MCTA hears pitch for YVRA display collaboration

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In other action

At its Wednesday meeting, the Moffat County Tourism Association board:

• Approved, 6-0, to cover certain expenses for Director Michelle Perry. Among them, MCTA will pay for roughly half of her personal cell phone's monthly bill, limited to $32 a month. MCTA also will pay up to $150 for new business cards and up to $200 for office supplies.

MCTA Board President Tammie Thompson-Booker said she favored allowing Perry to use her personal cell phone instead of a county phone because those have too many limits on them, such as not enough minutes and roaming fees.

By comparison, MCTA paid $2,591.11 in 2007 for former director Shelly Flannery's cell phone bills, when she used a county phone. That amounts to about $216 a month.

• Approved, 6-0, spending up to $1,500 for 5,000 updated Browns Park brochures. The board agreed to contract with The Print Shop, which the Daily Press owns, without a formal bid process.

Perry said the decision was made to forego bidding because The Print Shop designed the brochure's original artwork and could print new ones with minor changes for a good rate.

• Approved, 6-0, spending $75 to register Perry to attend the legislative reception during an annual tourism conference in Denver.

• Approved, 6-0, spending as much as $150 for lunch for eight people during a board training seminar Jan. 12.

— Michelle Perry, the newly hired Moffat County Tourism Association director, has a new collaborative project in the works.

The MCTA board voted unanimously to direct Perry to work with representatives of WorldWest LLC - which owns the Daily Press - on improving the local presence at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden.

The airport has been a topic of conversation since Craig resident John Ponikvar joined the MCTA board in November 2007. Although Ponikvar's term was up Dec. 31, and he is no longer a board member, the issue remains among the group's priorities.

The goal: Expand Moffat County's visibility so as to attract tourists already in the Yampa Valley.

WorldWest's plan is to create new video content for the Moffat County information section and hire someone to staff the area, said Bryce Jacobson, Daily Press publisher.

That person would be there to talk with tourists year-round, "When every flight lands," Jacobson said.

Even though it would be "foolish" to think someone could convince a family on a ski trip to come to Moffat County instead, Steamboat Springs area representatives say many tourists on weeklong vacations are "desperate" for things to do, Jacobson said.

If they knew about the outdoor activities available in Moffat County, he added, they might be inclined to come here for a time.

Anything that comes out of a joint arrangement would be added to the new information section installed by MCTA on Dec. 31 in the airport's baggage claim area. The group put up new brochure racks under a mural with the tagline, "Go West for Rugged Adventure."

Jacobson added he does not plan to ask MCTA to pay for anything, but he wants permission to use the space. If granted, WorldWest would put up "digital signage" that would be one-third tourism video, one-third general information feed and one-third advertising.

The Daily Press would collect all advertising revenue from signage its parent company installs.

New director settles in

Perry, who began her tenure as MCTA director Dec. 15, said she has enjoyed her time with the tourism group.

"It's a good experience working with community agencies in a way I haven't before," said Perry, a former Daily Press reporter and editor.

The MCTA board has given her two main projects to work on: updating brochures at the Moffat County Visitor Center and working on the joint Web site development with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Perry said she has started creating new content for the Web site and has updated the Browns Park brochure, which Visitor Center staff said is one of the most requested pamphlets they have.

On Friday, Perry will get materials ready for a board training seminar Monday and will place an order for 5,000 new Browns Park brochures with The Print Shop, which is owned by the Daily Press.

During the next month, she said she will continue to meet with community members and groups, as well as keep busy with the projects piling up in front of her.

"I'll probably keep working on the brochures," Perry said, "because we've got a lot of work to do."

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