CRAFT Case Study: Snowmass Tourism, Pitkin County

Snowmass Tourism, in the Roaring Fork Valley and Rockies Playground travel region, was awarded a Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (CRAFT) Recovery Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2020. The objective of this CRAFT Recovery Mentor program was to support tourism management organizations and partners in the Roaring Fork Valley build awareness of their 2020 International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Gold Ride Center designation and prioritize collaborative strategies to enhance bicycle tourism opportunities throughout the valley.

The partners working together on this project share a mission to promote the Roaring Fork Valley as a premier international mountain biking destination and identified an opportunity to achieve this by accurately and consistently sharing information that presents the best bicycle tourism experiences the valley has to offer, for mountain bikers of all skill levels. The delivery of this CRAFT Recovery Mentor project helped lay the groundwork for a collaborative marketing strategy to target information for visitors to inspire, plan, book and execute mountain bike experiences throughout the valley, as well as help champion the value of investing in bicycle tourism, trail development and trail maintenance locally. 

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

Snowmass Tourism was paired with Amy Cassidy, a CRAFT Mentor with over 30 years experience in strategic planning, marketing and communications in emerging and established destinations throughout Colorado, with particular expertise in bicycle tourism product development, to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Convene local partners for a project kickoff meeting and an action planning session. Attendees included representatives from: Snowmass Tourism, Visit Glenwood Springs, Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Tourism Council of Carbondale, Basalt Chamber, Aspen Skiing Company, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and Crown Mountain Bike Park.
  • Compile a Best of the Best inventory of mountain biking routes, gravel rides and bike parks in each of the Roaring Fork Valley bike hubs. Route information includes trail length, difficulty rating, travel tips, links to websites or maps and other information crucial to inspiring, planning and executing a multi-day Roaring Fork Valley bicycle vacation.
  • Compile an inventory of bike-focused services in each of the Roaring Fork Valley bike hubs. Information about these services includes bike shops, bike rentals, restaurants, coffee shops, and other services such as transportation and bike sharing. 
  • Create a process for identifying and sharing assets such as photography and videography, and identify gaps in assets needed to accurately promote a well-rounded cycling vacation to the Roaring Fork Valley. 
  • Develop a Roaring Fork Valley Mountain Bike 2-year work plan that includes key findings and agreements from the action planning session and provides the project team strong direction and timelines to further advance their collaborative efforts.  

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.


Virginia McNellis