Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado, a regional partnership marketing effort, recently received a total of $40,000, in the form of matching grants from Durango Area Tourism Office and Colorado Tourism Office, which will fund an expansion of its 2018 campaign to increase area visitation and length-of-stay in lodging properties.
In its second year, the initiative intends to raise awareness of the region’s agricultural tourism and “drink local” movement through highlighting signature craft beverages and special events, while encouraging regional side trips to cultural, historic and outdoor attractions. It spotlights the increase of small-batch, independent producers of crafted beverages, including, beer; wine; spirits; cider; non-alcoholic gourmet sodas; and coffee and tea roasters.
The Colorado Tourism Office Marketing Matching Grant Program provides funding for nonprofits in Colorado and promotes the state or specific regions as tourism destinations, with the overall goal to increase tourism revenues and economic benefits through new and effective marketing opportunities. The CBSW regional partnership includes Durango, Mancos, Dolores, Cortez, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Bayfield, Ignacio and Pagosa Springs.
“One of the strongest aspects of this campaign is that it supports rural communities and small businesses by providing additional marketing and promotional opportunities,” Frank Lockwood, DATO executive director, said in a news release. “Craft beverage producers in this region are mostly small businesses with limited marketing resources. These businesses stand to benefit greatly from the additional support, both from their respective DMOs and working with their peers.”
In 2018, DATO will expand efforts to drive foot traffic and increase awareness through offering printed “Tasting Passports.” Participants are encouraged to visit local producers to receive the passports, which are stamped with incentives at each location. One of the incentives is a grand-prize trip to travel and explore the region. Coffee roasters and specialty teas have been added to the menu for 2018 to offer trends, including nitrogen-brewed, cold-press coffee and Kombucha on tap.
Quarterly meets will be held in the region to encourage opportunities for peer-sharing and foster collaboration.
Durango Area Tourism Office is an nonprofit that promotes tourism attractions, events, services and lodging in Durango and La Plata County, and is supported by the county lodgers tax – a 1.9-percent tax on rooms rented in La Plata County.
For more information, visit www.durango.org.