August 11, 2016


News to Know from Visit Estes Park

Hello Visit Estes Park Partners! Please read on for information about:

CEO Corner
Travel Buzz
Lodging Tax Reciepts
Recurring Payment Option Now Available
2017 Estes Park Visitor Guide
Virtual Tours
Nominate & Vote for Estes Park
Events Department Seeks Volunteer
Social Media Snapshots

CEO Corner

Let's talk politics!​  Now that I have your attention, we encourage you to be aware of a few of the initiatives and amendments that will appear on the November ballot and VEP continues to monitor closely​. Total spending by domestic visitors to Colorado increased to $17.2 billion in 2015* so you can appreciate why tourism is one of the top industries in Colorado. Tourism is impacted by a variety of industries including transportation, insurance, manufacturing, oil & gas and many others.  Please feel free to contact me for more information​ and a complete list of issues.​
  • Initiative 96 - Constitutional Reform: CO has one of the most amended state ​constitutions in the nation, having been amended over 150 times (the U.S. Constitution has only been amended 27 times).​ This initiative proposes additional requirements in order to introduce a state amendment.​
  • Amendment 69 – Single-Payer Healthcare:  State run single-payer healthcare system (also known as ColoradoCare)​ levying new taxes​, an additional 10% income tax paid by business​es​ and ​employees.
  • Initiative 101 – Minimum Wage​:  Ballot initiative will increase the state’s minimum wage to $12/hour and tipped minimum wage to $8.98/hour by 2020. Current wages are:  $8.31 and tipped $5.29.
  • Initiatives 75 and 78 - Oil and Gas Industry Initiatives​:  Initiative 75 allows an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning local government regulation of oil and gas development​, ​ authorizing local governments to prohibit, limit, or impose moratoriums on oil and gas development. Initiative 78 requires a 2500 ft. statewide setback for new oil and gas development facilities from the nearest occupied structure.
  • ​U.S. Department of Labor - New rule taking affect on December 1, 2016:  The US Department of Labor has issued new rulings on who and what qualifies for “exempt” status and sets new salary floor for Exempt employees at $47,476.​  All employers must comply including nonprofits on 12/01/16.
*2015 Longwoods International CO Travel Report​
Travel Buzz
RSVP for the next Travel Buzz - September 14, 2016, 9:30 - 11 am. The topic is: The Ultimate Customer Service Program: Fast and Easy. We are returning to Inkwell and Brew for this Buzz - 150 E Elkhorn Ave. Please RSVP so the staff can prepare accordingly.
Lodging Tax Receipts
The total amount received in June was 25.66% higher than last year. However, when adjusting for late payments, the increase is estimated at 16.05%. Year to date, lodging taxes are up 19.27%; when ​adjusted for late payments, the increase is estimated at 8.30%. It’s worth noting that both ​the spring season (March - May) ​and winter (Dec. - Feb.) ​outpaced the estimated YTD rate of 8.30%, with rates of 9.36% ​and ​8.44% respectively​.  VEP continues to strategize for​ and invest ​in the winter and spring seasons to support a more balanced and healthy ​year-round ​economy.
Recurring Payment Option Now Available
Stakeholders can now take advantage of a new recurring payment option via credit card or electronic debit (ACH). Streamline your accounts payable to VEP for annual benefits (Rack ​Card and ​Menu Displays in the Visitor Center, ​Group Leads, and Visitor Guide ​Leads). Sign up by contacting Michael Bodman at
2017  Visitor Guide
Don't wait! Space in the 2017 Visitor Guide is being reserved and time is running out! We can help you create a great advertising plan that will provide you value year-round!  Review the Services Guide for details about your options, and call Abi Huebner or Suzy Blackhurst at 970-586-0500 or email them:;
Virtual Tours
The first launch of the Virtual Tour (now on the VEP homepage) filming filled up quickly, so we have scheduled the next round sooner than expected!  If you missed out the first time, please ​complete this form to get scheduled for the second round. Take time to peruse through the tour and check out your local businesses and the 20+ drone aerials over the Estes Valley, it's very cool!
Nominate & Vote for Estes Park
Elevation Outdoors
Deadline R1: Aug. 22nd
Vote for Estes Park as the Top Adventure Town in Round 1 in the Medium Town category where we face off with Palisade.
Travel + Leisure
Deadline: Sept. 15th
Nominate the town of Estes Park and local businesses to be included on the 2017 "World's Best" ballot.
Deadline: Aug 15th
Nominate Colorado and Estes Park for "Where do you want to go?" city and state, respectively, in the 2017 edition of the magazine.
Events Department Seeks Volunteer
The Town of Estes Park Events Department is seeking a volunteer to assist with marketing the 2017 Estes Park Wool Market. This volunteer position will help the special events coordinator with posting information on event-related websites and identifying marketing opportunities and research projects. Computer skills are required for this position. Contact Barbara Johnson if interested.
Social Media Snapshots
We hosted a successful Instagram Takeover with Influencer Elizabeth Hyland during her wedding in Estes Park. 
@eacourts: "Ending the evening at the river."
July's Fan Photo Friday series was themed with lakes, and received lots of submissions.
Brand Pence: "Rainbow over Bear Lake, 7/18 #FanPhotoFriday"
Jennifer Broome, formerly of Fox31 KDVR
@JenniferBroome: "Beautiful AM along Big Thompson River in @VisitEstesPark" 
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 PR & Communications

Suzy Blackhurst, Director of Operations

Michael Bodman, Office Administrator

Adam Concannon, Content Coordinator

Abi Huebner, Partner & Group Development Manager
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Visit Estes Park 500 Big Thompsan  Dr. • Estes Park, Colorado 80517
970-577-9900 or 800-443-7837
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