Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) members met for a lunchtime meeting at noon on Tuesday, January 14 in the meeting room at Palisade Town Hall. Since it was the first meeting of the year, officers were nominated for the coming year. Juliann Adams was retained as Chair with Charles Talbott agreeing to serve as Vice-Chair. Also in attendance were Town Administrator Janet Hawkinson, Finance Director Travis Boyd, WaterTreatment Plant Manager Matt Lemon, Planning Tech Lydia Reynolds, Palisade Chamber Executive Director Andrew Weber, and Board members Jean Tally, Cassidee Shull, Rondo Beucheler, Nic Pugliese and Charles Talbott. Others attending were Bridgett Gutierrez from Ryan/Sawyer Marketing and Betsy McLaughlin from PeachTownNews.com.
Palisade’s Finance Director Travis Boyd began the meeting by explaining the new procedure for paying outstanding invoices for TAB expenses to avoid duplicate payments being made. He will also advise TAB about ongoing revenues to keep the budget updated regularly. Board member Rondo Buecheler asked how the Lodging Fees that should be collected from the 18 active Short Term Vacation Rental (VRBO) houses in Palisade are accounted for. Boyd explained that it is currently on the Honor System, with each VRBO responsible for their own monthly reporting. They are also required to purchase a Palisade business license from the town annually for $50, but if they have paid at least $50 in Lodging Fees the previous year the application fee is waived.
Also discussed were the Request for Proposals (RFPs) to be sent out for the coming years’ marketing contracts. The RFPs should be distributed to vendors by the first part of February so that proposals can be discussed by TAB at the March meeting. The February meeting is dedicated to working with our mentor from the Colorado Tourism Office. It is planned that the new agency will be hired by May 1.
Board members spent most of the meeting going through a list of possible advertising buys from various publications and websites that Bridgett had put together for discussion. Most important was a decision to go ahead and purchase a Palisade ‘city page’ from Colorado.com, one of the main tourism websites. Although it is a large single advertising buy, all agreed that it gives more exposure to Palisade’s businesses and will have benefits in years to come even if TAB can only afford to buy the page for a year or every few years. The purchase would allow TAB to author their own main page, and all the corresponding advertisements down the sidebars would also be for Palisade businesses and attractions. In later years, the copy for the main page would remain but if the page was not purchased for that year, the sidebar advertisements would change and would not necessarily promote Palisade’s businesses.
Members had a short discussion on whether to purchase a ‘Bus Wrap’ on Grand Valley Transit buses, but after discovering that wine and other alcohol can’t be advertised on the buses, decided to wait till next year to consider this again.
Cassidee Shull reported that Grand Junction will be hosting the WineAmerica conference this coming November. The gathering will include 30 – 40 executive directors, winemakers and lobbyists. She also announced that the VIP tickets for the 2020 Colorado Mountain Winefest here in Palisade have already sold out, and that 1800 of the general admission tickets had already sold.
Juliann Adams invited everyone to her new Vines 79 WineBarn, a winery and tasting room, open on Saturdays and Sundays. Their wine is being served at the Palisade Cafe and the reds are being served exclusively at the Clark’s new Wedding Barn in Palisade.
Rondo Buecheler described the new transportation services that will be offered from Palisade to trailhead areas of the Palisade Plunge once the first section of the trail is opened later this year. He and Dave Smith of Pali Tours are the only Palisade shuttle operators permitted by the Public Utilities Commission. Rapid Creek Cyclery also has a large selection of electric bikes for rent and for sale.
According to Charles Talbott, the Tap Room is being remodeled to add more lines of cider and wine and will reopen on February 6. He was also proud to announce that Talbott’s has been named the Best Cidery in the Rockies by Elevation Outdoors magazine and will be featured in the March issue. The only thing lacking is an easy bike ride up the 39 Road hill. Would those electric bikes be useful?
Nic Pugliese was introduced as the new General Manager of Palisade Basecamp RV Resort. Nic updated everyone on the goings-on out at Basecamp, mainly the upgrading of the cabins with TVs, propane BBQ grills and bedding to be provided by Basecamp. There are also plans to expand the retail operation as well as the addition of beer and wine sales to guests.
Jean Tally promoted this years Edesia – a Palisade Culinary, Wine and Spirits Adventure with the addition of a screening of “Long Live the King”, a documentary about the filming of “King Kong”. There will also be a panel discussion with the filmmakers. The event will be held Sunday, April 5 at the Wine Country Inn. Tickets are available on EdesiaPalisade.com.
Jean also announced that this year’s International Honeybee Festival will be held in downtown Palisade on Sunday, April 18.
Andrew Weber reported that the Chamber membership drive has been very successful and that by March, the Palisade Chamber will be the second largest Chamber in the county. Between he and Juliann, they added over 100 new members last year, and 10 so far in January. He also invited everyone to the monthly Business-After-Hours the next evening at the Community Center in Memorial Park.