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Tourism Helps Fort Collins' Economy

By Jim Clark, Executive Director of the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau (FCCVB)

After a slow winter, Fort Collins is seeing a strong resurgence in tourism this year, especially in the summer season. Visits to the Colorado Welcome Center, off of I-25 and Prospect Road, and the Downtown Information Center are running about 5 percent above last year. Visitor inquires to the FCCVB are up about 25 percent so far this year.

Hotel revenues are climbing as well. Lodging tax collections over the last three months are averaging a 9 percent gain over last year’s numbers. This has been a strong year for group business, with an increase in the number of participant sporting events in the city and a strong turnout for these sport events. The CVB also reports a record year for booking future business; this just in—convention staff has secured the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross in November.

One of the highlights of 2010 is the Civic Tourism III conference that will occur August 11-14 at the Fort Collins Marriott. Sponsored by the National Association for Interpretation, Civic Tourism is a movement that approaches tourism not just from an economic view, but one of community; examining how a community interacts with and embraces tourism as a way to enhance and enrich the residents. No city better exemplifies this approach than Fort Collins, with our world famous cycling culture, Bike Library and the spirit of craft brewing and outdoor recreation.

For more information on the Civic Tourism III conference visit, www.interpnet.com/civic/

Be a tourist in your own town. Visit the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visit.ftcollins.com.