Greeley or bust: Greeley is attracting some-more tourists than ever before

July 24, 2016 - Picnic Time

A decade ago, if you’d asked outsiders what comes to mind when they consider of Greeley, we would have listened jabs about it being a sharp cow town, or gang-infested, or — maybe misfortune of all — boring.

But a organisation of people who desired their city and were sap of a disastrous designations came together for a common goal: They wanted to spin a picked-on, under-represented, under-appreciated city into a traveller destination.

They had some critical obstacles along a way, even in a approach Greeley’s possess residents viewed their city, though a efforts seem to be working. Greeley’s now a traveller trap. Yes, we’re serious.

Now those same outsiders in a new Greeley Unexpected consult brought adult Downtown Greeley and a Friday Fest, a Greeley Stampede, a city’s museums, including a sight museum, High Plains Chautauqua or a Greeley Arts Picnic or a city’s parks and trails.

The astonishing — get it? — change is branch heads around a state. Other traveller groups revisit Greeley to see how a city is succeeding, and during state conventions, Greeley is famous for a team-work that incited around a image.

It’s been a large organisation bid to change Greeley into a destination, and a lot of locals have had a palm in it.

Changing a notice

Hannah LaForest, Visit Greeley director, pronounced Greeley has usually managed to make a change given of a relations that have been built between private and open entities.

“We weren’t unequivocally a renouned traveller destination, and afterwards within a past 5 or 6 years, partners in Greeley have unequivocally come together and satisfied tourism is such an mercantile motorist for Greeley,” LaForest said. “I unequivocally consider it was a care from a tip down saying, ‘Hey, we need to make this a focus.’ ”

The initial step was to tell a story of Greeley to those who had never visited or hadn’t been to city in decades and, to a estimable degree, those who already lived there. The Greeley Unexpected debate was born. It gave residents a fuel they indispensable to be unapproachable of their city instead of embarrassed.

Now when outsiders contend something disastrous about Greeley these days to a Greeley resident, they’re some-more expected to be met with exasperation rather than with a still acceptance. That altered a whole game. It gave officials an army of those peaceful to not usually urge their city though foster it.

“When a city took on their devise and started a Greeley Unexpected program, we consider Greeley indeed started descending in adore with itself,” pronounced Michelle Kempema, Colorado Model Railroad Museum director. “People stopped saying, ‘Oh, yeah, we live in Greeley,’ and they started saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so propitious we live in Greeley.’”

The whole suspicion of Greeley being a traveller end is, of course, formed on a wish that people will wish to revisit Greeley.

“We had a bigger plea in changing peoples’ perceptions — that’s all there is to it,” LaForest said. “But by removing together … we’ve been means to arise in a singular way.”

John Pantaleo, communications and rendezvous manager for a city, pronounced a debate was a approach to gloat about a people and a places.

“It’s critical that we tell people a story unequivocally directly. Now we are giving people a softened existence of what that story unequivocally is,” he said.

The story is that Greeley has something singular and cold to offer, even if it’s an agriculture-based city nestled in among tourism giants such as Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins.

It seems to be working: The Unexpected investigate expelled by a city progressing this year showed that 7 of 10 respondents suspicion that their Greeley area was glorious or good.

The notice of Greeley shifted from that child in a cafeteria that nobody talks to given he smells bad to a child who’s a small uncanny though always fun during parties.

In 2015, 63 percent of non-resident respondents pronounced their opinion of Greeley had softened given of a Unexpected campaign. Only 39 percent indicated an alleviation in notice in 2013.

Officials wish to keep a numbers growing.

Pantaleo pronounced if they can remonstrate someone to visit, people roughly always news a certain knowledge in Greeley. And some-more people are visiting. Six of 10 non-residents polled in a same consult pronounced they had visited Greeley in a final dual years.

Working together

Kempema of a Colorado Model Railroad Museum and chair of a Visit Greeley house of directors, pronounced Greeley works with other communities to make certain everyone’s messages align. It’s all partial of a informal effort.

She explained that there are 3 pieces to tourism in a city like Greeley. There’s a Greeley picture, a informal northern Colorado design and a statewide Colorado tourism picture.

Greeley never used to have a contend in a northern Colorado image, though things have changed. Now, given of a efforts in Greeley, places like Boulder and Fort Collins are holding Greeley officials seriously. We’re partial of a group.

“I consider we are finally concerned in all levels now, where we consider in a past we unequivocally weren’t,” Kempema said.

In a final few years, a series of northern Colorado communities have come together to request for a state tourism extend to foster a region. Greeley was among them and benefited a lot from during slightest one, that focused on agritourism.

Actually, to serve expostulate home Greeley’s importance, a Colorado Tourism Office hosted one of their 8 open submit sessions in Greeley this year. The open sessions were to assistance a tourism bureau arise a Colorado Tourism Roadmap, a statewide vital devise for Colorado tourism.

The whole tourism bid unequivocally began for Greeley in 2012, when a city started a Greeley Unexpected campaign. The Downtown Development Authority started operative on Friday Fest and other piazza events around a same time. Visit Greeley started operative with all of a vital players — a city of Greeley, a Downtown Development Authority, a Chamber, a museums and other attractions.

The attractions are operative together to come adult with package deals to make it easier on tourists. One module allows people to buy a “Pastport” that gives them a sheet to any of a city’s museums, including a tyrannise museum.

Visit Greeley worked with a Greeley Stampede, arguably one of Greeley’s largest tourism events, to uncover people around town. Those who bought in got a three-point debate of a city — a tyrannise museum, Centennial Village and a Stampede.

“As apart entities we’ve all come together to a same list given we all have a same goal,” Kempema said. “I consider operative together creates a dollars go serve and a mercantile impact is bigger given of a relationships.”

As another example, a Downtown Development Authority has helped with Chamber of Commerce events and clamp versa.

“We’ve all invested in any others’ time and others’ events and by doing that we’ve built relations among all of a entities,” Kempema said.

And that’s singular in itself.

“It’s not about me. It’s about everybody and Greeley as a whole,” LaForest said. “And everybody during a list right now understands that, that is flattering rare.”

So rare, in fact, Kempema pronounced Greeley is starting to be famous for it. At statewide conventions, it’s a famous exceptionality.

“We hear comments all a time. ‘Oh, you’re from Greeley? You guys all get along.’ I’ve severely listened that,” Kempema said. “But it is singular that all of a attractions, a city government, a chambers, a hoteliers and a university are all removing along and operative together.”

Kempema said, and all others agreed, that no other city has care that gets along like Greeley’s does. In fact, even 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have worked out in Greeley a same way. Not given people didn’t wish it to, though given it wasn’t a thought, a concentration or a concern. But recently all of a right people were peaceful to put aside what differences they might have had to work for a larger good… kind of like a state of emergency, though it was an design emergency.

“I consider it’s to a indicate where everybody gets it. Everyone knows that we’re going to be stronger together and we’re going to have softened offerings and something softened to sell when we work together,” LaForest said.


Like a rest of northern Colorado, Greeley has gifted a expansion emanate in tourism in new years. People are entrance to Colorado, and they wish to be entertained. Suddenly a concentration of a state tourism bureau shifted from concentrating on ski towns and towering vacations to embody what is function on a Front Range.

Greeley, and others, rose to a occasion.

Greeley is home to 4 museums, a Greeley Philharmonic, a Union Colony Civic Center, Island Grove Regional Park, Poudre Learning Center and most more. The city has a abounding humanities stage with murals and live song and downtown Greeley usually perceived an executive humanities district designation. Plus, with 5 hometown breweries, there’s a flourishing qualification drink stage in town, that is poignant in a state that hangs a shawl on being a qualification drink epicenter of a U.S.

If that’s not enough, there are always a large events that go on any year. There’s a UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival, Blues Jam, a Arts Picnic and a nationally famous High Plains Chautauqua in further to a Stampede.

“From a personal perspective, we always consider of what’s of seductiveness to me and my family that we can go and do in a opposite community,” pronounced Andy McRoberts, executive of Greeley Parks and Recreation. “We try to put a spin on that for Greeley and contend what’s a small singular here that nobody else can offer. From a 30,000-foot view, we consider we’ve got some singular combinations of things that people can come see.”

McRoberts pronounced there’s a small something for everyone.

“I unequivocally consider a village has pulled itself adult by a possess bootstraps and schooled how to make things filigree together as a full-service community,” he said. “From a grill stage to a qualification breweries, we’ve got good offerings for any age group.”

Many commend that one of a gems in Greeley’s slot is Friday Fest.

Alison Hamling, a designer behind a event, has positively seen some changes given she started mouth-watering everybody to a 9th Street piazza in 2013.

“Friday Fests have been a partial of a smashing reduction that has unequivocally put downtown Greeley on a map in a unequivocally certain way,” Hamling said. “It’s been a large partial of a change that everybody is saying and feeling downtown.”

Hamling pronounced it has indeed influenced a city so most that other downtown groups are entrance to Greeley to see if they can make it occur in their possess town.

“We’ve had a Fort Collins DDA here, we’ve had a Boulder DDA here. The hum is unequivocally out there,” she said.

It’s a distant cry from a days when Greeley was usually a forgotten, even derided small hermit of towns such as Fort Collins and Boulder.

“All of a remarkable we are doing all of these amazing, innovative things that are working,” Hamling said. “Everybody arrange of perked adult and they’re going, ‘Wow, Greeley? We kind of suspicion of them as a red-headed stepchild.’ All of a remarkable Greeley’s usually on a radar.”

Hub and spoke

If a attractions aren’t convincing enough, Kempema pronounced she hopes Greeley’s plcae and affordability will play into some tourists’ decisions.

She pronounced a groups now have started to marketplace Greeley as a “hub and spoke” community. This means that Greeley is a good executive plcae to a lot of informal attractions.

“I consider we’re anticipating some-more families staying in Greeley though going to Cheyenne for a day, going to Estes (Park) for a day, going to Denver for a day,” she said. “We’re a good plcae for that and during a good price.”

In fact, Greeley has one of a lowest room rates in Colorado. According to a Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, a normal daily rate in Greeley in Jun was $109.85. In Fort Collins it was $132.40 and $143.42 in Loveland.

The occupancy rate in Greeley also has loosened rather given a oil and gas attention started to slip. This non-stop adult those bedrooms for tourists.

Last month, Brian outpost Buskirk, ubiquitous manager of a Fairfield Inn, 2401 29th St., pronounced a oil and gas business used to comment for about 30 percent of their hotel occupancy. When a attention dropped, occupancy rates did, too, though not by 30 percent. Not even close. In Greeley, June’s year-to-date occupancy rate was 64.2 percent. In Jun 2015, it was 75.1 percent.

But it’s on a arise given of tourism. Greeley’s occupancy rate was reported during 77.7 percent for a month of June.

“When oil and gas was strong, we replaced a lot of a normal business to Loveland, and now we’re removing some of that back,” he said.

Economic impact

LaForest pronounced a Greeley Chamber of Commerce did a investigate to figure out how most a normal caller spends per day. She pronounced they guess visitors spend about $71 any day they’re in town.

That might not seem like a outrageous number, though when it’s all combined up, it equals some-more than $14 million in annual revenue.

In 2014, Visit Greeley information showed a tourism mercantile impact in Greeley was $14.4 million. In 2015, it grew to $14.6 million.

By comparison, in 2007, Visit Greeley available a $4.6 million income from tourism: That’s right. Tourism income has some-more than tripled over a final decade.

In fact, tourism in Greeley has already surfaced $14 million this year. And it’s usually July.

There’s still copiousness of room for Greeley to constraint some-more tourism dollars.

A investigate expelled Wednesday by a state’s tourism bureau showed that Colorado had 77.7 million visitors in 2015, adult 8.6 percent from 2014. A sum of $19.1 billion was spent on transport in Colorado in 2015, and a Colorado tourism attention generated $1.13 billion in internal and state taxation revenues in 2015.

Pantaleo pronounced he thinks it will continue to be a flourishing attention in Greeley.

“I consider that there’s a momentum. You’ve listened it before that people are training some-more about Greeley,” he said. “There are still a lot of people that reason on to a aged stereotypes of Greeley, though we’re chipping divided during those aged thoughts.”

Pantaleo’s hermit and sister-in-law, who once lived in Greeley, came for a revisit recently. He was extraordinary about their greeting to a city, that seemed to be a aim for jokes some-more than tourism.

“They remembered vital here and carrying to urge a community,” he said. “They were unequivocally usually vacant and they were tender in a certain way. They unequivocally enjoyed their time here and felt that what they were saying on their lapse was justification that a village is streamer in a right direction.”

“Everybody arrange of perked adult and they’re going, ‘Wow, Greeley? We kind of suspicion of them as a red-headed stepchild.’ All of a remarkable Greeley’s usually on a radar.— Alison Hamling, designer behind Friday Fest

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