The Daily Californian Online

ASUC organizes marketing contest to promote Cal Lodge

By Weiru Fang
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Category: News > University > ASUC

The ASUC is now accepting proposals for a new marketing plan to increase summer and fall use of its mountain lodge through the Cal Lodge Case Competition, which opened March 30 and will end April 29.

Because the ASUC is currently unable to break even on the cost of maintaining the property, the competition, which is open to everyone, is planned to help market the name of the lodge as well as to bring in fresh ideas for the ASUC to consider. The winner of the competition will receive a two-night stay for 10 guests at the lodge.

According to Executive Vice President Nanxi Liu, the competition itself is a form of marketing because it will increase visibility of the Cal Lodge name to the public.

"We realized a lot of students didn't know about this," Liu said. "We want to get the word out there and get students involved."

According to Liu, this is the first time the ASUC has done any kind of marketing competition.

Liu said the Lake Tahoe property is a "legacy," having been owned by the ASUC for over 90 years. Because of low use during parts of the year and maintenance costs, the ASUC loses between $20,000 and $30,000 a year on the property. The competition is one idea proposed by an ASUC Senate Cal Lodge Committee for marketing as an attempt to reduce losses.

ASUC President Noah Stern said that so far the ASUC has not done as well as it could to promote the lodge. Along with mass marketing, the ASUC should have a strategic approach on an individual basis by targeting interested student groups, he said.

Dan Borge, manager of the lodge, said he is excited for the case competition because of the increased marketing it will provide, which he said is vital to encouraging students to visit.

"Every Cal student should know about Cal Lodge, but they haven't known about it for years," Borge said.

Though Borge said appealing to UC Berkeley students is most important, the lodge also wants to draw in campus student groups, alumni and faculty, as well as junior colleges and other UC campuses.

"Cal Lodge isn't where we want it to be in terms of popularity," Liu said. "It's consistently the same groups that will rent the Cal Lodge, and we want to make it more apparent and visible to other groups."

Liu said she is optimistic that breaking even on the lodge will not be a problem in the near future under the direction of Borge, who assumed his position five years ago.

Borge said he is also confident in increasing the popularity of Cal Lodge in upcoming years.

"There will eventually be a time where it's not if you want to come to Cal Lodge - it's if you can get in to Cal Lodge," he said.

Liu said she expects 10 to 15 submissions to the competition, though she said there could be more. Along with ASUC senators and Cal Lodge, Liu said she will judge the submissions and announce a winner one week after the competition's deadline, on May 6.

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