MCTA pitches separate website to Craig Chamber |

MCTA pitches separate website to Craig Chamber

Scott Schlaufman

Marilynn Hill, executive director of the Moffat County Tourism Association, said having joint websites with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership is limiting at times.

"The way that our website has been built is really a template website, and that template website is very limited on expansion of what we can do," Hill said.

In a presentation to the Craig Chamber of Commerce Board at its regular meeting Thursday, Hill said MCTA is looking at creating a new website that would be independent of the Chamber and EDP.

The new website would end the relationship between the organizations' joint sites launched in September 2009. All three share similar layouts and link to the others.

A new MCTA website would continue to link to the EDP and Chamber sites, Hill said.

One of Hill's primary concerns about the current website involves the ability to track users.

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She said many links on MCTA's page take users to Chamber pages and can lead to confusion on how or why the user left MCTA's page.

Once the user goes to a non-MCTA page, MCTA can't track how much time is spent on other pages or whether the user finds useful information.

Hill said a new website would remedy those problems.

Christina Oxley, Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she's against splitting the sites.

"Our whole point (in having joint sites) was so the end user didn't know they were going from different sites because, frankly, we get the website traffic and they don't," Oxley said. "That was a really big benefit to them to be able to count those (Chamber) numbers along with theirs."

EDP director Darcy Owens-Trask also attended the meeting and said her organization's needs were being met with the current website.

"It's surprising to me that we took a lot of pressure from the county about the three organizations being coordinated and it is, in fact, the one that is using county taxpayer dollars that is coming and saying, 'This doesn't really work for us,'" Owens-Trask said.

She said she will advise EDP Board members to take a wait and see approach on the matter.

Oxley said the Chamber's webmaster had a solution to many of the problems MCTA has with the site, including implementation of social networking.

Chamber Board member Gene Bilodeau told Oxley he believes the Chamber should stand its ground on the issue without placing too much pressure on MCTA.

"In this situation, what I'd like the board to do is direct you to have a conversation with the director of MCTA and just say, 'This is what our (position) is on it, should you choose to go ahead (with the website)'," he said "We're not going to fight them on that. Let's keep friends where we can keep friends."

Oxley said MCTA should pay any costs involved in breaking the integration between the websites, should MCTA move forward with the idea.

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