ALAMOSA — Changes are coming to Alamosa's Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Welcome Center. During the Alamosa County Local Marketing District's meeting Thursday evening the board approved funding for an intern from Adams State University to assist at the CVB and it was announced that the welcome center will get a photo station and the gift store will hire a new employee.
The intern will be paid $12 an hour and work 15-20 hours per week for June, July and August. The flexible schedule allows the student to assist at events, collect data and perform other tasks for the visitors bureau and welcome center.
"It's an opportunity for them to really get involved in an organization, see the back ends of things and see how it's all working," said Alamosa CVB Executive Director Kale Mortensen.
One thing the intern may help with is boosting social media engagement at the new photo booth. Staff are looking into purchasing signs that will say "#VisitAlamosa" and other messages for guests to use for photos while wearing train-related props like conductor hats.
"It's a good photo op on train days where everyone is waiting there," Mortensen said. "We want to get that interaction a little bit more."
Inspired by Boulder's travelling Volkswagen bus photo booth, Mortensen is looking into the possibility of making it mobile for events such as SummerFest on the Rio.
"I think it's a great idea," Board member Danielle Van Veghten said.
The organization is also searching for a part-time seasonal employee to staff the gift shop from June through October. Rather than working the usual hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or whenever the train returns, the store hours will be changed to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"It's a very long day and it's easy to burn out and we have burned out employees by doing that," said CVB Event Manager Elizabeth Sumner.
According to Sumner, Saturday and Sunday afternoons are slow news days—less than 10 percent of their total visitors come then—and the additional coverage will allow her to be in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays.
"It actually may boost sales because people who said they were going to wait to buy something when they came back and don't, they will instead have that initial excitement," Board member Liz Thomas-Hensley said.