Colorado Springs is hoping to “Live it Up” this tourism season. The industry took a big hit last summer with the Waldo Canyon fire.
“Our beauty had not been compromised. A lot of people saw strong media images and video. Our biggest thing was counteracting the fact that we’re still here, we’re still beautiful and we’re open,” said Chelsy Murphy, director of communications for the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The bureau launched the Welcome Back campaign shortly after the fire.
“The idea was welcoming people who have never been here and welcoming people who have been here before to come back and enjoy the area,” said Murphy.
The campaign cost $200,000 and was paid for by community donations and a federal grant.
“We saw great results in terms of website traffic and increased visitor's guide orders,” said Murphy.
The city had projected the tourism industry to be down 3.5 percent for 2012, but it was only down 0.45 percent.
“We just got our January report, and the numbers are up 9.3 percent over 2012, so we’re hoping the trend sticks,” said Murphy.
But wildfires and flooding could once again interfere, so the bureau is planning ahead.
“We’re tasking industry partners with,' What’s your business plan? How are you going to help customers in case something happens?'” said Murphy.
She said the city is expecting a positive turnout for the mainstay events, including the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the Balloon Classic and the Ride to the Rockies bike tour.