television commercials, there is no mention of the Winter Games in the print ads that represent only about one-tenth of the summer advertising budget.
The print ads feature headlines like, "Rock 'n' Roll," "Soft Pedaling," and "Hydrotherapy" along with pictures of the state's scenic wonders and summer activities.
Gallivan said there just wasn't room left for any reference to the Winter Games. This year, the state chose to spread smaller black-and-white ads throughout a number of travel and special-interest publications.
Until last year, the state put most of its summer advertising dollars into a full-color magazine insert. In 1989, the state shifted its message to television.
Last year's television commercial pitched traveling to the state as taking "a vacation in your own back yard," and targeted Californians and other Westerners with images of a family stepping outside their own homes and suddenly being in Utah.
Although winter activities have been getting the most attention because of the potential Utah will host the Olympic Games, summer visitors account for 80 percent of the state's tourism.
About 12 million summer visitors are expected in the state this year, compared to some 600,000 who come in the winter. The winter visitors, however, tend to stay longer and spend more money.