Restart Industry Associations Success Story: Western Colorado Adventure Trail

Western Colorado Adventure Trail (WestCAT) was approved to participate in the Restart Industry Associations Program by the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) in September 2021.

The purpose of WestCAT is to drive wheeled adventure travelers to eighteen rural communities in the Mountains & Mesas travel region, by utilizing a passport program and ride guide to ensure that visitors stop at each destination. WestCAT is focused on driving visitor demand to economically distressed communities such as Delta, Paonia, Naturita, Nucla, as well as encouraging off-peak season visitation in more established destinations. WestCAT aims to achieve its goals by encouraging adventurous, highly-educated, and high-household income visitors to explore the region. 

WestCAT was paired with Amy Cassidy, a CRAFT Mentor with experience in tourism and outdoor recreation development, strategic planning, and marketing and communications in emerging and established destinations throughout Colorado, to deliver 75 hours of free consulting to conduct the activities listed below.

The purpose of this project was to identify available revenue sources and understand organizational frameworks to develop a long-term funding strategy that will guide the financial sustainability of WestCAT. 

Project objectives included: 

  • compile upcoming grant opportunities into a grants database
  • identify priority grants to pursue in 2022 and 2023 
  • enhance the messaging and value proposition of WestCAT for use in future grant applications 
  • provide advisory support on the formation of WestCAT as a registered nonprofit organization
  • engage in peer-to-peer discussions to advance the WestCAT concept 

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

  • non-profit formation resources and documentation for the Western Colorado Adventure Trail 
  • fundraising plan, grant database, identification of 2022-2023 grant opportunities, and organizational framework resources 
  • 5-year outline for a business plan, including budget items and potential revenue sources 
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.