Restart Industry Associations Success Story: Grand Lake Creative District

Grand Lake Creative District was approved to participate in the Restart Industry Associations Program by the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) in September 2021.

Grand Lake Creative District has a mission to develop a year-round sustainable economy for the town of Grand Lake built around an industry that includes creative arts and recreational businesses. A key component of Grand Lake Creative District’s vision is establishing the Rocky Mountain Folk School (RMFS) to attract residents and visitors to experience traditional folk crafts and arts while being immersed in a unique and inspirational mountain setting. 

Grand Lake Creative District was paired with Mimi Mather, a CRAFT Mentor with experience in destination management, tourism development, and creative communications, to deliver 75 hours of free consulting to conduct the activities listed below.

The purpose of this project was to develop a funding strategy that will guide the start-up and financial sustainability of RMFS.

Program objectives included: 

  • research relevant folk schools to identify funding strategies and pricing models for classes
  • compile grant opportunities and draft boilerplate language for use in future grant applications 
  • develop a strategy and timeline for RMFS funding opportunities 

Grand Lake Creative District achieved the following results with its Restart Industry Associations Mentor:

  • funding strategy resources to guide the RMFS in achieving and maintaining financial sustainability in its first two years of operation through a combination of class revenue, grants, and donations
  • grant resources including a list of state and other grant resources and language for future grant applications
  • digital payment and class registration system recommendations based on research and discussions with other folk schools

"As a new non profit just trying to get our fundamentals established , Mimi was very helpful, providing insightful advice as well as putting together important  building blocks , such as cost template, information on possible grant opportunities and a  follow up system."  - Alan Walker, Task Force Chair, Grand Lake Creative District

CRAFT Recovery assistance for Tourism

About Restart Industry Associations Program

The Restart Industry Associations Program supports Colorado tourism industry associations to drive faster recovery as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Awarded industry associations receive 75 hours of free consulting and $10,000 in direct marketing support from the Colorado Tourism Office. This program was made possible by a CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.