Reimagine Destinations Success Story: Towns of Minturn and Red Cliff


The Towns of Minturn and Red Cliff 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 local tourism stakeholders 
  • develop outdoor recreation messaging that encourages responsible and respectful use
  • identify opportunities to position the Towns of Minturn and Red Cliff as a unified destination

Located in the Rockies Playground, the Towns of Minturn and Red Cliff (Minturn and Red Cliff) are 10 miles apart and nestled between the glamour of Vail and Beaver Creek. Minturn and Red Cliff provide easy access to a wealth of outdoor adventures and are surrounded by the Holy Cross Wilderness, the White River National Forest, and the mighty Eagle River. 

Staff working within the Towns of Minturn and Red Cliff are responsible for the development, management, and promotion of tourism locally. Tourism-related programs and initiatives are funded through a variety of revenue sources, which include sales taxes, fees, and lodging taxes.

Minturn and Red Cliff were paired with Derek Schimmel, a sustainable tourism consultant with experience in destination development, to develop a destination assessment, facilitate a community visioning and action planning workshop, and provide 100 hours of consulting to Minturn and Red Cliff.

Minturn and Red Cliff also convened a core team of local tourism stakeholders to provide input throughout the design and delivery of the program. Minturn and Red Cliff hosted two core team meetings to identify priority barriers and opportunities for advancing tourism, discuss the findings from the destination assessment, and guide workshop design.

Destination Assessment and Workshop Results 

Minturn and Red Cliff supported the development of a destination assessment consisting of background research, a visitor profile study, a tourism stakeholder survey, and input from the core team. The findings from the assessment were compiled into a report that informed the design of the full-day workshop.

Minturn and Red Cliff convened 16 tourism stakeholders on November 1, 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 land managers, private business owners, outdoor recreation organizations members, land trust representatives, and Minturn and Red Cliff town officials.

Workshop participants engaged in two small group activities designed to foster alignment on the future changes they would like to see implemented that benefit the tourism industry in Minturn and Red Cliff. 

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:

  • encourage responsible and respectful use 
  • develop and enhance the visitor experience
  • champion the value of tourism 

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 develop responsible and respectful use messaging, and identify opportunities to position Minturn and Red Cliff as a unified destination.

Project objectives included:

  • develop a digital outdoor recreation guide that positions Minturn and Red Cliff as a unified destination
  • develop draft narrative to support the future funding of a printed outdoor recreation guide and in-town interpretive signage
  • develop responsible and respectful use messaging in coordination with public land agency stakeholders 

Minturn and Red Cliff achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:

  • Minturn and Red Cliff outdoor recreation guide that includes seasonal itineraries, and responsible and respectful use messaging 
  • social media posts by season to promote the outdoor recreation guide
  • draft outdoor recreation guide and signage project narrative to be used in future grant applications that includes destination description, purpose statement, and project timeline

“By educating visitors about how to recreate responsibly in and around our communities, it will continue to improve not only their experience, but also the quality of life for our residents. This program has allowed us to develop a basic outdoor recreation guide, something that has been on our to-do list / wish list for years and something that will help our communities promote tourism through responsible recreation.”

-Cindy Krieg, Town of Minturn

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.