December 9, 2016

PARTNERS               EVENTS               HAPPENINGS              EXTRANET

News to Know from Visit Estes Park

Hello Visit Estes Park Partners! Please read on for info about:
CEO Corner
Lodging Tax Update
Help Fix Our National Park
Front Range Holiday Events
Team Updates
Social Media Snapshots

CEO Corner

Please consider sending a thoughtful note to our friends in Gatlinburg, TN, as they are suffering very similar circumstances that we have been through in the last few years. VEP has been in touch with them and offered our assistance, which they have been most appreciative of. A thoughtful note goes a long way during difficult times, as we know all too well - let's send some mountain strong love over to our friends in Tennessee.

Many of you joined us for Tourism Day at the Capitol and the Tourism Industry Association of Colorado (TIAC) Reception at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver last year. Mark your calendars for January 23 and join the Estes contingent again. We made a BIG impact last year, so let's gather for some post-holiday fun and networking once again! VEP & EALA sponsorships are available for hotel and registration costs. Please contact Elizabeth if interested.

Employment decisions that affect you: Regarding the Department of Labor's new overtime rule that was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1, a temporary nationwide injunction has blocked implementation of the new rule. Also, as of Jan. 1, CO minimum wage increases to $9.30/hour (vote passed by 55.36%). Click here for more info.
Due to the fact that we have so much going on at VEP, our monthly newsletter has been getting rather lengthy. We will now be sending out a separate marketing partnership newsletter, sharing opportunities of how you can participate with VEP and grow your marketing efforts. Watch for that newsletter later today.

Lodging Tax Update

The total amount received in October was 8.09% lower than last year. When adjusted for late payments, the estimated increase is estimated to be 0.15%. Year to date, lodging taxes are up 7.97%. When adjusted for late payments, however, the increase is estimated at 6.7% year to date.

Help Fix Our National Park

We’re seeing record visitation, here in Estes Park, which is great for our industry. But the national parks’ popularity also highlights a challenge - many of our parks are showing their age. At RMNP alone, $63 million is needed for repairs. The Visit Estes Park and Estes Area Lodging Association Boards recognize the importance of the national parks to our local economy. That is why they have signed a letter to our congressional delegation, spearheaded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, asking lawmakers to ensure that NPS has the resources to protect and maintain our national parks for visitors and generations to come.

Please join us, and hundreds of businesses and organizations throughout the country, in signing on to the “Restore America’s Parks” letter. Your participation will demonstrate the collective power of the tourism industry and business community in the Estes Park area. Together, we can help #FixOurParks, here and across the country. Find out more.

Thanks to our Front Range Holiday
Event Sponsors

Thank you to the YMCA of the Rockies and the Quality Inn for sponsoring ice sculptures at the Grand Illumination and Small Business Saturday events at Denver Union Station and Boulder Pearl St. over Thanksgiving weekend. Both events were a smashing success with thousands of people sharing their enthusiasm for Estes and their interest in visiting in the winter. Thank you to our team members here at VEP, as well as Cultivator and Backbone for helping to make it all happen – especially for giving up time over the holiday! We hope to launch similar celebrations in the future, so get involved in these fun and interactive events!

Team Updates

As the year comes to the end, we’re saying farewell to two staff members who have been integral to Visit Estes Park and greeting others who are joining our team and community.

Many of you may have spoken with Josh Harms over the past several months as he worked on events listings and website updates as a summer intern. A communications graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Josh’s role with us has grown considerably, and he now makes sure our social media will attract people to Estes Park, and he puts in significant time making certain our website content is on target. Josh is our new Communications Coordinator. Welcome to our full-time staff Josh!

This month we’re also saying goodbye to Brooke Burnham who has taken us through fire and flood as our Director of Marketing & Communications. Brooke started with VEP in August 2012 and has been at the forefront in helping Visit Estes Park earn awards, obtain grants, as well as increase visitation. The DMO in San Luis Obispo in California is gaining a terrific Vice President of Marketing. Thank you Brooke, we'll miss you!

Suzy Blackhurst will soon be enjoying a much-deserved retirement in five short weeks. It’s difficult to imagine VEP without Suzy, as she began as a marketing consultant 30 years ago, then became full-time staff with the Town CVB, and lastly we were fortunate enough to have Suzy transition to the VEP team, in charge of public relations, when the District began over eight years ago. Suzy will be greatly missed here at VEP. Thank you Suzy, for all you have done for this community.

We'll never be able to fill Suzy's shoes; however, we are excited to welcome Wendi Bryson as our new Office Manager. Wendi already has demonstrated her value to our team in the short time she has been with us. Wendi brings with her a strong IT background, coupled with a variety of operation experiences. Welcome aboard Wendi!
Social Media Snapshots
Estes community - you all just received a couple of impressive compliments - check   it out!
Nicole Borrego (@kidborrego) shared photos of Estes and recommended the destination to her followers.
Instagram users shared love for Estes Park as well as their favorite winter activities in the comments section.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns. We are here to help! Thank you for being an involved Partner! 

Warm regards,
The Visit Estes Park Team

Elizabeth Fogarty, President & CEO

Brooke Burnham, Director of Marketing & Communications

Suzy Blackhurst, Director of Operations

Wendi Bryson, Operations Manager

Michael Bodman, Finance and Administration Manager

Abi Huebner, Partner & Group Development Manager

Josh Harms, Communications Coordinator
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