Mountain towns begin targeting in-state residents only for summer tourism season

Coronavirus

CREEDE, Colo. (KDVR) — With COVID-19 riddling its way through the state, some Colorado mountain communities are pivoting their summer tourism marketing plans.

One of those communities is Creede in Mineral County.

“Our summer averages about 4,000 visitors on a weekly basis. Our 4th of July brings about 10,000 people. We host the State Mining Competition and the Days of ’92. We’re still waiting to see if that’s something we can do this summer,” said Kathleen Murphy, executive director of the Creede-Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Mineral County is following Gov. Jared Polis’ “Safer at Home” order and plans to welcome tourists when the timing is right.

“We’re really looking forward when it’s appropriate to see the rest of Colorado come see our little gem,” Murphy said.

In May, the Colorado Tourism Office told FOX31 there is a chance it still won’t be safe for out-of-staters to visit Colorado, given the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Which is why Creede decided to focus solely on marketing to Coloradans.

“I am specifically directing all of my paid messaging to within the state of Colorado,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s office has been inundated with phone calls and emails from people itching to travel.

“A lot of them have vacation plans for August, which I just tell them, l]’Let’s just hold off and see what happens,'” Murphy said.

When the timing is right, Creede plans to target residents who planned to visit mountain communities along Interstate 70.

“Since Creede is a lot more affordable and money is a little tight for folks. But they still, for their mental health, need to get out on a little vacation,” Murphy said.

Tourism is Creede’s main economic driver.

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