Glenwood Springs ups efforts to draw summer guests |

Glenwood Springs ups efforts to draw summer guests

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The Glenwood Springs Chamber and Resort Association is launching a summer marketing campaign for the first time in years to help fill lodges as travelers watch their wallets.

Occupancy rates have been around 85 to 95 percent in the area during past summers, but tourism officials are bracing for a decline this year after lodging tax revenue fell 31 percent in January and February from the same time last year, said Kate Collins, vice president of tourism marketing for the association.

This spring the City Council awarded the resort association $50,000 for summer advertising in hopes of luring nearby visitors for quick, inexpensive getaways. A marketing plan calls for spending about $20,000 of that on Front Range billboards.

The money is on top of $700,000 the chamber received earlier this year from the city’s tourism marketing fund for costs of the yearly marketing campaign.

Aspen and Vail are among other mountain towns boosting summer marketing.

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“One tricky thing is, all Colorado mountain destinations are going for the Front Range market, which I think is perceived as the low-hanging fruit,” Collins said. “But Glenwood Springs has a place in people’s hearts and memories. There are many loyal visitors here who have a real connection to this place.”

A number of events beyond Memorial Day weekend and the annual Strawberry Days festival could help lure tourists to Glenwood Springs. On May 30, the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team trials take place at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park. Also, two state bike tours ” Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado ” start and finish in Glenwood Springs this summer.

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