Spotlight - Estes Park Colorado
Estes Park Colorado is a well known vacation destination for tens of thousands each year. What is less well known is the expansive complex of state park, fairgrounds, entertainment venues and hotels are so well represented by the very latest in social media and web technologies. ThunderTix is proud to be the ticketing software of choice for Estes Park and we love the way such a historic grounds use ultra modern tools for event promotion and cultivating the shared experience.
The entire span of facilities and services that are represented fall under two entities, the Town of Estes Park municipality and the Colorado state govenment. Together, the two bodies manage myriad ways for people to find fun, relaxation, food, lodging and entertainment.
In this post we look at how well Estes Park presents its wealth of recreation and entertainment to the public via its website and social media so you may learn from their example.
The grounds date back over 100 years, to the late 1800s, when the land was a privately owned collection of ranches welcoming guests hardy enough to make the arduous journey “way out West”. One such guest, F. O. Stanley from Massachusetts, found Estes Colorado to be so accommodating, he relocated there and built the Stanley Hotel as a luxury travel stop.
Stephen King fans take note - The Edwardian opulence of the Stanley Hotel had a very special guest one Summer, none other than author Stephen King. It was his stay in Estes Park that inspiring him to change the locale for his novel The Shining from an amusement park to the Stanley's fictional stand-in, the Overlook Hotel.
After that first popular travel destination, the town of Estes grew quickly, ultimately becoming the world class collection of venues and parks it is today.
Estes Park has been the place where people of all walks of life, from hard working families to Pope John Paul II and President George W. Bush, go for a vacation, or a wedding, in spectacular natural beauty.
Estes Park is surrounded by the Rocky mountains and nationally protected lands, within which are dozens of venues and facilities. Of particular note are the two most popular - The fairgrounds and the Performance Park amphitheater.
In contrast to the big crowds at the fairgrounds, the Estes Park Performance amphitheater has initmate "blankets and lawn chairs" performances by symphony quartets, jazz, rock-and-roll and even old-fashioned cowboy sing-a-longs.
To list all of the available things to do in and around Estes is far beyond the scope of a mere blog post, but if you want to learn more, you are encouraged to visit the website:
Speaking of the well designed Estes Park website, it is representational of the strong command of technology the town has, in cooperation with the Colorado state's websites, that is the focus of this post.
Strong command of social tools
You may be forgiven for thinking that a city municipality and a state government would be less than cutting edge sources of inspiration for things like online ticket sales and social media. But make no mistake - there are best practices being very well executed. Estes Park should be a standard reference for all venues to take notes from.
Their website is easy to use, putting the considerable amount of visitor information all in the correct order of presentation. The near frictionless way the website transitions from city government to vacation destination to event ticketing outlet is impressive, and owners of multi-use versatile venues would do well to use Estes as a guide.
Our favorite aspect of Estes Park web presence is the way it cultivate the shared experience using all the social media tools. The Estes Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and foursquare accounts are a tour de force of meaningful interactions with visitors past present and future. There's even a Songkick venue entry for the Performance Park amphitheater ( You know much we like Songkick! )
The result of Estes’ hard work and social media efforts? Visitors share their experience by taking photos and add the appropriate hashtag. The collection of shared photos becomes a marketing resource for Estes’ use in the future.
Be savvy like Estes Park
We hope this spotlight on Estes Park helps you with your event awareness as a great example of the how it’s done. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting many more “spotlights” on events, venues, our beloved ThunderTix users and some “secret” lesser known technical aspects of a successful event. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog here:
If you have an example of a great venue, or want to be in the spotlight yourself, just let us know in the comments below!