The City of Greeley and Weld County were awarded a CRAFT Studio 201 program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2018. The objective of this CRAFT Studio 201 program was to develop a shared vision and coordinated tourism marketing efforts for the City of Greeley and Weld County, including understanding the community's greatest assets, engaging the community in a brand positioning process, beginning the foundational work of a strategic tourism plan, and providing top next steps for tourism-related marketing and community initiatives.
Located in the Denver & Cities of the Rockies region, Greeley and Weld County are home to 32 incorporated municipalities and is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, and thus recognized the need to effectively showcase its many assets to visitors.
CRAFT Studio 201 Program Outcomes
One hundred hours of complimentary consulting support were delivered over nine months.
The Colorado Tourism Office matched Greeley and Weld County with Dave Santucci, a CRAFT Mentor with experience in strategic tourism marketing plans, community branding, destination marketing management, tourism advocacy, and public relations to achieve the following outcomes.
The following occurred as a direct result of the program:
- The Mentor delivered a comprehensive report to summarize the program and recommend next steps.
- Following the successful completion of CRAFT Studio 201, Greeley and Weld County applied for and was awarded a CRAFT Studio 201 Implementation Grant of $7,500 to enhance Weld County's reputation as a tourism destination and further develop its tourism assets.
The following changes happened after the program took place:
- The CRAFT Studio 201 Implementation Grant was used to create seven themed tourism trails, with corresponding maps and online content to point visitors to the community assets of each of Weld County's 32 municipalities.
- The project mentor conducted focus groups and surveys to develop a brief detailing identity insights and an asset review of the community in order to develop more cohesive communication strategies.
- The mentor's facilitation helped a group of tourism agencies, nonprofits, and businesses to identify a shared identity and create the marketing strategy and brand Peaceful and Playful Plains.
- Developed connections among 32 communities and 8 Chambers of Commerce throughout Weld County.
- Prior to CRAFT Studio 201, the quarterly Weld County luncheon focused solely on economic factors; now Visit Greeley has a regular 30-minute slot to present on tourism and upcoming events.
- Hoteliers in Greeley have agreed to complete the CTO Concierge program in 2020 and are becoming more involved in the community and tourism conversations.
- The Visit Greeley board completed CTO’s Concierge program. Additionally, Visit Greeley is working with restaurants to complete the concierge program. The goal is to get 80% of restaurants, attractions, and breweries to complete the program.
“Participating in the CRAFT Studio 201 program was beneficial in helping key tourism advocates from various silos within the county better understand the assets found in other parts of the county and engage in conversations exploring how collaborative promotion of all those assets helps everyone prosper.” — Jennifer Finch, Weld County Communications Director, Community Participant and member of leadership team
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About CRAFT Studio 201
CRAFT Studio 201 provides 100 hours of customized mentoring for tourism destinations wishing to advance a specific tourism-related goal or strategy. Participants receive $7,500 of implementation funding upon completion.