Chelsy Murphy, 27, was born and raised in Colorado Springs and when she’s driving to work each morning looking at Pikes Peak she cannot imagine living anywhere else. That’s why it’s a perfect fit that she is the public relations manager for the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. Now she can tout all of the things about the Springs and the Pikes Peak region that she loves: zip lining in Canon City; hiked up the 224 stairs of Seven Falls; wine tasting at the Holy Cross Winery; and touring Cave of the Winds. And, of course, no matter how many times she visits, she always looks forward to interacting with and feeding the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. If she had America’s ear, she would use the opportunity to talk up the Pikes Peak region.
What made you choose public relations and communications as a career?
I’ve always enjoyed interacting with people, being social and having an outlet for creativity. The communications industry, particularly public relations, provides a great outlet to build on all of these. I started in the business college at UCCS and wasn’t riveted by the accounting and math classes. Once I switched my focus to communications, I became very immersed in all that I could accomplish in the corresponding fields.
How did you come to work for the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau?
I worked previously for a national agency handling various aspects of marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns, but I always enjoyed public relations projects the most. I started gauging how I could apply those skills locally and it just so happened that a position was open at the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. It’s the perfect fit; I can tout all of the wonderful things my hometown and state have to offer travelers. I’ve also learned so much more about the area during my time at the bureau.
If you had America’s ear, what would be the No. 1 thing you would tell them about Colorado Springs and why they should visit?
I would tell the world what a diverse and vibrant community we have. The area is home to an arts, foodie and cultural lifestyle of larger metropolitan cities, yet with a fantastic Rocky Mountain small-town hospitality. Also, we aren’t covered in snow like the ski towns. Many people who aren’t familiar with the area think the entire state is buried in white powder.
You’ve taken the 55 attractions challenge. Do you have a favorite?
It’s hard to pick a favorite; zip lining in Canon City was a blast. Some highlights included hiking up the 224 stairs of Seven Falls, wine tasting at the Holy Cross Winery and taking my first ever Cave of the Winds Tour. I have to say, no matter how many times I visit, I always look forward to interacting with and feeding the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer travel season; what is the outlook for the Springs this season?
It’s very hard to gauge what each season is going to look like, but we’ve had great weather thus far and are hearing positive things from area attractions. We’re also pleased to once again be a part of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which in addition to other large annual area events should bring some fantastic traffic and exposure.
What is the best thing about working in the tourism industry?
The best thing about working in the tourism industry is the massive number of different activities and events to talk about and experience. I never run out of things to promote or get involved in. Just in my tenure I’ve done the Richard Petty Driving Experience at PPIR, interacted with an ambassador wolf at the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center and learned to fence from Olympic athletes. It truly is a privilege to a part of all this.
There has been a community discussion that Colorado Springs needs to do a better job of attracting young professionals. How can Colorado Springs attract more young professionals?
The area has so much to offer, a low cost of living, mild climate, nearly year-round sunshine, a vibrant arts and cultures scene and a ton to do. I think attracting young professionals to the area is all in awareness and education. If more young professionals were aware of Colorado Springs’ assets, they would naturally be drawn here.