A $25,000 grant will help fund a campaign to promote the Grand Valley as a destination not only for outdoor recreation, but also outdoor recreation businesses.

Visit Grand Junction has joined with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission in the effort.

The Colorado Tourism Office awarded a $25,000 grant to Visit Grand Junction. The three organizations each will contribute $8,334 to match the funding.

“It is thrilling to think of the possibilities and impact that we can collectively make for our community by working together toward the common goal to elevate our area as a sought-after destination to the outdoor industry,” said Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing and public relations coordinator for Visit Grand Junction. “This is a ground-breaking concept to combine tourism, economic development and sports marketing in one campaign, and it is an incredible honor to have support for our marketing vision from the Colorado Tourism Office.”

The new campaign will promote awareness of the Grand Valley as what’s billed as the outdoor capital of Colorado and entice tourists, athletes and outdoor-oriented businesses. The campaign will target in part the Outdoor Retailer Markets scheduled for January and July in Denver.

Cilia Kohn, director of marketing and communications for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, said the Grand Valley has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor recreation. “We’ve got winter sports, water sports, mountain biking, road biking, hunting, fishing, golfing, rock climbing. The list is near endless. And thanks to our climate, you can do almost all of these activities year-round,” Kohn said. “This is a unique proposition to the Grand Valley, and we are beyond excited to be able to share it with visitors and future residents alike through this collaborative effort.”

Jennifer Stoll, executive director of the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission, praised what will be a collaborative effort. “The Sports Commission sees this campaign as a prime opportunity to partner with our economic development partners to cohesively leverage the exposure of our community as a whole,” Stoll said.

Visit Grand Junction was among 28 recipients of a total of $600,000 in funding awarded by the Colorado Tourism Office through its marketing matching grant program. The grants ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. Recipients must match the grants.

Visit Grand Junction also is a participant with five other communities in an effort to promote national parks and monuments in Colorado that received a $25,000 grant. The other participants include Montrose as well as the Alamosa, Cortez, Grand Lake, Estes Park

The Delta County Tourism Cabinet received a grant for $25,000 for efforts to promote Delta County on social media. Rio Blanco County received a grant for $12,771 to implement a strategic marketing program.

“We made it a top priority to maintain funding to support local and regional marketing initiatives,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “This is one of the most significant and direct ways that our state supports tourism groups and destinations in attracting travelers.”

The grants also fit with a new statewide plan to continue building the appeal of Colorado on a national level while also generating demand for less-traveled regions and off-peak periods.

The grant program was created in 2001 to provide funding to not-for-profit organizations in Colorado to promote the state or a region as a tourism destination. The latest grant recipients will use funding to develop new marketing campaigns, update and redesign websites, purchase paid media and promote events.

(http://thebusinesstimes.com/campaign-to-promote-grand-valley-as-outdoor-capital-of-colorado/)

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