Silverton business owners told the Town Council on Monday that “everyone’s facing hard times” and the town needs to step up efforts to boost the tourism business.
Mark and Darlene Watson, owners Silverton Grocery, spearheaded a petition drive that garnered 194 signatures calling on the town to hire a special events coordinator and marketing guru.
“We’ve lost at least 10 families that were regular customers,” Mark Watson said. “We feel all the other communities in the area are fighting for the same dollars we’re fighting for.”
Watson said the spectacular success of February’s Silverton Skijoring Festival is an example of more of what the town needs, particularly in the winter.
Rose Raab, director of the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce, pointed to that agency’s efforts at marketing and bringing visitors here.
And Gina Rosato, who does marketing for the chamber, reviewed the aggressive campaigns the chamber has launched both online and in print.
Town Administrator Jason Wells pointed out that some 10 years ago there was “a pretty firm recommendation” for a town marketing/events coordinator and the town “went through a series of folks” who held that position, before it “fell by the wayside.”
Wells noted that consultant Mark Garcia, who reviewed the town’s contracts for Kendall Mountain, the visitors center and events coordinator in 2009, also advised hiring a town resource and special events coordinator.
And the Downtown Colorado Inc. study commissioned last fall is also advising “a full-time or part-time program director” to coordinate special events.
“Having this position makes sense,” Wells told the Town Council. “There needs to be a really honed focus in this area.”
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