A welcome change?

State developing new signs to promote Colorado's beauty

The signs that greet motorists as they enter the state are an oxymoron, some Coloradans say.

The signs say, "Welcome to Colorful Colorado," in recognition of the state's colorful landscape.

But the signs, which were first erected in 1950, are brown and white.

Some say the drab signs don't do justice to the state's beautiful and colorful geography.

State officials are designing new, more colorful welcome signs.

At the Colorado Welcome Center in Dinosaur, director Leona Hemmerich said new signs can't arrive soon enough.

"What could be more stupid than saying 'Colorful Colorado' in solid brown?" Hemmerich asked.

Hemmerich has been the director of the welcome center for eight years.

She said it isn't uncommon for travelers crossing the border from Utah to get to the welcome center and ask, "Why do you have all of this Colorado stuff?"

"They didn't even see it," Hemmerich said about the Colorado welcome sign posted three miles west of the center.

The brown sign blends in with the arid landscape, Hemmerich said.

"They see the Moffat County sign before they see the Colorado sign," Hemmerich said.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is developing new welcome signs.

The signs will be more colorful and will match other products the office is making as part of a state branding campaign, said Stefanie Dalgar, a spokeswoman for the office.

The office came under fire in recent weeks when a prototype was leaked to the media.

The prototype said, "Welcome to Colorado" and was even more plain than the "Colorful Colorado" signs.

But Dalgar said the premature prototype that appeared in some media outlets is nothing like the sign under development.

The new sign will still say, "Colorful Colorado," she said.

Dalgar said the office hopes to have the new signs finished in about two months.

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