Governor Polis and Colorado Tourism Office Award Historic Tourism Recovery Grants to Local Communities

DENVER — Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO), within the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), announced the seven recipients of the Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant funding. The recipients granted this funding come from all across the state. The goal of this grant program is to support the economic recovery of the travel and tourism industry and attract visitors to Colorado cities and towns that are still recovering from the pandemic. A healthy and robust tourism economy is essential to Colorado’s thriving economy.

“Colorado is home to inspirational world-class outdoor gems, deep cultural history, and unique destinations that offer endless reasons to visit. So the secret is out: Colorado is an amazing place to visit and to live. Our administration is providing help for communities across our state that are tourism destinations to help our economy thrive, address challenging local issues like affordable workforce housing and create jobs,” said Gov. Polis

Each application was evaluated on the strength of a tourism recovery-focused marketing campaign, demonstrated recovery need, measurable tourism impact, quality of budget and timeline and implementation capacity. Eligible projects include city, county or regional tourism marketing and promotional campaigns overseen by nonprofit organizations promoting tourist destinations, Colorado cities or other political subdivisions of the state, economic development district organizations and Indian tribes.

“Tourism contributes to thriving local economies across the state, and these grants will help communities still recovering from the pandemic see those same benefits,” said Patrick Meyers, OEDIT’s Executive Director. “This support is an essential part of creating a Colorado economy that works for everyone.”

This one-time grant was funded through an EDA American Rescue Plan: Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation State Grant, providing funding to eligible applicants to support the economic recovery of the travel and tourism industry in Colorado through the execution of tourism marketing and promotional campaigns. All marketing campaign messaging must support the travel and tourism sectors and be consistent with CDC guidelines for safe travel.

“This federal funding allows the Colorado Tourism Office to directly support tourism communities still in recovery from the impacts of the pandemic,” said Colorado Tourism Office Director Timothy Wolfe. “We have different communities across the state recovering at different rates, and this additional funding allows our partners to strive to get back to pre-pandemic levels where we saw record visitor spending at $24.2 billion.”

This is a historic amount of funding that the CTO has awarded through a grant program, more than doubling the $710,000 awarded last year through the Tourism Marketing Matching Grant. Providing direct support to industry partners allows destinations to market to audiences that lost market share during the pandemic such as meetings and events, group travel, off-season visitors and international travelers.

The Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant was launched on June 1, 2022, and the deadline for application submission was August 1, 2022. A total of 12 applications were received by the deadline, representing 13 counties throughout Colorado and requesting a total of  $3,227,500. A total of $1.8M will be distributed in various amounts to seven different industry partners across the state.

La Junta is one of seven organizations receiving grants:

City of La Junta – La Junta, Colorado – $75,000

The City of La Junta will use this funding to launch its first official marketing campaign, “You Would Never Guess.” This marketing campaign will promote the new Visit La Junta brand – “Rich History, Unexpected Adventure,” and even newer sub-brand – “Tarantula Trek: A Mating Expedition” over a two-year period.

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedMedia ReleaseRecreationUtilities


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