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Woodland Park City Hall is pictured in this June 1 photo

In recent years, tourism has become a talking point for many reasons in our growing city.

As City staff, we’ve heard plenty of differing opinions on tourism. Some people feel that tourism is a problem in Woodland Park, creating traffic and overuse. Others think that we should encourage more of it, and do more to invite people to our community. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “We need a bypass!” But, if there’s one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that tourism is, and always will be, a hot topic.

This fall, Woodland Park is taking on this topic with the help of the Colorado Tourism Office, Woodland Park tourism stakeholder groups, and you — our community.

In July, the City was awarded a grant through the Colorado Tourism Office. The grant will feature third-party experts to lead stakeholders in the development of a tourism roadmap. This roadmap is intended to give stakeholders and the City actionable objectives for managing tourism for the betterment of Woodland Park in the future.

The City is taking the lead on this program in partnership with six tourism stakeholder groups in our community: Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce, Woodland Park Downtown Development Authority, Pikes Peak Ranger District, SOAR, Woodland Park Main Street, and Woodland Park Tourism Alliance. All of these stakeholder groups are represented as part of the core team for this project. The core team will work directly with our third-party experts over the next few months to guide the roadmap creation process, provide input and context, and organize meetings and events related to this project.

The first (and most important) step in this process is understanding how our community views tourism. Tourism effects everyone in our community, and decisions around tourism cannot be made in a vacuum. We know that this is a big deal for our small town, and we know that feelings toward tourism are often complex. We’ve created a survey for residents and tourism related business owners that will help us to better understand those complex feelings.

The anonymous survey will take about 10 minutes. We know you are busy, but your honest feedback is invaluable! Our core team and third party experts will use the results of this survey to come up with actionable objectives for the future. Feedback from you, our local residents and business owners, is necessary to move this program forward.

You can take the survey at WhatsUpWoodlandPark.com/tourism. This survey will be open through Oct. 12. Anyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $50 gift card!

If you have questions about this program, the City’s role, or tourism in general, contact Grace Johnson, Communications and Marketing Coordinator at 719-687-5218 or gjohnson@city-woodlandpark.org.

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