Estes Park Receives Financial Assistance Award
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the approval of approximately $126,000 in grant funds for the Estes Park Local Marketing District, doing business as Visit Estes Park, the destination marketing organization for the Estes Park area, to use for tourism recovery marketing. The marketing program will promote travel to Estes Park and Northern Colorado, helping to rebuild the economy after the September, 2013 floods.
“Tourism is the number one industry in Estes Park,” said Peggy Campbell, President and CEO of Visit Estes Park, “so it is critical that we help potential travelers understand that we have physically recovered. In fact, with new businesses and events in 2014, the Estes Park guest experience is better than ever.”
Estes Park is the base camp for Rocky Mountain National Park, both of which were cut off from direct transportation immediately following the flood. Shortly after, the federal government shutdown temporarily closed Rocky Mountain National Park. While the State of Colorado was able to reopen the national park sooner than expected, much of the economic damage had been done; visitation plummeted and local revenues declined significantly.
The EDA grant application was in response to the fiscal setback felt by the community of Estes Park, as well as the Northern Colorado region. A Colorado State University study released shortly after the flood highlighted the economic impact that tourism to Estes Park has on the region. Due to the regional nature of both the flood and the tourism industry, the proposed grant program is a joint marketing effort for Northern Colorado. The proposed program also includes the destinations of Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder and Lyons. Additionally, Visit Estes Park received local, county, state and federal support for the grant proposal.
Visit Estes Park has played a key role in post-flood economic recovery. With assistance from area organizations and a grant from the Northern Colorado Community Foundation, Visit Estes Park has been using advertising, public relations and online marketing to change public perceptions that the community is still rebuilding or is inaccessible.
Now that the community and the region have rebuilt, the challenge is to educate the public that they can have an enjoyable vacation experience in the flood recovered destinations of Northern Colorado. The additional funds from grants, such as the EDA award, will allow Visit Estes Park and the partner destinations to have a larger reach with that positive message.
“This award will enable Visit Estes Park to reinstate marketing tools and efforts that had to be cut due to post-flood budget constraints,” said Brooke Burnham, director of communications and public relations for Visit Estes Park. “With the Rocky Mountain National Park Centennial celebration beginning this September, the additional funds will enable us to highlight why Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are so special. We will be encouraging the public to visit us soon, helping to sustain our local businesses and strengthen our economy going forward.”
Visit Estes Park, the name under which the Estes Park Local Marketing District operates, is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Estes Park, Colorado. A Destination Marketing Association International accredited DMO, Visit Estes Park’s mission is to drive tourism and year round economic growth by attracting visitors to the area through effective and efficient marketing.
Established in 2009, the Local Marketing District is almost entirely funded by a 2% lodging tax on stays of less than 30 days in short-term lodging properties. Estes Park, a mountain village known for outdoor adventure, watchable wildlife and scenic beauty, is located at the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Additional information about Visit Estes Park and traveling to the Estes Park area can be found online at