SACRAMENTO -- California might best be known for its beaches, but it's the Golden State's snow that is getting all the attention via a national campaign.
The California Travel and Tourism Commission, in partnership with a handful of California ski resorts and business bureaus, is pumping close to $1 million this year (and $3.5 million the last two years) into promoting the state's ski product via a high-energy 30-second television commercial that features professional winter athletes.
The spot, in its third year, is the cornerstone of the annual California Snow Campaign that aims to influence incremental travel from domestic and international snow enthusiasts.
"The California ski product isn't just like any other," said Carolina Beteta, executive director of the commission. "With an average of 400 inches of snow annually, 43,000 acres of skiing available and more than 30 resorts to choose from, we roughly attract 8 million skiers and snowboarders to the Golden State every year. The California Snow Campaign, along with the individual efforts of our partners and recent ski resort village upgrades and renovations, will only make that number go up."
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The snow spot started Oct. 8 and runs through December. The rotation runs heavily in prime evenings and on weekends on cable networks Fuel, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, TNT, Travel Channel and A&E, as well as ESPN and ESPN2 during college football and basketball games.
Visitors to http://www.visitcaliforniasnow.com, the snow campaign's Web site, will find interactive maps, rider soundtracks, ski specials and a photo contest with a California Gold Pass (worth 500 lift tickets) going to the winner.
After the grand prize is awarded Dec. 14, lift tickets will be given away each week.
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