The Moffat County Tourism Association Board has had trouble filling open positions, MCTA Executive Director Marilynn Hill said.
“They had some board resignations right before I came on board, so we’ve been working with five to six members, and we’ve recently been down to four members,” Hill said.
But, on Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission appointed some new members. The commissioners named Tom Mikesell, Vicki Wade and Kerry Moe to the board’s three open positions.
The three were chosen from five letters of interest, Hill said. She expects the new members to bring a variety of views to the board.
Mikesell owns M&M Outfitters and represents a segment of tourism that Hill said has been missing.
“That’s real exciting because that represents a whole different area that I think MCTA has been missing,” Hill said “I know that the outfitters before didn’t feel like they had a voice.”
Mikesell said he’s unsure what his role on the board will be. However, he said he knows the impact outfitting and hunting have on local tourism.
“I have very strong feelings about that involvement in our tourism and I don’t think it’s been exploited to its extent,” he said. “I think people kind of wipe it under the rug and they don’t have any idea what we do as outfitters and what we do as sportsmen for the tourism industry.”
The other two appointed members work in the lodging industry.
Wade works for the Holiday Inn of Craig and Moe and her husband, Frank, own Best Western Plus Deer Park Inn and Suites.
Moe is joining the board just over seven months after Frank resigned from it. Frank was on the board for more than 20 years before he stepped down to run for a county commission seat.
Moe said she hopes to emphasize Internet marketing and making sure Craig is brought up when people use search engines to research recreational activities in Colorado, the way that a search for skiing would bring up Steamboat Springs.
“Typically when you type in something now, Craig won’t show up and neither will Moffat County,” she said.
“If you type in, say, hunting and bicycling, hiking, fishing, Craig and Moffat County don’t show up at all. You have to keep narrowing your search more and more intricately to even be able to find Northwestern Colorado, and it shouldn’t be that way”
Wade works in sales for the Holiday Inn and decided to join MCTA after hearing about the recent problem in finding a chairperson.
She said she brings a variety of professional experience to the position, having worked for numerous businesses in Craig, mainly in accounting.
She said one of the weaknesses in local tourism is the lack of name recognition the city has with tourists.
“You go somewhere and you say, ‘We’re from Craig,’ and people say, ‘Where’s that?’” Wade said. “You say, ‘We’re 45 minutes from Steamboat,’ then it triggers.”
Hill said the new board members will have only a short time to get acclimated since the board’s next regular meeting is March 2.
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