Grand County was awarded a CRAFT Studio 101 program by the Colorado Tourism Office in winter 2019. Program objectives included:
- Leverage consumer marketing to increase tourism in the county
- Engage in education to increase the sustainability of organizations in the community through increased tourism income
- Amplify community identity and pride by growing awareness of the county Heritage Cultural Historical Creative (HCHC)
Located in The Great West, the majority of tourism in Grand County has historically centered around Winter Park Ski Resort and the town of Winter Park, while the heritage, cultural, historical, and creative tourism markets have been largely untapped.
Following their participation in CRAFT Studio 101, Grand County successfully applied for and participated in a CRAFT Studio 201 program to develop a marketing plan to promote heritage and cultural assets.
CRAFT Studio 101 Program Outcomes
A core group of five local tourism champions attended six in-person workshops. The primary focus of the engagement was Culinary & Agritourism and Cultural & Heritage Tourism.
The Colorado Tourism Office matched Grand County with Amy Cassidy, a CRAFT Facilitator with expertise in communications, marketing, public relations, and community outreach to achieve the following outcomes.
The following occurred as a direct result of the program:
- The Facilitator delivered a comprehensive report to summarize the program and recommend next steps.
- Following the successful completion of CRAFT Studio 101, Grand County applied for and was awarded a CRAFT Studio 101 Implementation Grant of $10,000 to hire a consultant to create a tourism asset inventory list to support tourism expansion throughout the county to activities beyond outdoor recreation. Grand County also worked with the consultant to create multimedia promotional materials to support shoulder season activities.
The following changes happened after the program took place:
- Formed new connections and working relationships among regional partners. Historical associations, scenic byways, and creative industries were connected to allow for more seamless collaboration
- Re-energized and strengthened the area’s scenic byway committee
- Increased awareness about tourism practices through the CRAFT educational sessions, with approximately 200 professionals from various sectors benefitting from the expertise offered
- Engaged 20-37 people at each session of CRAFT Studio 101
- Updated the Grand County Historical Association (GCHA) strategic plan to include expansion and improvements at three of its four locations
- Raised $29,000 for the GCHA in the first five months of 2020, the equivalent of all of 2019 funds raised
- Received and provided a 100% match for a $25,000 marketing grant from CTO through the Tourism Board to help businesses start promoting themselves via Google businesses
- Created a common Grand County Master Calendar for the county as a central information point for tourists
- Increased community buy-in and sense of pride regarding tourism
“During the Learning Labs and the core team workshops, trust was built between [The Grand County Tourism Board, the Colorado Tourism Office, and other] organizations and knowledge of what is available to the benefit Grand County’s businesses and organizations.” — DiAnn Butler, Community Champion
Get inspired to visit Grand County by exploring Colorado.com:
Grand County Explorer: Grand Lake, Kremmling, Granby, Winter Park & More
3 Days in Grand County
Grand County in the Winter
The Grand Tour: 7 Days in Grand County
Grand Lake Creative District Summer Tour
About CRAFT Studio 101
CRAFT Studio 101 supports destinations that are in the early stages of the place lifecycle by providing tourism education and training to integrate tourism into economic development strategies. Participants receive $10,000 of implementation funding upon completion.
Grand County, Grand County Historical Association