ALAMOSA — Tuesday was an exciting day for the Alamosa County tourism network. The Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (CRAFT) workshop officially got underway at the Alamosa Depot.
The workshop is part of the Colorado Tourism Office’s (CTO) training and support program. The program began in 2018 and is designed to help rural communities build tourism into a strategy for economic development. The program is solution-oriented and provides six sessions to evaluate what the possibilities are for the improvement of tourism for Colorado’s smaller, rural areas. The program also provides additional resources such funding and PR/social media support.
The process for CRAFT takes place in two parts. The first step is the organization of community stakeholders known as the Core Group. The second step is a public input process.
The Core Group for Alamosa met on Tuesday to begin the process of developing a “vision” for Alamosa tourism with the assistance of CTO representatives. The group has representation from Alamosa County, the Alamosa Chamber of Commerce, Adams State University, the San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center, the Colorado Welcome Center, San Luis Valley Great Outdoors and many others.
Following a welcome and introduction from Alamosa Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Kale Mortensen, the group began to discuss possibilities and challenges when it comes to tourism in Alamosa. In addition, attendees participated in an activity where small groups were asked to come up with a mock magazine feature for Alamosa. Some of the recurring themes throughout the session included the need to highlight the accessibility and affordability that a visit to Alamosa offers. There was also agreement that there is a need for more cohesive marketing and branding strategy.
The CRAFT workshop will continue for five more sessions with the public input portion to come next at the Alamosa City Complex.