“He’s like a cowboy chef.  He plays a guitar and tells jokes,” Juliann Adams, Palisade Chamber of Commerce director, told the Tourism Advisory Board at its Nov. 11 meeting.

Adams was describing Lenny McNab, winner of the Food Network’s 2014 competition.  McNab will display his 3-foot, by 3-foot, by 2-foot gingerbread house on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Palisade Community Center.

The house will be for display only, and not part of the Olde Fashioned Christmas’ gingerbread contest, Adams said.  The house will also be on display Dec. 10 at Guild Mortgage in Grand Junction.

Adams enthusiastically outlined events for the Olde Fashioned Christmas celebration in Palisade, Dec. 5, 6, and 7.  Events include two craft fairs, one downtown and one at the town gym at the old high school, as well as a soup challenge at the library, a silent auction, and historical tours.

Adams said home tours will start and stop at Varaison Vineyards & Winery, 405 W. 1st St., where two Victorian style tea sittings will be held.  Tickets can be purchased at the chamber, 319 Main St. and at evenbrite.com.

The parade will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, a holiday tree will be lighted, and Taylor Elementary School children will provide music, Adams continued.  For more information, see:  www.palisadecoc.com/.

Sports shooting complex

Mayor Roger Granat updated the board on plans for a sports shooting complex at the Cameo town site.  Plans call for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to operate the facility, which the town is promoting for economic development.

Mayor Granat said that he, Rich Sales, town administrator; and possibly Trustee Robynn Sundermeier will go to Sterling, Colorado, where Sales will make a presentation on Nov. 18 to a Colorado Department of Local Affairs panel to seek a $2 million grant toward purchase of land for the complex.

Marketing strategy

Chair Cassidee Shull suggested that the 2015 marketing strategy might reflect what worked in 2014.  “We’ve grown a lot in our marketing,” she said.  Shull also said she would confirm with the town that the board would have the ability to spend the $1,000 in contingency.

Responding to a question about the chamber, Adams said, “The town has been very generous with the chamber,” and, “The town has given us our full grant back again.”  She noted that the chamber plans to keep the Peach Town News website going.

Lodging tax

Mayor Granat noted that the town board that evening would be considering a resolution concerning an ordinance regulating short term residential vacation rentals.  Granat said rental owners may be required to pay the town lodging tax.

Granat and TAB member Rondo Buecheler said they thought that would be fair.  Tally commented, “We’ve been fair in marketing all segments.”

Tourism campaigns

Chair Shull said the Facebook campaign conducted by TAB member Brooke Webb is “going exceptionally well.”  Shull suggested that $500 be budgeted for ads on Facebook and that the campaign continue in the winter months.

Buecheler agreed, saying, however, that he had no ideas for January or February promotions.  Tally pointed out that the Wine Country Inn will feature culinary classes in January and February, and offer the Edesia celebrity chef demonstrations at the end of March.

“Get out of Dodge”

Adams recommended continuing mud season promotions in mountain towns. Adams said she heard a week earlier at the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Snowmass that people there “would love to get out of the cold and snow and come here.”  Adams said a tourism official there would be eager to cross promote tourism in Snowmass and Palisade.

TAB members pointed out that winter attractions in Palisade and the valley include bike riding, the wineries, and the hotel.

Tally pointed out, “We can get terrific deals in the Free Press and the mountain papers pick-up ads,” referring to a number of newspapers published in mountain areas by Colorado Mountain News Media.

Tally summed up the mountain town ad theme as, “Get out of Dodge.” Adams said ads could offer mountain workers special deals in Palisade if they show their badge.

Update town logo?

Chair Shull suggested giving the town’s logo a facelift.  “I don’t think it’s exciting,” she commented.  The logo includes the motto, “Life Tastes Good Here—All Year Long.”

Mayor Granat said, “It would have to come before the board.”

Tally pointed out the cost for a new design, and wondered about giving up the recognition of an established logo.  “I don’t think it’s all that bad.”  Buecheler said it could be considered at the meeting in January.

Quilt & Fiber Art Festival

Adams reported that 600 people attended the Quilt and Fiber Art Festival in Memorial Park in October.  It is sponsored by the chamber. “People were happy it was pulled from the Peach Festival,” and they’re looking forward to the festival next year, she said. This year, there were alpacas, lamas, and sheep on display, as well as “a magnificent” grand champion lama, she added.

Tally said revenue from this year’s bed tax might be more than projected and asked if it might carry over to 2015.  Shull said the board would probably stay with the same budget.  Mayor Granat observed, “You’ve got to look at opportunities as they present themselves.”

Winefest tickets for sale Dec. 1

Tickets for the 2015 Colorado Mountain Winefest, Sept. 17, 18, 19, and 20, go on sale on-line on Dec. 1, Shull, executive director of the Colorado Association for Vitaculture and Enology (CAVE), announced.  The $27 tickets “go fast,” and last year tickets sold out in five hours, she said.

Shull also reported that the CAVE board decided to discontinue the urban winefest in Denver, but it will support the Colorado Wine Week on the Front Range.

Fifty six tickets have been sold so far for the 2015 Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival, Ron Quarles, Palisade community development director, reported.  That amounts to $7,000 in revenue, he said.

State-wide chamber directors

The state-wide chambers of commerce directors’ conference will be held in Palisade, May 6, 7, 8, 2015, Tally reported.  “It’s a great opportunity for local vendors to get together,” she pointed out.  Adams said there will be a Palisade booth and she estimated that 125 people will attend.

Development Director Quarles reported that there are four openings on the TAB board.  Board members discussed possible nominees and those who would represent the variety of tourism businesses, such as restaurants.  Tally and Felix Iovanni, who applied to the town for reappointment to the TAB board, were reappointed by the town board the evening of Nov. 11.

The one-hour meeting was held at the Palisade Civic Center, 341 W. 7th St.  The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 6, noon, at the civic center.