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The waiting is the hardest part

Tourism is Everybody's BusinessKate CollinsGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

This month Glenwood Springs will celebrate at least two, and possibly three, large and promising initiatives that will advance our tourism economy in 2007 and beyond. At the end of May, Glenwood Springs will unveil a new brand, execute plans for a central reservations system to launch June 1, and likely announce a partnership with a major airline with new air service into Eagle County Regional Airport. These advances will bridge the gap for Glenwood Springs tourism from where we are to where we aim to be in 2008 and beyond. The Glenwood Springs Tourism Board and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (GSCRA) are tasked with increasing annual tourism revenues, increasing visitation year-round, and attracting visitors who will come more often, stay longer, and spend more in our lodges, restaurants, retail and attractions. There’s a sensible formula and investment of marketing resources to make that happen: the right message to the right person at the right time, along with easy access to our product. We’ve identified that for Glenwood Springs, the path to an increase in destination tourism is through consistent, clear, targeted marketing with regular communication of our essential “brand” to our prospects and loyal customers, and the creation of central reservations to create a seamless portal and “one-stop-shopping” for our guests with an online portal and a toll-free call center. The opportunity to capitalize on nearby air travel is an added bonus which will increase the development of a segment of purposeful destination visitors from outside of Colorado, versus the coincidental I-70 traveler or our established (and highly valued) Front Range visitor. Glenwood Springs’ potential airline partner, Frontier Airlines, is considering service into Eagle County Regional Airport. (The bonus for local residents with convenient outbound service is also a boon, eliminating that half-day journey to Denver with a scenic 30-minute cruise through the canyon.) We await Frontier’s announcement with hopeful enthusiasm.A celebration luncheon is planned for Thursday, May 31, at Rivers restaurant for the imminent launch and exciting triumphs of several of 2007’s marketing plan initiatives. Please come out to discover Glenwood Springs’ new brand and the rollout of central reservations. Also on the agenda is a presentation from the Colorado Tourism Organization, the statewide driver of Colorado tourism with its exciting and effective programs now fueled by a $19 million annual budget. We’ll introduce the new 2007-08 Glenwood Springs magazine, featuring 25 local guest writers and a well-known cover boy. You are invited. Please mark your calendar and look for details on visitglenwood.com or call the Chamber at 945-6589 for reservations.Hmm. I fear I’ve dated myself with my reference to Tom Petty’s ’80s tune as the background music for initiatives that are pending – and pivotal- this month, and for me the waiting really is the hardest part. (An aside: I now listen mostly to ’90s alternative on Sirius. If I feel particularly spunky, I tune in Alt Nation for a real-time current infusion of music. New input is good for staving off inflexible thinking, so I say bring it on!)In the words of my sons, “Glenwood Springs Rocks Out Loud!” It’s worth the work – and worth the wait. See you May 31. Kate Collins is the vice president of tourism marketing for the Glenwood Springs Tourism Board and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.


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