This grant program, established in 2001, awards funding to eligible applicants for projects that promote Colorado as a tourism destination, supporting the Colorado Tourism Office’s (CTO) mission to “drive traveler spending through promotion and development of compelling, sustainable travel experiences throughout our four-corner state.” These grants may also be used for marketing projects that support better destination management such as educating visitors on how to recreate responsibly.
In response to the pandemic, the CTO made several changes to the grant program for fiscal year 2022 to include:
- Increased the amount of funding available for grant awards to over $700,000 (more than what has ever been allocated for the program; in FY 2021, we awarded $392,250 to 19 recipients)
- The maximum grant award amount has been raised to $40,000 from $25,000
- The required match has been lowered by 50% and is now a 2:1 match versus a 1:1 match in previous years. For example, if you request a grant of $40,000, you need to have at least $20,000 in other funding.
Projects that are funded by this grant will begin work in January 2022 and will target future economic development and recovery for the tourism industry throughout the year and beyond.
“Our Matching Marketing Grant program has always been important to the marketing of greater Colorado and never has this been more true,” said Tim Wolfe, Director of the CTO. “We are honored to be able to provide larger grants with a lowered 2:1 match to help our Colorado tourism industry partners in their recovery. The projects and programs receiving grants are great examples of the important work being done to support Colorado’s tourism industry. We look forward to seeing the results.”
The 22 organizations that were awarded a grant are listed in the table below.
Matching Marketing Grant Recipients
|Organization||Award Amount||Description of project|
|Arkansas River Outfitters Association||$12,000||Strategic earned media campaign positioning whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River as a premier summer recreation experience|
|Clear Creek County Tourism Bureau||$40,000||Develop a new long-term marketing and management roadmap|
|Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association||$40,000||Improve the effectiveness of existing assets and reach new visitors|
|Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau||$40,000||Create a new destination video and strategically infuse the content with people that make the videos diverse and inclusive.|
|Creede-Minteral County Chamber of Commerce||$19,384||Create a Creede, CO Field Guide: The Last Great Place|
|Custer County Tourism Board||$40,000||Colorado Stargazing - public relations and marketing support|
|Fremont County Tourism Council||$36,666||Royal Gorge Region - Strategic Shoulder Season Shift|
|Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges||$28,000||Marketing Campaign around Sandhill Cranes migration and the San Luis Valley|
|Grand County Colorado Tourism Board||$33,000||Data acquisition and engagement campaign|
|Gunnison Crested Butte Tourism Association||$40,000||"Community Built", will promote stewardship and responsible tourism through a series of videos, content, and resources for visitors.|
|Hinsdale County||$9,601||New Marketing Content for Lake City/Hinsdale County|
|History Colorado||$26,930||Marketing campaign targeting motorcoach tour operators|
|Huerfano County||$40,000||Thinking Outside the Box: Murals, Influencers and Responsible Tourism in Spanish Peaks Country|
|Lake County||$40,000||Colorado Historic Opera Houses Circuit|
|Longmont Area Visitors Association||$40,000||"Visit Longmont, Colorado's Best Kept Secret"|
|Marketing Telluride||$40,000||Visitor Targeted Sustainability Campaign|
|Meeker Chamber of Commerce||$7,680||OHV Trail riding in Rio Blanco County: Marketing Materials to promote and inform visitors about responsible OHV Trail riding in Rio Blanco County”|
|Steamboat Chamber of Commerce||$40,000||Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop Branding Expansion|
|Steamboat Chamber of Commerce||$30,000||"Visit Responsibly Video Campaign"|
|Vail Valley Partnership||$27,200||Visit Vail Valley “Cast a Wider Net” campaign aimed to encourage visitation across the entire Eagle River Valley region|
|Visit Estes Park||$40,000
||Estes Park PSAs: Educating Guests to Experience Estes Park Sustainably|
|Visit Fort Collins||$40,000||Basecamp Fort Collins: a Northern Colorado Cycling Adventure Guide|
To learn more about the Colorado Tourism Office Matching Marketing Grant program, visit the OEDIT website.