Blue Ridge Outdoors mag gets Colorado cousin
Times are tough for publications these days. Just ask Creative Loafing, the alt-newspaper chain that filed for bankruptcy last month, or read any number of articles on declining circulation among even the biggest names in news.
But all this doom and gloom doesn't have Blue Ridge Outdoors owner Blake DeMaso down. In fact, he's so optimistic he's launching a new monthly magazine to cover outdoor life in Colorado. Based in Boulder, Elevation Outdoors will hit stands throughout Colorado in February, and DeMaso is confident the time is right.
"Historically, outdoor markets do well during recession times," says DeMaso. "People tend to go outside instead of taking bigger vacations, they'll go hiking or biking." Because Elevation will, like Blue Ridge Outdoors, be a free publication, "we're well positioned to benefit from that kind of thinking."
DeMaso bought Blue Ridge Outdoors five years ago, and the publication currently circulates 110,000 region-specific copies from Baltimore down to Atlanta. In addition to the Charlottesville headquarters, BRO has an Asheville, North Carolina, office. Adding Boulder, DeMaso believes, creates the trifecta.
"Those are three great cities when you talk about the outdoor scene," he says. Elevation will distribute 40,000 copies at first, primarily in Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs as well as around the various ski resorts.
The launch of the Colorado publication complements DeMaso's other business, Outdoor Adventure Media, which procures national advertisements for use not just in the pages of DeMaso's magazines, but in small outdoor publications across the country that couldn't ordinarily score such big corporate dollars. DeMaso says those advertisers are also pleased to have a niche in the Rockies.
"Every time we'd go to someone," he says, "they'd say, what about Colorado?"
DeMaso hasn't hired his Elevation newsroom staff yet, but he does have one important position filled: his sister, Meredith DeMaso, who graduated Darden two years ago, will be heading west to run the advertising department. And he says they've both taken the down economy into account.
"We anticipate sales to be slow at first," he says, "but by the time we've proved ourselves, hopefully, the economy will be rebounding, and we'll be positioned to get ourselves some ad dollars."