- 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 Longmont
- advance activities that increase awareness of local tourism opportunities
Located in the Denver and Cities of the Rockies travel region, the City of Longmont (Longmont) is a bustling Front Range community that serves as a launching point for accessing Rocky Mountain National Park. Positioned an hour from Denver and 30 minutes from Boulder, residents and visitors can enjoy more than 1,500 acres of parks and open spaces, while also having easy access to a downtown with “crazy good” brews and restaurants.
Visit Longmont is the destination marketing and management organization for Longmont. The organization’s mission is to manage, market, develop, and enhance the city’s image, and its historical, cultural, business, meeting, and recreational assets; and to draw regional, national, and international tourism to Longmont and surrounding areas. The organization is overseen by a board of directors and is funded primarily through a 2% lodging tax that is collected by lodging properties operating within Longmont.
Visit Longmont was paired with Dave Santucci, Principal Consultant for Mission2Market, a destination consultancy with 20 years of experience in destination management and marketing, to develop a destination assessment, facilitate a full-day community visioning and action planning workshop, and provide 100 hours of consulting to Visit Longmont.
Visit Longmont also convened a core team of tourism stakeholders to provide input throughout the design and delivery of the program. Three core team meetings were held 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
Visit Longmont supported the development of a destination assessment consisting of background research, a visitor profile study, a resident sentiment survey, 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.
Visit Longmont convened 28 attendees on December 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 Visit Longmont, the City of Longmont, economic development, state agencies, and tourism-related businesses.
Workshop participants engaged in a small group activity to align on the future changes they would like to see implemented that benefit the tourism industry in Longmont. Overlapping themes from these discussions included enhanced marketing for brand awareness, target audiences and marketing tactics, group tourism opportunities, development of visitor experiences, priorities for a new executive director, and how to champion the value of tourism.
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 group tourism opportunities
- promote local businesses and experiences
- develop and enhance visitor experience
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 develop strategies to increase off-peak visitation and champion the value of tourism.
Project objectives included:
- develop a group sales plan, budget, and job description to diversify tourism growth opportunities for Longmont
- develop a champion value of tourism plan to increase stakeholder engagement and understanding of tourism opportunities in Longmont
Visit Longmont achieved the following results through the Reimagine Destinations Mentor project:
- resources and strategies to diversify tourism growth opportunities for Longmont that includes a website action plan for group sales, hotel partner survey, Group Sales Manager position description, group sales plan, and draft budget
- supported the Visit Longmont Executive Director search and transition process
- resources and presentation to champion the value of tourism that includes slide deck, presenter notes, draft messaging, and outreach calendar
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.