Reimagine Destinations Success Story: Towns of Fruita and Palisade


The Towns of Fruita and Palisade were approved to participate in the Reimagine Destinations Program by the Colorado Tourism Office in July 2022. Program objectives included: 

  • celebrate the results of the Restart Destinations Program and foster collaboration between Fruita and Palisade tourism stakeholders
  • identify opportunities for Fruita and Palisade to build upon and leverage one another’s tourism experiences
  • develop content that promotes Fruita and Palisade as a unified destination for outdoor recreation and agritourism
  • educate residents and visitors about responsible and respectful use practices

Located in the Mountains and Mesas travel region, Fruita and Palisade collaboratively promote themselves to visitors as the "bookends'' of the Grand Valley. Already a well-established hub for accessing high-quality Colorado fruit and wine, Fruita and Palisade are rapidly becoming an outdoor mecca for mountain biking and other recreational experiences.

The Fruita Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) and the Palisade Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) work to advance tourism in their respective communities and coordinate tourism-related activities that benefit both locations. Both entities are funded through a locally collected lodging tax, with Fruita collecting a 3% tax and Palisade collecting $2 per room per night stay. The TAC and TAB created the Fruita + Palisade Tourism Partnership (F+P Partnership) in 2021 to collaboratively and creatively market Fruita and Palisade as a unified destination, and to leverage limited funding resources for shared marketing efforts. 

The F+P Partnership was paired with Mimi Mather, President of Coyote Clan, a planning and design firm with experience in destination marketing, tourism product development, and creative communications, to develop a destination assessment, facilitate a community visioning and action planning workshop, and provide 100 hours of consulting to the F+P Partnership. 

Destination Assessment and Workshop Results 

The F+P Partnership supported the development of a destination assessment consisting of background research, a visitor profile study, and a tourism stakeholder survey. The findings from the assessment were compiled into a report that informed the design of the full-day workshop.

The F+P Partnership convened 30 tourism stakeholders on October 6, 2022 for a community visioning and action planning workshop to review the destination assessment and align on priority actions for fostering long-term industry resilience. Workshop participants represented a wide range of tourism stakeholders, including public officials, cycling organizations, tour operators, and representatives from accommodations, attractions, events, retail, and restaurants.

Workshop participants engaged in small group activities to identify key elements to incorporate into a Fruita and Palisade Gravel Adventure Field Guide, and develop a series of multi-day itineraries that feature activities and experiences.  

As a result of the workshop discussions, participants aligned on key priorities and action items to inform the development of an action plan. Key priorities include:

  • advance off-peak tourism opportunities 
  • develop and enhance the visitor experience
  • encourage responsible and respectful use

CRAFT Mentor Results

Following the workshop, 100 hours of consulting were provided to conduct the activities listed below. The purpose of this CRAFT Mentor project was to advance the production and distribution of marketing materials that promote Fruita and Palisade as a unified destination for outdoor recreation and agritourism.

Project objectives included:

  • manage the production of the Fruita and Palisade Gravel Adventure Field Guide
  • develop travel itineraries and visitor-facing events lists and graphics that promote Fruita and Palisade as a unified destination 
  • draft responsible and respectful use messaging based on identified priority impacts and existing messaging

Fruita and Palisade achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:

  • Fruita and Palisade Gravel Adventure Guide that includes digital and print assets 
  • responsible and respectful use messaging that addresses priority recreation use impacts on public and private land
  • three travel itineraries designed to promote off-peak events and motivate visitation to Fruita and Palisade 
  • lists and graphics to promote events, liquid arts, and agritourism experiences 
CRAFT Recovery assistance for Tourism

About Reimagine Destinations Program

The Reimagine Destinations Program supports Colorado tourism destinations to foster long-term industry resilience. Awarded destinations receive a destination assessment, a full-day workshop, 100 hours of consulting, and a $20,000 creative asset production shoot from the Colorado Tourism Office. This program was made possible by a CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.