CVB lunch highlights progress, path ahead

Filed under: Daily News |

Local tourism officials say the Pikes Peak region is poised for a stellar season, and that wounds to the area’s image caused by last year’s Waldo Canyon fire are nearly healed.

Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Doug Price spoke about the state of the local tourism industry during the CVB’s annual business luncheon Thursday at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

And while there was no shortage of positive talk and fist-pumping about the season ahead, Price offered up some hard numbers to back claims about the success post-fire marketing efforts that took place through the organization’s “Welcome Back” campaign.

He said visits to the CVB’s website, VisitCOS.com, increased 167 percent between August and December 2012 and that orders for the region’s Visitor Guide increased 101 percent during the same time.

The Welcome Back campaign was a heavy-handed effort to publicize the region as “open for business.” It was funded by a $100,000 federal grant, $135,000 in CVB reserve funds and $65,000 in donations from local individuals and organizations.

Included in the campaign were a barrage of billboard, print and electronic ads that steered people to VisitCOS.com.

Price wrapped up the lunch pointing to several other points of information included in the 2012 Stakeholder’s Report, which was unveiled Thursday, and by saying that local tourism and hospitality business had already invested $133 million into  attractions for this year’s season.