CRAFT Case Study: CAVE, Mesa County

Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE) & Colorado Wine Fest in Palisade, in conjunction with the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, was awarded a CRAFT Recovery Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2020 to advance recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective of this CRAFT Recovery Mentor program was to support CAVE & Colorado Mountain Winefest staff with outreach to update and improve member listings while providing guidance on CAVE’s marketing strategy and goals.

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

CAVE & Colorado Winefest was paired with Heidi Pankow, a CRAFT Mentor with over 30 years experience in tourism marketing, rural and collaborative destination development, communication, and public relations, to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Completion of a gap analysis of winery listings and the CAVE membership list, identification of a list of missing wineries from, and validation of business information across both platforms.
  • Development of an email template with links and instructions for CAVE members to claim their free business listing.
  • Access to direct assistance for CAVE members to update their business listing.
  • Enhancement of business descriptions of the Palisade Wineries that appear on the Palisade Chamber of Commerce Fruit and Wine Byway via Ride with GPS.
  • Delivery of peer-to-peer feedback on high level marketing campaign themes and marketing channels for 2021.

"Working with the Colorado Tourism Office through their CRAFT Recovery Mentor Program during what proved to be one of the most difficult years for tourism could not have come at a better time. The mentorship and resources offered were put to use straight away through targeted social media campaigns focused on "Staycations", reminding locals of the abundance we have right in their backyard. Our wineries, orchards, restaurants and lodging partners reported on a busy, but safe summer, welcoming the Colorado traveler "roaming from home'. Having additional mentor hours offered a unique partnership with Bicycle Colorado and Ride with GPS as we were able to highlight Palisade, a town bursting with unique things to do. These resources and marketing opportunities made such a difference in not only surviving the pandemic, but finding a way to thrive." - Cassidee Shull, Executive Director, CAVE


About CRAFT Mentor

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) developed the Colorado Rural Academy For Tourism (CRAFT) to support communities across the state integrate tourism into their economic development strategies and develop new visitor experiences aimed at attracting increased traveler spending.  

The CRAFT Recovery Mentor program provides up to 50 hours of mentoring for Colorado tourism partners to advance one or more tourism strategies that bolsters their response to a recent crisis or natural disaster.


Cassidee Shull