MBA brainstorms ways to boost tourism |

MBA brainstorms ways to boost tourism

Lois Wymore

Tapping into the tourism beyond hunting season and the Sheepdog Trails dominated most of Tuesday’s discussion of the Meeker Business in Action meeting.

Boots Campbell worked at the Department of Wildlife office as a temporary employee for three months. She is convinced there is one way to build tourism for the rest of the year.

“We just need to tell them what summer is like, and suggest they should bring mama out here and show her where they shot that big bull,” she said.

Campell suggested MBA work on a promotion with incentives for hunters to return during the summer.

“Maybe a drawing or contest,” she said.

She said her DOW experience convinced her that brochures with detailed maps and listings of other activities for entertainment would be a huge asset.

Bill Rucker brought copies of an article from the Grand Junction Sentinel about Baby Boomers choosing the West for retirement.

“Nevada, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming and Colorado are their top choices,” he said.

Rucker said the article reiterates that Baby Boomers are better educated, have more money and are not coming West to spend time in rocking chairs.

“They are active and want to experience things they’ve never done,” he said.

Rucker said he thought Meeker and Rio Blanco County should consider marketing the region to their demographic.

“Housing, or the lack of available housing, is a huge issue for the community,” Sharon Day, Meeker Town Administrator, said it was a topic on the community survey.

“It is a huge problem for families trying to relocate here,” she said.

“You know Meeker wants and needs growth, but at the same time, we don’t want to grow,” member David May said.

Tony Weiss brought a grocery sack of handouts and brochures to share with members from the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which he attended in Vail.

Weiss said visitors spent $7.1 billion dollars last year in Colorado. The state spent $9 million on promotion, which produced $519 million in direct taxes for the state last year.

He said sessions included buying trends of Baby Boomers, international travelers and selling heritage. He reiterated the opportunity for Meeker and all of Rio Blanco County to market tourism.

“Selling cultural heritage tourism goes beyond our country,” he said. “International travelers are primed for a Western experience. The opportunity is there if we can take charge.”

Cathy Caldwell, from the Meeker office of the Colorado Workforce Center spoke about services the center has to offer local business owners.

“We are not just here for those looking for a job, but we have many services to help the employer,” she said.

She they routinely screen applicants to best suit the employers needs.

“We also conduct four informational seminars a year specifically designed to help employers,” she said.

Caldwell said the next seminar is about work visas and is planned for January; another on labor laws is planned for March.

MBA meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Meeker Town Hall at 7:30 a.m. to share ideas and put them into action. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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