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Your Say Matters! Tourism Advisory Board Seeks Public Input on Upcoming Initiatives

Hey Palisade Post readers — Tim Wenger here. I am a journalist and an appointed member of the Palisade Tourism Advisory Board. In this column, I will recap our monthly meetings and happenings. I also hope to better educate the public on the vision and purpose of the TAB, and foster a better connection between the board and the community. If you have questions about anything mentioned here, or want to connect, contact me.

What is the Palisade Tourism Advisory Board?

According to the Town of Palisade website, the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) is a committee made up of volunteer residents and business owners both in and outside of Town.  On the third Thursday of every month, the Tourism Advisory Board meets to work on heightening the Town’s exposure among potential visitors, and improving the visitor’s experience so that they will keep wanting to come back again and again.  Some of the Board’s duties include developing and assessing tourism marketing projects, coordinating past and upcoming events, and making recommendations to the Town Board on decisions affecting Palisade’s tourism industry. 

The TAB is always looking to hear from more members of the community, and as a Palisade resident, you are invited to attend our next meeting on Thursday, April 18, at 11 am inside the Palisade Civic Center at 175 E. 3rd Street. You can also attend the meeting via Zoom. Our monthly agenda is always posted on the town’s website. More info about TAB and its members is also available via the site.

The TAB’s budget comes entirely from the $6 nightly fee associated with booking a room at a Palisade hospitality business. These include the Wine Country Inn, Spoke and Vine Motel, Palisade Basecamp RV Resort, bed and breakfast properties within town limits, and short-term rental listings on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. This fee is paid entirely by overnight visitors.

Total lodging fee revenue in 2023 totaled $116,302. The TAB receives $4 of each $6 fee directly, with the further $2 funding Palisade Police and Fire staffing and efforts during events including the town’s three large annual festivals.

TAB to fund the “Save the Bunny” campaign with $1,000

The TAB’s goal is to use its budget to promote responsible tourism to Palisade, advocate for local businesses, and support cultural amenities that further these causes. Palisade resident Gary Hauschultz presented one such cause to the TAB at its March 21 meeting. Hauschultz heads up what he’s called the “Save the Bunny” campaign. He is attempting to raise $17,000 to keep the large bunny statue, currently located in front of Palisade Library, in Palisade.

The initiative launched last summer (you may have seen Hauschultz posted up in the center of the intersection at Main St. and 3rd St. with the bunny during the weekly farmers’ market). The TAB voted to contribute $1,000 to the campaign. If the $17,000 amount is not reached, the bunny may be returned to its creator in Idaho.

Slate Communications to continue handling PR and marketing for TAB

In February, the TAB finished its selection for its next three-year marketing contract by re-signing with Slate Communications, a Colorado-based marketing firm. Slate oversaw marketing for the TAB over the past three years and delivered quality results through paid digital and print ads, social media, and direct communications. The company also oversaw the redevelopment of the completely rebuilt Visit Palisade website. Our account manager at Slate, Melita, is a graduate of Palisade High School, and the TAB looks forward to continued work together. Palisade Trustee Board approved the recommendation of TAB to contract with Slate Communications

Slate provides a monthly rundown of current marketing efforts each month at the TAB meeting. This information is available to the public at the meeting.

‘Do Palisade Right’ campaign moving forward

The Colorado Tourism Office is working with Palisade on a “Do Palisade Right” campaign to promote responsible tourism to the area. The Do Palisade Right campaign is also part of a grant won by the TAB board with the CTO Destination Development Program. Last fall, Tim Wenger attended a planning session with the CTO in Montrose to outline the plan along with other stakeholders in western Colorado, and Board Chair Juliann Adams has maintained consistent contact with the rep at the CTO about the plan’s progress. The next meeting is scheduled for April 26 in Durango.

The purpose of the plan is to accomplish the following:

  • Promote Leave No Trace principles to minimize impact on the environment by those recreating outdoors
  • Address concerns of local business leaders and landowners regarding improper tourist behavior (plucking peaches, public intoxication, etc.) and ensure those visiting Palisade are made aware of what is and isn’t acceptable
  • Provide resources to visitors about where to recreate and what to do in Palisade

Your Say Matters! Tourism Board Seeks Public Input on Upcoming Initiatives

As the weather warms and Palisade moves into it’s busier seasons, the TAB is excited to connect with the community at town events. We will have a booth at A Girl & A Gun National Conference at Cameo on April 26. TAB members will be on hand at all three big festivals, the weekly farmers’ market, and most all of the smaller events (contact info for each of us is here).

We’ll see you out around town.