Agency guided research, strategy and creative for newly named Palisades Tahoe, formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
OLYMPIC VALLEY, CA (September 15, 2021) — Struck joins Palisades Tahoe in celebration of the resort’s new name and most significant rebranding effort in its 72-year history. The Olympic Valley, California-based resort formerly known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will move forward with a new brand identity designed by Struck.
After having discussed the possibility of a name change for years, leaders at the resort were ultimately spurred to action in 2020. After conversations with representatives of the local Washoe Tribe and amid a nationwide push for inclusion and social justice, they tapped Salt Lake City-based marketing, advertising and creative agency Struck to lead research, strategy and creative for the rebrand.
Guided by audience research that included input from nearly 3,000 community members, guests, employees, pro athletes, and representatives from the Washoe Tribe, Struck worked with the resort team to develop a strategy that captured what makes the resort special and informed naming and visual identity exploration.
“From the beginning, Struck’s role was to help Palisades Tahoe identify their strengths, the core values and points of differentiation that would inform the future brand of an already storied leader in the ski industry,” said executive creative director Scott Sorenson. “Influenced by the unique history of the original inhabitants of the land, the pioneers of modern freeskiing and the Olympic athletes who have achieved great feats on the slopes —we determined that these valleys are a Land of Legends. And that core position defined the strategy for the project moving forward.”
Struck worked with the resort team through the naming process until they eventually identified a name that simultaneously honors the resort’s legendary past and looks optimistically towards its future: Palisades Tahoe.
“We knew that making this change was the right thing to do. We sought expertise from Struck because of their deep knowledge of the ski industry, ski culture and their methodical approach to audience listening and brand design,” said Tom Feiten, vice president of marketing and business development, Palisades Tahoe. “Struck helped us to better understand our stakeholders and create a brand vision that captures who we are, honors the history of this place and excites our community.”
Importantly, the name incorporates ski terrain accessible by the resort’s two base camps, Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. The resort’s famed Palisades area, which features steep chutes and towering cliffs, is the locus of the freeskiing movement and has been the backdrop for countless movie and magazine images. Throughout the resort’s history, the world’s best skiers and snowboarders have challenged themselves and progressed their sports on the legendary terrain. On the Alpine Meadows side there is a lesser-known but still beloved terrain called Palisades.
Once the resort selected a new name, Struck’s creative team designed the new brand identity. The eagle is vital to the history of both the resort and the Washoe people. The scale of the eagle looking over both valleys speaks to the legendary nature of the place. Both mountains are represented, but they can also be read as feathers or the waves of Lake Tahoe. Finally, the sweeping nature of the mark speaks to the positive vibes of California surf culture.
“It’s contemporary, yet also feels like it has existed for a long time,” Sorenson said. “It is timeless. It is a legendary mark for a legendary place.”
To ensure consistent use of the new identity, the Struck team also created detailed brand guidelines for a variety of resort-wide uses. In addition to its immediate use in new marketing and communications, the visual identity will be gradually rolled out across the resort’s signage, merchandise, spatial design, employee gear, and other applications.
While Struck prides itself on its creative expertise across industries, the agency has years of experience in the outdoor industry, including award-winning work for five very different ski resorts: Snowbird, Sundance, Deer Valley, Solitude and now Palisades Tahoe.
Struck is a full-service marketing, advertising and creative agency headquartered in downtown Salt Lake City. In its 25-year history, Struck has transformed global, national and local brands with award-winning work in travel and tourism, sports and entertainment, finance, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, fast casual restaurants and retail projects. Struck helps brands become market leaders by creating “Experience Affinity” — drawing attention and affection by transforming the experience at every touchpoint. Struck’s work has been featured in AdAge, Adweek and other leading industry publications. The firm has received numerous prestigious awards, including Emmy, Cannes Lion, Webbies, AIGA and more.