Listening sessions set as work continues on state tourism plan

Cathy Ritter
Cathy Ritter

A meeting is scheduled for Grand Junction as part of a second round of sessions to gather comments on a statewide tourism plan for Colorado.

“This is a chance for Coloradans across the state to take part in identifying the top priorities for maximizing one of the most important industries in our state,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “We hope participants will bring their thoughts about challenges that need to be addressed as well as opportunities to drive even more long-term benefits, jobs and tax revenues for communities around our state.”

The meeting is set for 8:30 to 10 a.m. Oct. 14 at the Grand Junction City Hall auditorium at 250 N. Fifth Street.

Anyone with a stake in the future of Colorado tourism, including community leaders and elected officials, is invited to participate in the 90-minute facilitated discussion. Participants should submit reservations by Oct. 10 by calling 244-1480 or sending an e-mail to visitgj@gjcity.org.

The Colorado Tourism Office has scheduled eight so-called listening sessions as part of efforts to develop a state tourism plan. Sessions also are planned for Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, Limon, Pueblo, Salida and Vail.

Mitch Nichols, president of Nichols Tourism Group of Bellingham, Wash., will lead the listening sessions. The firm has been hired to lead development of the Colorado Tourism Roadmap. Nichols heads up a consulting team that also includes the Radcliffe Company of Spokane and National Laboratory of Tourism and e-Commerce based at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Findings from the listening sessions will be used to develop goals, strategies and action steps for the plan, which is scheduled for a vote before the Colorado Tourism Board in January.

Throughout the process, the CTO also will accept online comments through the website at http://industry.colorado.com.

In 2015, the Colorado tourism industry set records with 77.7 million visitors to the state who spent $19.1 billion and generated $1.13 billion in tax revenue.