A Tim Hortons customer leaves the Gasoline Alley store Tuesday. Tourism Red Deer and the Red Deer Hotel Association have launched a campaign called Refuel in Red Deer

Refuel Red Deer invites travellers to stay awhile

Tourism Red Deer and the Red Deer Hotel Association are sending a message to Albertans: “We’re more than a quick stop.”

Tourism Red Deer and the Red Deer Hotel Association are sending a message to Albertans: “We’re more than a quick stop.”

This catchline is part of a campaign to brand the city as a destination rather than simply a place to fuel up and grab a bite while travelling on Hwy 2.

Launched this spring under the name Refuel In Red Deer, the campaign emphasizes the city’s central location and its natural amenities. Those messages are being conveyed through trade show displays, print ads and other marketing materials.

“We’re talking to Albertans,” said Tourism Red Deer executive director Liz Taylor, adding that the theme should resonate with this audience.

“They know that and they see the humour in it. Our response has been really good.”

She added that much of the publicity associated with Refuel In Red Deer has yet to occur. And the impact of the campaign likely won’t be seen immediately.

The objectives of Refuel In Red Deer include attracting leisure travellers, meetings and events.

Specific goals are to increase hotel occupancy rates here, as well as allow average room rates to rise to a level closer to the provincial average.

Among the messages being delivered in the campaign materials are the wide range of meeting venues in Red Deer, its expansive trail system and green space, and the diverse selection of dining options and cultural activities here.

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