North America

Two snow destinations end war over ski slogan

A tale of two ski cities.

A tale of two ski cities.  (iStock)

As ski season gets underway, two cities popular with snow-lovers have settled a disagreement on how to advertise themselves.

Steamboat Springs, Colo. --known for its winter-friendly activities--has been known as Ski Town USA since 1959. 

This fall Salt Lake City, also known for being a popular ski destination, released a new marketing campaign branding itself as Ski City, USA—upsetting Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. and Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Inc. filed suit last month in U.S. District Court in Colorado against the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau alleging trademark infringement.

“They are attempting to use that value to jump-start their campaign. We think it's confusingly similar to our 'Ski Town USA' trademark, and they are attempting to leverage our brand and our brand equity,” Rob Perlman, chief of marketing for the Steamboat ski area told the Denver Post in October.

Visit Salt Lake, along with four resorts named in the law suit (Alta Ski Lifts Co., Brighton Resort LLC, Solitude Ski Corp. and Snowbird Resort LLC) countered by arguing that their $1.8 million campaign was “simply highlighting differences between urban and rural ski destinations,” according to the Daily Mail.

“Ski City USA celebrates and promotes the fact that there is a distinct alternative to the 'ski town' experience, one that will forever change ski-related travel for a large segment of winter enthusiasts," Visit Salt Lake said in a statement.

On Nov. 14, the two cold weather destinations were able to reach an agreement. Steamboat Springs dropped the lawsuit and isit Salt Lake dropped the “USA” from all promotional materials and now simply goes by “Ski City.”

“Steamboat appreciates Visit Salt Lake's willingness to revise their campaign in order to address the concerns that resulted in a court filing,” Perlman explained after the decision was reached.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter amicably before the start of the winter season and I want to thank Visit Salt Lake for working with us so quickly.”

A peaceful end to this tale of two ski cities.