Recession could boost Springs’ drive-in tourism

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Colorado Springs could get a summer tourism boost from driving vacationers this year.

About 85 percent of tourist travel in the city comes from people within the state – and global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says those markets will fare best during the upcoming tourism season.

Destinations that rely heavily on tourists who live more than a day’s drive away will probably see a drop in business this summer, the Challenger report said. Attractions that rely mostly on local and regional visitors could thrive.

That idea is one reason Experience Colorado Springs At Pikes Peak, the city’s visitor and convention bureau, is marketing inside Colorado.

“We’re guardedly optimistic,” said Amy Long, vice president of marketing for the CVB. “We are hoping that we’ll stay flat, but we could see a little increase.”

Part of the marketing effort is “discounts with an altitude” – available through experiencecoloradosprings.com.

“We’re working out the logistics of package deals,” Long said. “But we are also focusing a great deal of marketing attention on other parts of the state – trying to get the drive-in market to come here.”