Reimagine Destinations Success Story: Visit La Junta


Visit La Junta was approved to participate in the Reimagine Destinations Program by the Colorado Tourism Office in July 2022. Program objectives included:

  • Convene local tourism stakeholders to align on the future of tourism
  • Identify strategies that build local understanding of the value of tourism
  • Advance activities that develop and enhance visitor experience in Greeley
  • Advance activities that increase awareness of Greeley tourism opportunities

Located in the Canyons & Plains travel region, La Junta means “the junction” in Spanish, and is a hub for unique cultural heritage, creative arts, and adventure tourism experiences. Visit La Junta (VLJ) aims to creatively leverage, highlight, and emphasize the City of La Junta (La Junta) and all it has to offer in tourism, the arts, and events as a way to enhance the experiences of residents and visitors to La Junta and the surrounding region. The La Junta Tourism Advisory Board manages the 4.5% tax on lodging facilities enacted in 2010.

VLJ was paired with Amy Cassidy, a CRAFT Workshop Facilitator and Mentor with experience in tourism and outdoor recreation development, strategic planning, and marketing and communications to develop a destination assessment, facilitate a half-day community visioning and action planning workshop, and provide 100 hours of consulting to VLJ.

Visit La Junta also convened a core team of local tourism stakeholders to provide input throughout the design and delivery of the program. Visit La Junta hosted 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

VLJ supported the development of a destination assessment consisting of background research, a visitor profile study, and stakeholder interviews. The findings from the assessment were compiled into a report that informed the design of the full-day workshop.

VLJ convened 15 tourism stakeholders on June 5, 2023, for a community reception to review and align on past successes, current tourism projects, and future opportunities. Reception attendees represented a range of tourism stakeholders, including public officials, representatives of the chamber of commerce, arts and culture organizations, attractions, accommodations, city staff, community members, and La Junta Tourism Board members.

Reception participants expressed interest in learning more about La Junta’s lodging tax collections, and how La Junta can collect from short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb). VLJ found value in convening tourism stakeholders, and how VLJ will benefit from increased engagement and transparency in the future.

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

  • Increase overnight visitation to La Junta
  • Improve stakeholder communication and collaboration
  • Promote local businesses and experiences
  • 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 year’s CRAFT Mentor project was to continue to advance tourism development and management for La Junta through research, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement.  

Project objectives included:

  • Develop tools for accommodations stakeholders to enhance partnership and research opportunities  
  • Update and enhance the VLJ marketing plan developed during the Restart Destinations Program
  • Convene VLJ stakeholders to celebrate VLJ accomplishments and champion the value of tourism

Visit La Junta achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:

  • Communications delivered in-person and via email to accommodations stakeholders
  • Visitor profile survey for implementation by accommodations stakeholders
  • Updated marketing plan that includes recommendations for business intelligence subscriptions, new strategies to increase overnight visitation, and additional opportunities to engage with stakeholders  
  • Spring workshop materials that includes agenda, presentation and follow up email to attendees