What is MetRec?
The Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District was created in 197X with a simple mission — to provide over-the air broadcast television to the Gunnison Valley through a dedicated property tax. In 2XXX, voters approved expanding that scope to include support for other "recreation" activities in the community as well.
Fast forward to 2018. Due to complicated ways in which Colorado tax laws work, the Met Rec budget had dwindled to the point of severely limiting operations. The law contains a loophole, allowing tax districts to opt out of those provisions, but only with voter approval. Simple enough. Except voters had said no before. Twice. Resoundingly.
A new board at Met Rec was determined to try again. But, they knew they needed a new approach to achieve a different result.
Enter Alan Wartes Media. The board hired us to, first, help them create a compelling story and then to help tell it effectively. We immediately saw the storytelling challenge: How do you inspire someone to raise their own taxes to support an organization with a vague and largely invisible mission? No one in the community even knew what Met Rec was, much less why they should say yes to a tax increase.
Then we caught on. The fact that no one knew what Met Rec is was the story — and a humorous one at that.
Over the three months leading up to the election, we mounted a video and social media campaign asking random people a simple question: What is MetRec? Their answers were often hilarious — and set up the opportunity toward the end of the campaign for us to provide the real answer in more serious and informative videos.
On election day, voters finally said yes — by a wide margin.