Visitors seeking out travel wisdom
SUMMIT COUNTY – Weary, lost travelers around Colorado are discovering the wealth of information that’s available in tourist locales across the state, visiting welcome and information centers in numbers like never before.The Colorado Tourism Office recently finished compiling 2005 visitor data for the eight welcome centers that dot Colorado highways and byways, and they report that nearly one million travelers took advantage of the free information service. The 956,054 visitors marked an increase of nearly 5 percent from 2004.State welcome centers were established more than 20 years ago to educate road travelers about the diverse attractions, historical sites, accommodations and amenities that are available along the road. You’ll find centers in Burlington, Cortez, Dinosaur, Fort Collins, Fruita, Julesburg, Lamar and Trinidad.
Summit County rolls out the welcome mat for tourists, too, with visitor information centers in Silverthorne, Frisco and Breckenridge. All three had banner years in 2005.At the Summit Information Center in Silverthorne, funded jointly by the Outlets at Silverthorne and the Summit Chamber of Commerce, visitor numbers for 2005 jumped 9 percent as the center saw 73,391 people. “We were incredibly busy in the summer,” said Marquita Arnesen with the center. “The numbers were less in the winter, but we really think that when people come here in the winter, they know what they’re going to do.”
Breckenridge has two visitor information locations – the Breckenridge Welcome Center, which moved into new digs in January of this year, and Daniel’s Cabin on the north side of town. Combined, the two locations tallied 53,580 visitors, with June, July and August tracking the highest numbers per month of the year.The year 2005 was important for the Frisco Visitor Information Center. Regular funding channels began drying up, but the town and Copper Mountain stepped up, and the Frisco Town Council dedicated a portion of the town’s lodging tax to fund the center.Numbers at the Frisco center tripled in 2006 versus 2005; in January through April of 2006, the Frisco visitor stop saw 7,669 people.
Duffy Hayes can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13611, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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