“Mystic San Luis Valley” in Saguache Today
Earlier this month, the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) released its new rebranding identities for the state’s eight tourism regions. The region that includes Saguache County has shifted from the old-school 1990s “South Central,” to the more accurate moniker: Mystic San Luis Valley. The new CTO map is posted below and now includes eight regions, re-named after the assets that would most likely inspire travelers to come for a visit.
The re-branding process began back in 2016, when CTO was motivated to promote all corners of the state to potential visitors more effectively, as newcomers poured into the state, in part drawn in by the legalization of marijuana. Colorado Amendment 64 was passed by voters in November 2012, leading to the dawn of the pot industry, including tourism.
The flood gates were opened. But a few years later, the usual spots for good fun from Aspen to Vail, and Colorado Springs to Denver were becoming, well, crowded. And so began the CTO “disbursement off I-70 & I-25” messaging, with the intention of promoting distinctive travel experiences across the state, thus alleviating some of the pressure off the state’s main thoroughfares.
“In listening sessions across the state, we heard a strong interest in creation of marketing collaborations, but much frustration with how geographic boundaries had been drawn decades ago,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office regarding the old 1990s model. “With this project, we have a significant opportunity to research how visitors connect experiences across our state and use this knowledge to assist industry partners statewide in marketing more effectively.”
One of the most frequent opinions voiced in Roadmap listening sessions was that the state’s former seven travel regions were doing little either to drive consumer awareness or serve as meaningful platforms for regional marketing collaborations. With the participation of a new Regional Branding Task Force, the Colorado Tourism Office selected an internationally renowned place-branding agency, Destination Think!, to shape and brand new travel regions in 2018. The final report, which can be READ HERE, was adopted by the Colorado Tourism Board last month.
The end result is a branding platform that CTO hopes will resonate not only with travelers and tourism stakeholders, but with Colorado residents and the business community as well. Have they achieved that for Saguache County? Be sure to check out the portion of the report which includes the San Luis Valley, starting on page 48. Then, share your thoughts on social media or connect with LT directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, get outside and enjoy your own backyard, otherwise known as the “Mystic San Luis Valley.”