Ballantine Communications Inc. this week is releasing the debut issue of Dorado, a Southwest-lifestyle magazine that is focusing initially on Texas distribution.
With a circulation of 50,000 copies, Dorado will hit mailboxes in upscale ZIP codes in the Austin, Dallas and Houston areas this week, along with distribution to Barnes & Noble and grocery chains Whole Foods and Sprouts. The magazine is also available in airports serving the three Texas cities.
BCI, parent company of The Durango Herald, has pursued additional revenue streams outside its traditional businesses under chief executive Doug Bennett. Dorado aims to interest Texas residents who have an affinity for traveling in the Southwest.
“We want to be all about what’s going on in the Southwest from an aspirational standpoint,” Bennett said.
The May/June issue has features on contemporary Navajo textiles, kayaking and climbing at Watson Lake in northern Arizona and home design in Telluride. The glossy, full-color magazine runs 80 pages.
“If you’re sitting in your office in Dallas, Texas, it makes it feel like you’re almost there,” Bennett said.
An annual subscription for six issues is $17.99. Single copies are $5.99. Dorado’s website – doradomagazine.com – is responsive to mobile devices. New content is added daily.
“It’s a full-blown package,” Bennett said. “It’s not just a print product; it’s not just a digital product.”
The magazine – whose tagline is “Refined living, Big adventures” – is a mix of luxury and outdoorsy lifestyles. The front cover shows a hiker descending into Arches National Park, while the rear cover is a full-page ad for a Santa Fe jeweler.
“Our guess was people who like high-level living in the Southwest also like all the outdoor activities,” said Chad Rose, publisher and senior vice president.
Bennett said he admires magazines such as Garden & Gun and Texas Monthly.
Not all types of print publications are in decline, said Rose: “Magazines that are about people’s passions and something they’re extremely interested in are doing very well. So are regional magazines, and we think we have both.”
Dorado will not immediately be available in Durango. It’s not intended as a local guide, Bennett said. Expect to read a lot about Southwest locales such as Moab, Utah; Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona; and Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.
“It’s about our region,” Bennett said. “It’s not about Durango, it’s not about the Four Corners. It’s about the whole Southwest region.”
Editor-in-chief Jeff Ficker in based in Phoenix. The magazine is printed by Quad/Graphics in Milwaukee.
Bennett hopes to expand distribution to California and the Midwest.
The first six issues will arrive in certain Texas mailboxes unsolicited. After a year, residents must subscribe to continue receiving Dorado.
“I’ve been really, really pleased with the excitement when people see it,” Bennett said. “They say, ‘Wow, this is a high-quality magazine and website.’”