Montrose invests in tourism study

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MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO) -- The city of Montrose is hoping a new investment will help revamp its tourism efforts to make the town more of a tourist hub.

Montrose City Council voted 4-1 to spend $30,000 on a study to analyze existing tourism data in hopes of drawing more visitors to come to Montrose as a destination, rather than just in passing through to the Black Canyon, Telluride or Ouray.

“We feel for the longest time, Montrose has not been described as a destination,” said assistant City Manager Rob Joseph. “Typically what happens is people come and linger on the outskirts, the Black Canyon area, and then they're out of here.”

Joseph said the study will analyze demographics of those already visiting Montrose to help local businesses better market to tourists.

“I think it’s the best investment Montrose could make,” said Sandy Hennessy, owner of the new downtown pizza place, Colorado Boy Pizzeria.

Diana Hunter, a local artisan who sells her jewelry at Creative Corner in downtown Montrose, said 50 percent of her business is dependent on tourists. Inside the store, there’s a world map for visitors to place a pin on the location they’re from.

“It's a place that has different sort of thing that are locally made and people like to buy things where they come to visit,” said Hunter.

The jewelry maker said the store currently advertises in magazines and on the radio, but with a limited advertising budget, it can be difficult. She said she thinks the effects of the study will take time before making an impact, but supports any help in marketing she can get.

Joseph said he will be working with the Visitor Center at the Black Canyon to better understand their visitors’ demographics and desires to help understand how to keep them around in Montrose for more than a day. He also is working with the Telluride Tourism Board to arrange day trips to Telluride for people who come to vacation in Montrose.

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