The Palisade Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) at a special meeting on Oct. 7 reviewed vacancies on the board, raised concerns about Palisade’s marijuana image in marketing, and heard reports about the planned Cameo sports shooting complex and plans for the Riverfront Trail.
The board also heard about a celebration of Sue Parker’s life. A memorial service and potluck will be held Sunday, Oct. 12, 4 to 6 p.m., at Amy’s Courtyard, Maison la Belle Vie Winery, 3575 G Road.
The question of Palisade’s future marijuana image in marketing was raised by board member Brant Harrison who described a card he received in the mail from the Palisade Agritourism Coalition. The card asked residents to vote for Measure 2A on the fall ballot. The measure asks Palisade voters to vote yes or no for the sale of retail marijuana in the town.
“I was a little offended when I got the card,” Harrison said. He questioned the use of the term agritourism in relation to marijuana. He said he will ask at an agriculture conference how they define agritourism.
Harrison noted that the Palisade Planning Commission the day before had voted to recommend to the town board approval of changes in the Land Development Code that would allow cultivation of medical marijuana at a location separate from the medical marijuana dispensary.
TAB Chair Cassidee Shull said she was advised that the board would not take a stand on the ballot question.
TAB member Jean Tally said, “This affects how we spend our tourism dollars.” Tally added, “The Colorado Tourism Office won’t promote pot tourism. That puts us in a very compromised position.”
Town Clerk Lindsey Chitwood pointed out that members of the TAB are appointed by the town trustees, which placed the question on the ballot.
TAB member Juliann Adams noted that the TAB board decides where the dollars are spent.
Clerk Chitwood said, “Once the election is over, you can talk about it.”
Chair Shull announced that a number of TAB member terms are up, but that the members can reapply to the board.
Chitwood said the town is advertising for letters of interest for vacancies on the board. In a memo to the board on Oct. 8, Chitwood said the Municipal Code states there can be no more than 11 or fewer than 5 members. Members are appointed by the board of trustees.
In the memo, Chitwood said, “Where practicable, membership shall consist of representatives from various tourism-related businesses, including the lodging industry, food service, retail, the recreational industry, the agricultural industry and the winery industry.” At least two members shall be Palisade residents, and one member a Palisade trustee.
At the Oct. 7 meeting, Teri Cavanagh, Cobb & Associates marketing agency, provided a budget update. Cavanagh said so far this year $26,190 was spent. The reserve is $1,659, which is slightly under what the town treasurer, Joe Vlach, wanted, she said.
Cavanagh reported on marketing campaigns for Palisade, including Facebook, and shoulder season campaigns targeting Eagle, Vail, and Aspen.
Cavanagh said it would be best to budget $500 to TAB member Brooke Webb for the Facebook campaign. “She had a tremendous success with Facebook postings,” Cavanagh said.
Chair Shull said she would prefer to market to Grand Junction in the winter.
Cavanagh reported on the video footage taken by the French press mountain biking visitors to the Grand Valley in September. “Palisade had the most breathtaking footage,” along the Rim Trail, she said. The footage will be available to promote Palisade.
Cavanagh said Mesa County Libraries is editing the footage to create a documentary that will be available to everyone.
Cavanagh said the value of the press coverage in Europe of the visit to the Grand Valley ranges from $36,000 to $180,000. Either way, “It’s a big, big number.” Palisade was among the communities in the valley which contributed funds for hosting the French press bikers.
Sports shooting complex
Rich Sales, town administrator, reported on progress in plans for a sports shooting complex at the former Cameo site to be operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Palisade has promoted the plan for economic development.
Sales also reported that tickets will be on sale for the 2015 and 2016 Palisade Blue Grass and Roots Festival. He also noted that the Palisade Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival this year will be held Oct. 11 and 12 at Memorial Park.
TAB member Adams reported that she recently returned from a visit to Pueblo for a Rotary Club meeting. She visited the historic River Walk there. “We’ve got a better river walk,” she said, along the river in Riverbend Park. Adams and other TAB members agreed that the river trail in Palisade could be marketed as an attraction.
Tally agreed, and said, “There aren’t many places where you can get up close to the Colorado River, and (where) it’s safe.”
Chair Shull reported that the Colorado Mountain Winefest in September set a record, with almost 6,000 people at Riverbend Park on Saturday. The total for the weekend was 6,500 people. “All the hotels were sold out for the first time in six years in Grand Junction,” she said.
Town Administrator Sales reported that the link to Palisade on the Riverfront Trail is second on the list of priorities for the trail by the county commissioners. Sales said alternative routes might be considered, and he pointed out that the latest link in the trail between Fruita and Grand Junction doesn’t follow the river the entire way.
Sales said the link to Palisade might include alternative routes along the Fruit and Wine Byway or an irrigation ditch road, with approval. Sales said Clifton Water has also agreed that the trail could go through their property.
TAB member Felix Iovanni commented that linking Palisade to the Riverfront Trail would make Riverbend Park prime property. Sales noted, too, that plans include extending the trail to the Cameo sports shooting range project and Island Acres campground.
Shull reported that CAVE (Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology) has an agreement with the Daily Sentinel for in-kind advertising in a Thanksgiving guidebook. The ad about Palisade wineries will say, “We’re open almost every day of the year.”
The 45 minute meeting was held at the Palisade Civic Center. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 11, noon, at the civic center. Meetings are open to the public.