Reimagine Destinations Success Story: Visit Glenwood Springs


Visit Glenwood Springs was 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 Glenwood Springs tourism stakeholders
  • champion the value of tourism through messaging that communicates tourism’s quality of life benefits and the role of Visit Glenwood Springs
  • explore opportunities to secure additional funding for Visit Glenwood Springs to enhance its promotion and management of the destination

Located in the Rockies Playground, Glenwood Springs is where world-famous hot springs meet year-round outdoor adventures. Home to the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool and two other rejuvenating hot springs attractions, Glenwood Springs has been known as the wellness capital of Colorado for more than 130 years.

Visit Glenwood Springs (VGS) is the tourism department of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and serves as the marketing arm for the community of Glenwood Springs. VGS staff manage a budget supported through 85% of the annual accommodations tax receipts and a board of directors appointed by the City Council. 

Glenwood Springs 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 VGS.

VGS also convened a core team of local tourism stakeholders to provide input throughout the design and delivery of the program. VGS 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 

VGS 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.

VGS convened its core team members on October 20, 2022 for a community action planning workshop to explore opportunities to diversify tourism funding in Glenwood Springs. Workshop participants represented Glenwood Springs Chamber and Resort Association stakeholders, including community leaders, outdoor attraction operators, guide services, and hoteliers.

Workshop participants discussed the feasibility of alternative funding mechanisms. The group also discussed the need to continue building awareness of the value that the funding VGS currently receives from the city lodging tax provides for the destination. 

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:

  • convene Glenwood Springs tourism leaders to assess support for new or enhanced tourism funding sources 
  • explore opportunities to increase VGS’ effectiveness by making new investments through access to enhanced funding
  • develop scenarios related to how VGS can access new or enhanced tourism funding sources

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 build the case for the long-term viability of VGS, and to develop a plan to create and implement a new funding mechanism. 

Project objectives included:

  • develop scenarios for a tourism improvement district (TID) and voluntary assessment as a way to secure long-term and stable funding for VGS
  • convene the core team to review the TID and voluntary assessment scenarios and align on appropriate paths forward
  • develop a draft operating plan for the identified scenario that outlines the programs and initiatives that would be undertaken if additional funds are available, as well as performance metrics to measure progress

VGS achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:

  • draft operating plan that illustrates product development and destination promotion activities VGS would take on if VGS and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association decide to pursue a TID
  • decision matrix that charts the support and approvals that would be needed to develop the TID
  • communications plan that outlines target audiences to vote or act to support the development of the TID and key messages 
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.