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Empowering Rural Destination Partners
Get inspired, find a mentor or be one, get to know your peers, travel to 3 DIFFERENT destinations, hear what others are doing to attract visitors to their destinations, and find opportunities to collaborate in this 3-day tourism summit.
Wednesday, April 8
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Registration at Quality Inn & Suites, 3075 US Hwy 50. Cañon City, CO 81212.
Suggested activities to do on your own during this time:
Load bus from Cañon City to Westcliffe. During the drive, enjoy a presentation by Colorado Byways Program Director, Lenore Bates.
Once in Westcliffe, participants will experience a “dinner and drinks” reception and a visit to the International Dark-Sky Community’s Smokey Jack Observatory.
Leave Westcliffe to return to Cañon City, during which a Parks and Wildlife speaker will present a power point on "The Arkansas River: Tourism and Importance."
Arrive in Cañon City.
Thursday, April 9
Breakfast On Your Own
Load bus in Cañon at Quality Inn to go to Florence via hwy 115. During the ride, Stacey Cline with the Colorado Museum of Prisons will present prison history and how to take a perceived negative and turn it into a positive for a community.
Arrive in Florence and divide into two groups. Groups will change at 10:00 am.
9:00 am - 10:00 am & 10:00 am - 11:00 am
One group will join Marty Lamm from the Florence Pioneer Museum and Wade Broadhead--Florence Preservation Officer, on a walking tour of Florence, discussing the history and reinventing of Florence throughout the years, from a dead downtown to antiques and the future.
The second group will tour Emergent Campus with Brad Rowland and Cassie Miles, where they will learn how this 100-year-old school became home to new technology and will be adding new technology for the next 100 years.
11:00 am - 11: 45 am
Florence Brewing Company for a welcome from city officials and a talk about tourism funding from Steve Kaverman.
11:45 am - 12:15 pm
“Taste of Florence” at Florence Brewing Company.
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
Walk around town, look at museum across street, and network.
Load bus to return to Cañon City with more from Sue McMillin, who will discuss how to prepare for a freelance journalist.
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm and 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Divide into two groups. Groups will change at 2:30 pm. One group will go on an outside tour of Cañon City on a trolley. Colorado Jeep Tours will provide Jeeps and Trolley.
The second group will participate in a learning session led by VistaWorks Destination Marketing.
Load bus for The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience. During the ride, enjoy a presentation by Andrew Smith, BLM Paleontologist.
Arrive and explore The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience with owner, Zach Reynolds.
Load bus for the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
Arrive at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and explore until 6:00 pm.
Dinner at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park with a welcome by Cañon City and County dignitaries.
Load bus for Cañon City. During drive, enjoy a presentation by Colorado Tourism Office's Elizabeth O’Rear, “How the Colorado Tourism Office can help your community.”
Return to Cañon City.
Arrive in Cañon City.
Friday, April 10
8:00 am - 9:45 am
Join Ashlee Sack for a FAR Out breakfast and hike at Centennial Park. Ashlee will speak briefly about Fremont Adventure Recreation (FAR) and the trails they've helped create and maintain. Participants will then go on a leisurely hike with Ashlee.
9:45 am - 10:00 am
Meet at Centennial Park NO BUS provided. Drive on your own to Museum of Colorado Prisons, 201 N. 1st Street, Canon
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Museum of Colorado Prisons tour with Director Stacey Cline.
Farewell to SOCO 2020. Safe travels home. Come back to the Royal Gorge Region and definitely come to 2021 SOCO!
Lodging in Cañon City or Florence ranges from luxury accommodations to comfortable camping and everything in between! There is something just right for you no matter what your needs are.