A few weeks ago, Salt Lake City announced a new marketing campaign to reposition the state capital as Ski City USA. It looks like Curbed Ski wasn't the only ski industry observer to note the name's similarity to Steamboat Spring's longtime nickname, Ski Town U.S.A., and now a battle is brewing.
Visit Salt Lake planned to spend $1.8 million on a national advertising campaign meant to draw visitors to the city as well as the nearby ski resorts of Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, and Solitude. The tagline "Once you've stayed in Ski City, you'll never stay in a ski town," has already drawn the ire of locals as a veiled shot at Park City, and now it's in even more trouble with a lawsuit filed by Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Steamboat filed the federal suit last Friday in the U.S. District Court for Colorado against Visit Salt Lake and the four Cottonwood canyons' resorts it promotes. Steamboat has used the term Ski Town, U.S.A since 1959 and has registered the phrase with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The suit claims that the Ski City USA campaign violates Steamboat's intellectual property rights by creating "confusion" and trying to "take advantage of our registered trademark for their own commercial purposes."
So the question boils down to: Is Ski City USA too similar to Ski Town U.S.A? We think yes. When Salt Lake unveiled the campaign, Curbed Ski's first thought was about Steamboat. What do you think Curbediverse?
· Steamboat sues Visit Salt Lake over Ski City USA promotion [Salt Lake Tribune]
· Walt Disney's Granddaughter Buys Historic Ranch in Steamboat [Curbed Ski]
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