CRAFT Case Study: Town of Palisade, Mountains and Mesas

The Town of Palisade in the Mountains and Mesas travel region was awarded a Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (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 develop an inventory of priority visitor routes to support promotion of scenic drives and bicycle rides and increase visitor spending at Palisade businesses. A Route Inventory and Point of Interest library were compiled and added into the Town of Palisade’s tourism account on the Ride with GPS platform, which will enable visitors to better navigate cycling and touring in Palisade, share and promote rides on the town’s website and within Ride with GPS, and encourage visitor spending in the town by highlighting local businesses along each visitor route. 

CRAFT Recovery Mentor Program Results

The Town of Palisade 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, to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Creation of the Town of Palisade Ride with GPS tourism account. 
  • Editing, uploading and linking the Point of Interest inventory to the Ride with GPS tourism account. This inventory identifies bicycle friendly businesses in the Town of Palisade and surrounding area and includes restaurants, coffee shops, wineries, farms and orchards, breweries and distilleries, lodging and attractions. 
  • Development of a Route Inventory that identifies popular routes for cycling, touring, hiking, and history and culture, within the Town of Palisade and the surrounding area. The Route Inventory identifies popular existing routes, along with a description, travel tips, and other information. This Route Inventory provides the foundation for the Town of Palisade to populate additional routes on Ride with GPS, which can then be exported to the Mountains and Mesas Bicycle Tourism microsite on
  • Publication of four routes on Ride with GPS, with Point of Interest, turn-by-turn cue sheets, and images where available.  
  • Identification of tags to use for website embeds that promote the Palisade Fruit and Wine Byway and the Palisade Rim Trail. 

“Thanks to the support we received through CRAFT we were able to literally put Palisade on the map! Amy's thoughtfulness and collaboration with Ride with GPS has allowed us to map out and showcase some of the amazing routes Palisade has to offer, like our Fruit & Wine Byway. Thanks to CRAFT we now have the foundation to build upon to help cyclists of all levels discover Palisade.” - Lydia Reynolds



About CRAFT Recovery Mentor

The Colorado Tourism Office 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 bolster their response to a recent crisis or natural disaster.


Lydia Reynolds