Tourism group, Chamber join forces

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The Moffat County Tourism Association appears to have found a solution to its director problem.

The association, which is tasked with promoting the region's tourist attractions, has been without a director since Steve Miller resigned in July.

After a few months without a director, the group plans to combine the director position with one at the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Rather than hiring a director to work part time to promote tourism, the association will use the $16,500 it planned to pay the director to pay for one of the employees at the Chamber.

The association and the chamber share some tasks anyway, said Annette Gianinetti, director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

"It already is so overlapped," Gianinetti said at Tuesday's Moffat County commissioners meeting.

The money from the tourism association will allow the chamber to permanently hire an employee whose salary is being paid with grant money, Gianinetti said. That grant money will soon run out, she said.

Without a director, the association hasn't done a good job of keeping up with groups who want to travel to the area, association board member Dan Davidson said.

Davidson, who runs the Muse--um of Northwest Colorado, said he supports combining the position with that of the Chamber. The chamber already promotes area tourist attractions, he said.

"They're doing a lot of it anyway," he said.

Moffat County's lodging tax funds the tourism association and the county commissioners must approve any change in the way the association director position operates.

Commissioners discussed the change at Tuesday's meeting but didn't make a decision.

By combining the position with the chamber, the association and the chamber will improve efficiency, Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

"I think we're looking at a lot more efficiency," Steele said.

But commissioners said they wanted to make sure they have a record of how the chamber uses the association's money.

"We need to know what we're doing with those dollars," Commissioner Tom Gray said.

Moffat County Attorney Kathleen Taylor will meet with Gianinetti to work out the specifics of the change, commissioners said Tuesday.

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