GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Ask a Coloradan what they love about this state, and chances are you'll hear a variety of different answers. But whether it's the mountains or outdoor lifestyle, Colorado is still in search of a brand.
On the Western Slope, we can say Colorado means the National Monument, mountain biking and of course, wineries. But how many out-of-towners or even other residents know the state offers all of these things?
It’s just one reason Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is launching a new branding campaign in hopes of reintroducing our state and all it has to offer to the rest of the world.
Growing up in Russia before moving to Minnesota, Colorado meant mountains and wineries belonged in California.
"I heard [Colorado is] like all of the mountains and the spectacular views," Petersen said. "I was very surprised, I’d never heard of wine in Colorado."
Now, Petersen is getting a different picture of the state, one Governor Hickenlooper is hoping the rest of the world will also see.
"[‘Making Colorado’ is] everything from tourism to economic development, business, jobs, overall what is the brand of Colorado," Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau spokesperson Mistalynn Meyeraan said.
The “Making Colorado” campaign is a collaborative effort to build a brand for Colorado by Colorado.
"The initiative wants to create awareness there's so many other treasures to Colorado," Meyeraan said.
Leaders, professionals and the public will work together to decide a brand for the state. Like the Mesa County Economic Development Plan, the initiative will work to highlight state programs, stimulate the economy and bring in new businesses.
"It’s a cohesive message that we send beyond the borders of Colorado to tell who and what we are," Chamber of Commerce president Diane Schwenke said.
One way to do this is by highlighting those things which are sometimes overlooked.
The Visitor and Convention Bureau is hoping Western Colorado’s 40 different wineries will become part of the new brand.
"Eighty-five percent of the grapes grown for [Colorado’s 100 wineries] actually happen here in the Grand Valley," CAVE executive director Cassidee Shull said. "The rebranding of this initiative is going to be a huge help for our agritourism and bringing tourists in to Colorado wine country."
Officials say the bigger tourist draw could keep out-of-towners coming back, and encourage more businesses to make Colorado home.
"I think it's an interesting region to come here, not only this time of year but winter and summer," Petersen said of her plans to return to the state.
Eventually, the hope is the rest of the world will see why Colorado is the best place to live, work and play.
All Coloradans are encouraged to submit their ideas to help brand the state. The campaign is hoping to hear from at least one million Coloradans between now and August.
The results from the collaboration will also be announced in August.
For more information on “Making Colorado,” click on the link below.