Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway Assessment

Conducted by Judy Walden, Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway- Mountain Branch & Southeast Colorado Regional Tourism Group in 2005





How will our Byway's travelers benefit from the broadened idea of what there is to experience on our Byway?
Variety of watchable wildlife
Heritage tourism
Appreciation for their ancestry that is different than the mountains
Gets a theme started
Day trips - 3 day weekends
True American West - Pioneer spirit
Different type of feeling/scenery

Where we've progressed to -
Extreme sports, wind farm
Fishing/hunting - DOW did an impact study
Variety of experiences here
People want to get out and experience the area
May and October are beautiful times here
Mystery of the area - with the cowboys and the Indians
Need to keep entry fees, etc. within the market rate

Do We Have a Plan for Our Byway? How do we involve stakeholders in our Byway planning efforts?
Corridor Management Plan
Marketing plan
Invite media to the meetings
Lodging tax board
Add their e-mails to the distribution list
Website discussions
List Service
These meetings

Have we communicated our plans with local agencies, government entities, citizen groups, legislative representatives, and partner organizations?
Yes, our Byway Visions are available on the web site
Our Byway Web Site publishes workshop announcements to increase county participation.
County mailing to invite people to a community meeting in each county that lets them know the strategy and gets them involved in implementation - should take place after we finish with the assessment and working with Judy Walden at the end of 2004.
We utilize the web site and list service to communicate with Byway stakeholders. Byway Director supports our tourism promotions by publishing workshop and meeting announcements on the Byway Website.

Do we communicate regularly with our State scenic Byway coordinator?
Yes, our Byway director reports monthly to Sally Pearce.

How Will We Preserve and Enhance Our Byway's Intrinsic Qualities?
Through cooperative partnerships from the Byway stakeholders and stewards of the Byway.

Are there adequate trash cans along our Byway?
Shortage - lots of trash - no trash cans on Highway 350 between La Junta and Trinidad.
Difficult to maintain trash cans. No one has the man power or resources to take care of it.

Where does the trash get dumped?
Everyone passes the buck and there is no financial plan to take care of the extra expenses of maintaining trash cans- So we have none.
We rely on community volunteers to have clean up days. The prison assists along the interstates and we can ask them to help us out.
It has been suggested that we locate signs in problem areas which will let travelers know where maintained trash receptacles can be accessed.

Have we taken advantage of state and federal beautification programs?
Wild flowers seeds along the Hwy. Tree planting.
We need to take more advantage of these programs.

Does the tree program extend beyond cities?
Yes, Keep JMR beautiful day
Trinidad Clean up day
Trinidad Lake State Park Cleanup day

Have we conducted a resource assessment for our Byway?
Byway Website
CSU Coop Ext. program
Welcome center tours for the future
Action 22 Tourism
National Park Service, Colorado State Parks, Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway, Division of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, USDA-Resource Conservation & Development
Our involvement
Can't find DAR some markers in remote areas. They are in danger of being mowed down on some of our more remote road sides by private ranchers. We are trying to get a grant to put in interpretive signs and show original wagon trails on a map with a brochure.

Do we involve volunteers in an annual Byway Hwy. clean-up?
None at this time, efforts remain local within the cities.

Have we educated local citizens about the importance of preserving and enhancing visual quality on our Byway?
Judy Walden, and the Byway Director has worked with community stakeholders and they are encouraging the Byway to use the Colorado Grassroots Training Program. Volunteers are needed to conduct workshops within the communities.
Local urban renewals
Add to the Big community meeting agenda - Pick the same day for all communities and invite big media
CO Grassroots Training Program

Have we built relationships with partner organizations interested in protecting and enhancing intrinsic qualities?
Will also contact CDOT to understand their role in Highway maintenance and how we can work together.

Do we encourage voluntary measures to protect our Byway's visual quality?

Do we recognize and reward local efforts to improve appearance and visual quality?
Not yet

Have we published visitor rules of etiquette or a tourist's code of ethics for our region?
Not yet.
By way game 120 questions for the National Scenic Byways.

How Will We Fund Our Byway's Needs?
Through partnerships, leveraging funds and resources.

Do we have a strong relationship with our fiscal agent?
Yes, local economic development agencies.

Do we work with members of our byway organization and other stakeholders to identify possible funding sources, prioritize projects and grant applications?

Local resources - what can we give them in return for their investment?
Birding trail
Link local web sites with Byway website
Work with scenic byway resources
EDA grant implementation
Write letter to Governor about representation from southern Colorado on the Colorado Tourism Board
Inform CTB members about things to do in the area and what we're doing to develop tourism here - send a packet with brochures

Do we tell people what we are working on and keep them informed of our needs?
Yes, Byway Web site.
Put an article in the Byway Newsletter when it's available and focus on a different topic of tourism each time - Teri will help
Put CTB on mailing list to keep them informed or e-mail with follow-up call
Welcome centers will need to become more locally funded because of State budget cutbacks
Keep putting articles in the local papers about our efforts and meeting notices

Do we involve members of our area in preparing grant applications?
Identify people in our group with grant writing experience for future reference
Teach others in the group as we are in the process of writing grants
LCC Course
TSJC Course
Need to know what you want to ask for before approaching funders

Do we conduct Byway fundraisers?
Nothing serious yet- we just have promotions booths to encourage membership.
A committee from the Byway organization needs to be formed for this.

Have we applied for grants under the National Scenic Byways Program?
Yes - 25,000 seed grant for 5 yrs under the Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway.
That pays for part time Byway Director, and Byway Projects.
We need to hire her full time so she can write more grants for more projects.

Do we seek in-kind donations to reduce the amount of grant funds that we need to secure?
Yes as demonstrated in arrangements for Judy Walden's visit
Next Welcome Center staff visit - 25 people will travel by bus for 4-5 days. Each county list major and minor sites for itinerary and provide amenities. The Lamar Welcome Center will be in Baca County in May.

Do we seek funding from sources beyond the National Scenic Byways grants program?
EDA grant
NPS interpretive designs in Kiowa County
DOW watchable wildlife - John Koshak - signage
SHF - archeology and restoration
CSU Coop. Ext. program

Have we mapped out a regional "investment plan"? Have we established major goals, prioritized them, and sketched out a year-by-year project strategy? Do we plan ahead to determine which projects can best be accomplished in year 1, 2, 3, etc.?
Judy Walden's visit will help us set some priorities
Self-Assessment tool will help us determine first steps
EDA grant will help us create a marketing strategy

Have we explored funding options under the Transportation Enhancements program (or other federal programs)?
Individual communities use TE-21 $

How Do We Market and Promote Our Byway?
SFTS&H Byway Web Site
America's Byways Web Site
Byway brochures
Byway Cd's and Movies

Do we have a marketing plan?

Do we know who visits our region?
Santa Fe Trail Travelers
Heritage Travelers
Historians and Artists
Bird watchers
Hunters/ Fishermen
Middle age/ middle-high income
Families will visit big attractions
Pass through traffic
Those within a 250 mile radius
Bicyclist on the Centennial Bike Trail
Horse enthusiasts
School groups, Boy Scouts
CA, TX, South States
Ports to Plains, Hwy 50 - crossroads of the USA
Welcome Center has demographics from previous years
State visitation study assisted in determining this information.

Do we have a name, logo, and sign for our Byway?
Yes, Brass Plaque at Colorado Welcome Center in Trinidad bears the Santa Fe Trail -Mountain Branch.

Do we have a brochure or other collateral material?
Yes, Byway brochure, Web Site, CD, two movies.
Concepts started with the "trails" concept
Discover magazine is being revised
Independent websites that are linked to the Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway website

Do we have a relationship with local, regional, and state tourism offices?
Working with Colorado Welcome Center's - they are the 1st point of contact
Working with other Byway's to assist with their needs.

Do we have a relationship with local media?
Byway Director sends press releases to seventeen local media outlets and six which are located in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver. Some counties are closer than others but each county has a point person who assists with information to local media about our meetings and activities.

Do we have someone who can write a press release?
Yes, - Wyvonne, Teri and Joy

Have we reviewed the marketing section of the website that includes information on market research, America's Byways Marketing Plan, downloadable logos, visitor profiles, traveler motivations, etc….?

Do we have outlets to distribute information about our Byway?
Welcome Centers, restaurants, Chambers, Sites, Amtrak, Bus Stations, Hotels

Have we provided our current Byway information for the National Scenic Byways Program website?
Wyvonne has kept them informed

Have we utilized the services and advice of the National Scenic Byways Marketing manager?
Wyvonne will send us the link to them.

Who Visits Our Byway? Where do our visitors come from? Have we tabulated license plates or asked them? How many visitors are from within the State, a 2-state region, foreign countries, etc.?
Discuss with State Parks about their visitation data
Welcome center has straight #’s and origination data
Bent's Old Fort does a visitors survey specific to their experience at the Fort
Museums have a guest book
Hotel databases
Colorado National Scenic Byways survey done and completed this year will shed some light on this.

Do local business owners informally query visitors?
Grassroots Training is needed
Some but not enough
PCDI training local convenience stores

Have we collected and analyzed names, home addresses or zip codes from a visitor guest book?
Not yet

Do we distribute visitor surveys?
Colorado National Scenic Byway designation impact study.
We can develop a store questionnaire
Data gathering needs to be grassroots
Have a listing of amenities and distances between sites at gas stations

Have we reviewed state tourism data?

Do we track visitor information requests (received by phone, mail, e-mail)?
Web site requests totaled fifty inquires from June to December.
Need to work with Chambers and welcome centers on tracking this information.

What partner agencies and organizations also track information on our Byway's visitors?
National Park Service
Corps of Engineers
State Parks
Welcome Center
Forest Service

Can Visitors Find Their Way? What information do we provide to help visitors plan a trip through our region?
There is information about day trips on the Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway website
Our brochures direct them to local attractions.

Have we traveled our Byway in the role of a visitor - looking for signs, following directions, and asking questions?
The Lamar Welcome Center will tour Baca County in May
Judy Walden & Diana Laughlin's visit will help us with further insight
Garden City has been requesting brochures of this area
Byway director has traveled the Byway. There is a need for more directional signage to the sites of historic importance.

Is our Byway marked on the State highway map? lists the Comanche National Grasslands
We need to talk with CDOT, AAA, and DOW about getting more of the area attractions listed

Do we have a Byway map?
Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway marketing materials show a map of the entire Byway
Lamar and Trinidad Welcome Center are often asked for local map.

Do we have a Byway brochure?

Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway has a brochure and website
Discover Magazine lists information about the area
Action 22 has a website of 22 counties and a brochure.

Is the current Byway information posted on the internet?
Yes, Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway website
Action 22 website
Individual county websites doesn't cover this area very well

Is the regional information distributed through local Chambers, state welcome centers, and federal agency visitor centers?

Do we have easy-to-follow signs throughout the Byway?
Not yet - we are working on setting up a meeting with CDOT to discuss sign regulations

Do we have an adequate number of signs without cluttering the view shed?

Is Our Region Ready for Visitors? Are community members aware of the Byway?
Somewhat - we need to re-image ourselves as a tourism destination
We need to package our experience to gather greater media attention

Have we assessed if the Byway has adequate infrastructure to handle an increased number of visitors?
Judy Walden's visit has helped identify the possibilities
We need to put a map together that pin-points basic needs

Are there adequate parking areas and turnouts along the Byway?
We need to have pull-out stations near the wind farm before someone gets hurt - contact George Temple, PPM, GE, & Shell

Are there adequate restroom facilities along the Byway?
Not very well known

Do visitor facilities and attractions meet accessibility standards?

Are there safety issues that need to be addressed along the Byway?
Wind farm
Snakes - critters

Have we identified the attractions along the Byway?

Experiencing the Byway like a visitor, have we asked for information or directions at gas stations, restaurants, or local businesses to test the knowledge of the staff?
Needs to be developed
Colorado Grassroots Byway game will assist us if we can get each County of the Byway to use it.

How Do Visitors Learn About Our Byway's Story?
Byway Web Site
Local storytellers
Welcome Center & Visitor Centers
Interpretive signage
Byway Brochures

Have we identified our Byway's key stories and the places associated with them?
Yes, there are 45 sites of interest and their stories told on the Byway Web Site
History of the Santa Fe Trail
History of Lamar, La Junta & Trinidad
Madonna of the Trail
Kit Carson
Bent's Old Fort
Baca/ Bloom Mansion
History of Coal Mining
History of Railroading

Have we identified themes to connect the stories?
Trail concept for brochures
Heritage Trail

Do we have an interpretive plan?
Yes - this is what we're working on revising

Do we have an inventory of the interpretation that is currently available, such as brochures, wayside exhibits, interpretive trails, visitor centers?
Lamar & Trinidad Welcome Centers
Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway
Individual websites
The Welcome Centers have done a survey about internet usage - people are not planning trips on the web. They are getting information about an area and going to a Welcome Center for further information
Agri-tourism is an area of new opportunities

Do we partner with local museums, attractions, and existing visitor centers so they can help tell our Byway's story and integrate their opportunities in the Byway's interpretive plan?

Have we considered the wide variety of visitor needs and interests in planning interpretation?
In process

Who Will Manage Our Region?
Byway Director, Byway Organization Community Leaders and Stakeholders.

Do we have a Byway organization?
Yes, Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway- Mountain Branch

Does our organization represent a broad cross-section of Byway citizens and communities?
Yes, but could include more
Maybe we can look at having larger quarterly meetings where we inform the communities about our activities and get their feedback

Do we actively recruit new members for our Byway organization?
More people are getting involved, for the most part word of mouth has been an effective way to recruit members.

What do we think about the State line?
Coolidge Dairy has invited us to visit
Highway 50 Association
Ports to Plains
SFTS&H Byway will help host the SFT Association Symposium in 2007
We need to bridge the gap amongst neighboring states. Our image as a Trail which visitors can experience multi- states from our Byway which offers interpretation of the Santa Fe Trail should be our primary focus.

Do we communicate frequently with Byway stakeholders?
Yes, email, List serve, letters, meeting announcements in papers.

Do we take advantage of training opportunities from the National Scenic Byways Program?
Yes, director and two organizational members attended NSBO workshops in 2003 and 2004.
Director takes part in teleconference workshops offered by NSBO.
We also attend workshops throughout the Byway which assist in signage projects, agri-tourism and tourism in general.
Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway game
Potential curation training through CSU Coop. Ext. Program
Hospitality training for employees
Work with high school students

Do we make effective use of meeting time?

Do we recognize the contributions of Byway volunteers and other stakeholders?
We appreciate each other
We need more incentives and rewards.