- celebrate the results of year one of the Fort Collins Tourism Improvement District (FCTID) and foster collaboration between local tourism stakeholders
- receive input from local tourism stakeholders on ways to enhance the FCTID work plan
- identify opportunities to increase Fort Collins’ competitive edge
The City of Fort Collins (Fort Collins) is nestled between Northern Colorado’s Front Range and Interstate 25. Although the city prides itself on offering the 3Bs - Bikes, Bands, and Brews - the dynamic nature of this destination is centered on its overall livability. Colorado State University, unique boutiques, restaurants, and corporate centers have all benefited from the local quality of life, and the strength of these tourism assets has often positioned Fort Collins atop “best places” lists.
Visit Fort Collins (VFC) is the official destination organization for the City of Fort Collins. 70% of the 3% lodging tax collected within the city limits is invested into tourism programs that are administered by the VFC staff. Additionally, the 3% FCTID was enacted in 2021 to increase funding for VFC and enable new tourism investments that advance industry competitiveness.
VFC was paired with Tina Valdecanas and David Holder, principals at Clarity of Place, a destination consulting firm with experience in destination marketing, organizational efficiency, and tourism development, to develop a destination assessment, facilitate a full-day community visioning and action planning workshop, and provide 100 hours of consulting to VFC.
VFC also convened a core team of local tourism stakeholders to provide input throughout the design and delivery of the program. VFC hosted two core team meetings to identify priority barriers and opportunities for advancing tourism, discuss the findings from the Restart Destinations Program, and guide workshop design.
Destination Assessment and Workshop Results
VFC supported the development of a destination assessment consisting of background research and input during the two core team meetings. The findings from the assessment were compiled into a report that informed the design of the full-day workshop.
VFC convened its core team members on November 17, 2022 for a community action planning workshop to celebrate the first year of the FCTID and explore opportunities to further strengthen Fort Collins as a destination for group sales, sports tourism, and leisure travel.
Workshop participants shared feedback that the initial year of the FCTID produced the intended results. They also celebrated the leadership of VFC and encouraged the organization to continue to find ways to fine-tune the implementation of the FCTID.
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:
- optimize group sales strategies
- optimize tourism marketing strategies
- identify baseline metrics for destination management
- advance tourism workforce
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 a Request for Proposals (RFP) that identifies a vendor to launch a destination brand campaign, and to build a database to monitor tourism-related infrastructure investments within the region.
Project objectives included:
- support the distribution, collection, and review of agency proposals to activate Fort Collins’ updated destination brand
- develop a database and map of active, planned, or anticipated tourism-related infrastructure investments within Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties that could impact the competitiveness of the Fort Collins tourism industry
VFC achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:
- draft request for proposals (RFP) and scoring criteria for an agency of record to help activate the recently released brand architecture
- regional map that includes tourism-related infrastructure projects and planned projects
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.