The Dolores Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center recently hired a new manager.
Rocky Moss, 44, has taken over the reins from Stuart Hanold, who stepped down earlier this month.
Moss is known in the community for her organizational skills, smarts and fun sense of humor. She was the director for Cortez Heart and Soul, is a Navy veteran, and was a teacher at Southwest Colorado Community College for seven years.
"I've had a crush on Dolores for the past 10 years, and now I'm finally getting a date," she says. "My plan is to energize our shop-local program and support tourism."
The Dolores community is a combination of longtime locals, old-timers, and relative newcomers, "but we are all hugging the same tree - we love our river town!" she says. "We're like a family, honoring our history and moving to the future."
A more recent phenomenon is a vibrant music scene, kickstarted by the Dolores River Brewery in 2002 when owner Mark Youngquist began hosting local and national acts throughout the year. The Hollywood bar and Riverfront Pizza also have regular music shows, and the Dolores River music festival (June 7) has become a regional hit.
"We have an amazing community of artists and musicians that I want to highlight more," Moss said. "Dolores is lucky in that we have a diverse live-music scene without having to battle festival crowds."
She plans to create monthly posters on upcoming shows and events and distribute them throughout the county to increase awareness and attendance.
Moss is computer-savvy as well, and knows how to use social media and the Internet to promote Dolores shops and activities. Offering professional training to chamber members is on her radar screen.
"It's not just Facebook, it's other sites like Trip Advisor that will help get Dolores noticed as a destination," she said. "I'm monitoring all of the sites, and encourage businesses to do the same and respond to reviews."
The recreational aspect of Dolores is a key component, and should always be featured prominently on the Mesa Verde Country tourism portal. River rafting, mountain biking, McPhee Reservoir, fishing and hunting bring in thousands of visitors each year to Dolores.
"Good information on where the trails are, river-lake conditions, and where the fish are biting is part of our job," Moss said.
Moss plans to write a column for The Dolores Star, and plans a radio show about goings-on at 93.3 The Crow, located in Dolores.
The Visitor's Center expanded their hours to seven days per week for the summer to better accommodate the public. As a result, more volunteers are needed to fill in. Full-day shifts are available on Mondays and Fridays. Contact Rocky at 882-4018 for more information for all available slots.
On June 12 at 5 p.m. there will be a BBQ at the Dolores Visitor's Center to meet the new manager and mingle with locals.
Booth applications for Escalante Days, August 8-9, can be picked up at the Visitor's Center.
Summer Hours: Monday 8-3, Tues. 8-12, Wed. 9-4, Thur. 8-12, Fri. 10-5, Sat. 9-4, and Sun. 9-4.