- Increase visitor readiness and establish Moffat County as a gateway community for outdoor recreation
- Educate local tourism stakeholders about collaborative opportunities to develop, manage and promote tourism
- Foster a sense of community pride and strengthen buy-in for tourism-related efforts
Located in The Great West, Moffat County is Colorado's second largest county by area, and energy production companies have historically been its largest source of employment. The recent decline in the energy industry in the area has opened the opportunity for the county to focus on tourism-related economic development and capitalize on its existing outdoor assets.
Following their participation in CRAFT Studio 101, Moffat County successfully applied for and participated in a CRAFT Studio 201 program to develop a three year marketing plan and strategy.
CRAFT Studio 101 Program Outcomes
A core group of four local tourism champions attended six in-person workshops. The primary focus of the engagement was Agritourism and Adventure Tourism.
The Colorado Tourism Office matched Moffat County with Hilary Lewkowitz, a CRAFT Facilitator with expertise in conservation, sustainable tourism, and communications 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, Moffat County applied for and was awarded a CRAFT Studio 101 Implementation Grant of $9,284 to promote the area and its new annual Tourism Week event.
The following changes happened after the program took place:
- Developed marketing knowledge and insights for the small business community to enhance marketing efforts and develop rack cards to recruit businesses to Moffat County
- Amplified community pride through the creation of a Love Moffat County Campaign. The Chamber of Commerce created and implemented the campaign with a logo, signs, and stickers with the focus and vision to build community pride, love, and gratitude for the county
- Increased tourism sustainability through the Chamber of Commerce by sharing information on Leave No Trace ethics and selling local agricultural products
- Established the community as a visitor-ready gateway. For instance, the Chamber of Commerce created itinerary cards to share with visitors at hotels and via mail
- Catalyzed a collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to make Sand Wash Basin Wild Mustangs more visitor-ready with amenities and interpretative signs
- Enrolled five Chamber of Commerce staff members in the Colorado Concierge program, which they have now completed
- Created and implemented the 12-hour Beyond Excellence Service Training (BEST), a customer service training that incorporates hospitality and tourism training specific to Moffat County. The program has expanded to the Colorado Northwestern Community College as an online and in-person certification, and 24 people have graduated from the program to-date
- Supported new businesses, with three downtown businesses opening in 2019, each of which supports the dynamics of creating a downtown that attracts visitors and residents
- Revitalized the downtown corridor through a City Council initiative, in which twelve storefronts in Craig participated. City Council committed an $80,000 matching grant to business owners that made the effort to improve their sidewalk appeal
- Supported business expansion, with a two-year old rafting supply and manufacturer expanding its facility and moving closer to downtown. Prior to CRAFT most of their business was outside of Moffat County. In 2019, they added a shuttle product and service to accommodate local river trips
- Designed and purchased an outdoor display and a branded pop-up tent to promote the new Tourism Week
- Contracted with Miles Media to support creation and placement of articles on Colorado.com and development of a comprehensive inventory of assets available to visitors, with a focus on the tourism week
- Created a social media "startup package" to develop a social media strategy, hashtags, sample posts, and ongoing content
- Received funding from Craig City Council, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Craig Downtown Business Association, and Moffat County to continue to develop tourism
- Expanded local and regional partnerships as a result of CRAFT Studio 101. For instance, Moffat County Tourism and MoCo Trail Association are partnering to establish a trail system
“CRAFT Studio 101 sparked a love for the tourism industry and opened my eyes to what we have in Moffat County. It helped to compare it to other destinations and drive home that Moffat County is great with unique features that offer more opportunities than coal mines and oil fields.” — Jennifer Holloway, Community Participant
Get inspired to visit Moffat County by exploring Colorado.com:
The Ultimate Colorado Adventure in the Mystic San Luis Valley
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.