Restart Industry Associations Success Story: Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway

Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway Association (GMSHBA) was approved to participate in the Restart Industry Associations Program by the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) in September 2021.

GMSHBA builds awareness of the value of the 63-mile byway and the diverse visitor experiences that it offers. Specific activities include coordination of local tourism-related businesses and land management agencies to provide information on interpretative and recreational activities to area residents and visitors, and to inspire visitation and stewardship of Grand Mesa’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
GMSHBA was paired with Julie Klein, a CRAFT Mentor from the Tourism Consulting Collaborative with experience in international tourism, sustainability strategy, standards and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and communications content development, to deliver 75 hours of free consulting to conduct the activities listed below.
The purpose of this project was to assess past programming implemented by Merchants on the Byway (MOB), the business engagement arm of the GMSHBA, to develop a new action plan for the MOB that includes programming focused on dispersing travelers along the byway. Launched in 2011, the MOB has implemented programs, such as “Moose on the Loose,'' to provide programming for participating businesses to collectively enhance and protect the byway’s visitor experiences.

Project objectives included:

  • research previous MOB programming and identify best practices for membership advancement
  • develop an engagement work plan and related messaging to revive the MOB program 
  • create a bi-weekly community newsletter template and content calendar

GMSHBA achieved the following results with its Restart Industry Associations Mentor:

  • MOB program work plan outlining recommended programming to engage local tourism-related businesses and land management agencies, and disperse visitors along the byway and adjacent communities
  • MOB membership engagement resources and membership structure to reframe MOB program 
  • newsletter template and 12-month content calendar
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.