MCTA pacing itself

Tourism agency moving toward the finish lines of 2008 projects

— Quietly, the Moffat County Tourism Association has kept its promises and pursued some of the projects outlined in its 2008 goals, which were presented at the August meeting.

At the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials on Sept. 5 through 9, MCTA Executive Director Shelly Flannery debuted the new passport tourism package.

Flannery distributed passport books with pages advertising different sights around Moffat County. When a tourist visits one of those sights, they get a passport stamp. Fill up the book with stamps and tourists get a gift basket MCTA plans to fill with coupons and locally made souvenirs.

MCTA has not officially printed any passports yet, but Flannery made some herself to pass out in Meeker.

"We're working with Rio Blanco County to give out each other's (passport books)," MCTA board member Cindy Looper said. "For the sheepdog trials, (Flannery) ran some off her computer just so she would have some."

The passport books would be distributed at places advertised inside them, and also at public centers such as the Moffat County Visitor's Center in the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

MCTA also plans to work with the Chamber and the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership to advertise job openings during hunting season.

Flannery plans to coordinate with job placement centers in the area to display available jobs on a board that would hang in the Chamber, Looper said. EDP would contribute some funding and logistical help.

The idea is to attract hunters and other tourists who might like the area but not know if they could find work here, Looper said.

Flannery has not progressed as well with a possible agricultural easement in the county. An agricultural easement would designate a plot of land - Flannery is looking for about 500 acres - that can never be developed for anything other than agricultural and natural uses.

MCTA wants the land for nature tourism and education.

The last three ranches Flannery has used to apply for the easement, with the blessing of the owners, have been denied by the state because of the possible value in oil and gas exploration, Looper said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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