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Gambling tourism and image marketing: an example from Black Hawk, Colorado
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Many communities are now creatively competing to draw hics. visitors to their areas by taking a new turn for their tourism development. Legalized gaming has been introduced to some communities to act as a tool to attract more visitors and improve economic conditions. In order to increase tourism and revitalize their historic community, Black Hawk, Colorado, took this approach and opened casinos in 1991. This study examines relationships between visitors' participation patterns, their social and demographic characteristics, and the images they hold about Black Hawk. This study also evaluates the tourism factors that influence visitors' image assessments and attachments to Black Hawk. Finally, this study provides practical suggestions about the importance of image marketing for local tourism development. Following a modified approach to Dillman's Total Design Method, a hand-out, mail-back survey was given to a sample of 850 Black Hawk visitors in August 1997. After a follow-up mailing, a total of 523 people returned the surveys for an overall response rate of 62.7 percent. Four hypotheses were tested in this study. Chi-square analysis revealed that visitors with different characteristics had different travel patterns, and visitors with demographic different knowledge levels about city history had different participation patterns before and after the opening of casinos in Black Hawk. The outcome of multiple regression analysis showed that tourism factors such as former knowledge about local history and previous visiting experience had no effect on image judgment from visitors. However, visiting interests, and several universal tourism components that could be partially controlled by Black Hawk (beauty of natural environment, good quality of food, diversity of nighttime and entertainment) positively affected visitors' image evaluation. The outcome of MANOVA and ANOVA analyses showed that there were differences in visitors' sense of place with respect to their knowledge levels about Black Hawk. The profile of current visitors to Black Hawk, and their image evaluation and attachment to the town, could help local planners re-position the image of the new gaming town to attract visitors. The strategic image marketing of Black Hawk would result in better serving a variety of different kinds of future visitors.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 110-118).
Yang, Xiaobing (1998). Gambling tourism and image marketing: an example from Black Hawk, Colorado. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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