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Town And County Appoint Local Marketing District Board

The Town of Estes Park and Larimer County announce the appointment of seven Local Marketing District Advisory Board Members. The members chosen live within the designated district in Larimer County and are tasked with promoting the Local Marketing District, which will be before the voters in the November election.

Interviews were conducted by representatives from the Estes Area Lodging Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Town and the County and the seven appointed Board Members chosen are Bill Almond, Cory Blackman, Elizabeth Blanchard, Ken Larson, Lee Lasson, Kathy Palmeri and Scott Webermeier.
If approved, the Local Marketing District will collect a 2% lodging tax specifically earmarked for marketing efforts. The only people who will pay the 2% tax are those who stay at an overnight lodging facility within the designated district for 30 days or fewer. The tax is not added to any other bill. With this tax, the tourists who visit Estes Park will be paying for the marketing that brought them here.

Bill Almond has been the Director of Reservations and Sales for the YMCA of the Rockies. Prior to the YMCA he worked for Forever Resorts in several different capacities over 15 years including General Manager of the RMNP Trail Ridge Store, General Manager and Area Manager for the Holiday Inn. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and is also a certified Hotel Administrator. He is past President of the Children’s Center Advisory Council and Colorado Hotel Marketing Association.

Cory Blackman has been the General Manager of Best Western Silver Saddle for nine years. He also managed Best Western Lake Estes for eight years, Heritage Hotel in Greeley for three years and Ramada Inn Fort Collins for three years. Blackman holds an Associate Degree in Business Information Systems from Aims Community College in Greeley. He also serves on the Town’s Marketing Advisory Committee and is past President of the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce and Partners in Quality Education.
Elizabeth Blanchard is the Vice President of Operations for Estes Park Condos and has lived in Estes Park for three years. She serves on the Estes Area Lodging Association and holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Erie College. Blanchard has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry having worked for Delaware North Companies, The Broadmoor Hotel, Sheraton Hotel and consulting firm Sceptre. She is also the past Vice President of the Southern Colorado Business Travel Association.

Ken Larson is the president and treasurer of River Stone Management Co. Inc. He provides on-site property management for River Stone Resorts and Bear Paw Suites. Ken helped gather property owner signatures during the LMD petition process and also served on the Town’s 2017 Economic Advisory Council. Larson obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing from the University of Akron and has over 30 years experience in sales and marketing.
Lee Lasson has lived and worked in the Estes Area for 31 years and currently resides in Glen Haven. He owns and operates Estes Park On-Line (EPOL) and On-Line Consulting.  EPOL is an Internet web hosting service and provides a list of links to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. On-Line Consulting provides network and Internet consulting services. Lasson is currently on the Board of Directors for the EP Nonprofit Resource Center and has served on the EP Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Advisory Board since its inception.

Kathy Palmeri and her family have owned and operated Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Estes for 15 seasons. During that time she has participated on local, state and national Boards that include the Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association, the NFIB Advisory Council for Colorado, the Estes Park Chamber Resort Association, and the Colorado Tourism Office and most recently served as Chairman of National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). She is currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the ARVC Foundation and working with her husband Tony as Directors of Franchise Sales for LSI, the franchisor for Jellystone Park Camp Resorts.
Scott Webermeier is the general manager for National Park Village, which includes overseeing the Country Supermarket, Other Side Restaurant, Village Store, National Park Village Conoco, and EP Aerial Tramway Gifts. He is a past president of the EP Chamber of Commerce, served on the Park R-3 School Board of Education, and worked with local Cub Scout Pack 8 as Pack Leader and Den Mother. He currently serves on the EP Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Colorado State University.

About 40 towns in Colorado have a similar tax, especially the resort towns. It’s often called a lodging tax, accommodations tax, or a pillow tax. The Local Marketing District tax will apply to lodging establishments both in the town and county areas of the Estes Valley. Currently, the town of Estes Park spends about $800,000 a year on marketing. This money comes out of the general fund and is contingent upon annual funding.  The town may not be able to continue to fund marketing at the same level in future years.  The Lodging Tax Money can only be used for marking efforts such as: Organize, promote, market and manage public events, Activities in support of business recruitment, management and development, Coordinating tourism promotion activities. The7 Board Members will be in control of all funds collected. The defined Local Marketing District boundaries, which are the same as Recreation District Boundaries within Larimer County, include the Town, County surrounding Estes Park down Hwy 7 to Boulder County and Glen Haven.

The Advisory Board has been appointed to promote the Local Marketing District, answer questions and present information to the public. If you would like more information about the Local Marketing District or would like to have a presentation for your community group, please contact any of the board members at their email addresses:
Bill Almond, balmond@ymcarockies.org; Cory Blackman, cnbestes@gmail.com; Elizabeth Blanchard elizabeth@estescondos.com; Kathy Palmeri, kpalmeri@gmail.com; Ken Larson, klarson@riverstoneresorts.com; Lee Lasson, lee@on-line.com; and Scott Webermeier, jwebo@aol.com.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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