Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway
Corridor Management Plan

Section 5

Marketing and Promotion

Existing Marketing Programs

Guide Books
Brochures and Other Advertising Collateral
Miscellaneous Promotional Activities
Multi-State Activities

Promotion Plan

General Guidelines
Activities In Progress
Proposed Programs

Multi-Lingual Information Plan

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Marketing and Promotion

A broad array of tourism marketing materials has been produced and numerous promotional efforts have been undertaken to increase awareness of, and visitation to, the Santa Fe Trail Byway and sites along its corridor. In this section of the Corridor Management Plan, information is presented on these efforts and a plan for future tourism promotion is provided. A plan for providing the services and facilities to accommodate an increase in tourism is included in the Visitor Needs and Expectations section of this document. See our 2018 Marketing Plan.

Existing Marketing Programs

A variety of marketing programs have been explored. Those that were initiated have, for the most part, remained in place and are to be continued. These efforts have largely been undertaken by regional economic development agencies, local chambers of commerce and history-related organizations with the assistance and participation of federal offices including the National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers and U. S. Forest Service. In 1992, the Colorado Tourism Office and the Southeast Tourism Board were disbanded after a statewide vote rejecting continuation of the tourism tax. A privately-funded organization, the Colorado Travel and Tourism Authority assumed some of the State's former duties; however, most responsibilities were assumed by local and regional groups. It should be noted, however, that financial support was provided by several State agencies, most notably CDOT's Byways Commission.

Today we have resurrected the Colorado Tourism Office and there are now two tourism boards on the Byway, the Trinidad Tourism Board and the SECORT, Southeast Colorado Regional Tourism Board. Several of these communities have achieved designation as Preserve America Communities. Many of our Cities are beginning promotional materials for each city. We applaud they are are folling best practices in doing so. However there will always be a need for a more comprehsive guide to Colorado's Santa Fe Trail which we will continue to provide as a tool for businesses to promote the byway and vice versa.

Marketing materials and promotional activities which have been pursued include:

guide books; brochures; state-wide byways and tourism publications; news releases; and multi-state promotional campaigns. The Byway has an auto tour cd, pbs documentary, web site, brochure, visitor guide, photo collection, podcasts availalble through our social media page and all are available on the web to travel writters and partners who participate in promoting our Byway.

Many of the materials produced are interpretive in nature, containing information which connects the visitor to the Byway's intrinsic qualities. Outdoor signage on trails and self guided tours have served to attract visitors to the Byway and its resources through distribution and advertising efforts and, therefore, are considered to be marketing tools.

Promotional activities and partnerships include, radio ads, newsletter ads, America's Byways Birthday activities for the Santa Fe Trail in 2008, and again in 2018, a reenactment with the Daughters of the American Revolution commemorating the 100th year of the marking of the Santa Fe Trail and a children's coloring contest, Wagon Races along the Purgatoire River for the schools was held in 2017.


Guide Books

While numerous guide books have been published about the Santa Fe Trail, ranging from academic dissertations to memoirs of frontier settlers who traveled the Trail, the book most directly related to marketing and promotion is Following the Santa Fe Trail: A Guide for Modern Travelers by Marc Simmons. Another publication well suited for the traveling visitor more interested in a vacation than a lengthy examination of the Trail's history is "Santa Fe Trail: National Historic Trail," a 15-page book written by Mark Gardner and published by the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association.

The Byway released it's first visitors guide in 2009, another in 2015, 2017. They are available at our two Colorado Welcome Centers on the Santa Fe Trail. A Byway special birthday edition for 2018 is currently being considered.


Brochures and Other Advertising Collateral

Over 20 different brochures have been designed, printed and distributed specifically on the Santa Fe Trail and Trail-related sites within the corridor. These include:

Trail-Specific Brochures

Title of Trail Byway Guide Producer
Santa Fe Trail Official Map and Guide National Park Service
The Historic Santa Fe Trail Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Recreation...Along Colorado's Historic Santa Fe Trail Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
The Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail -
"The Scenic Way to Santa Fe"
Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway Brochures Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway- Mountain Branch Organization

Museum Guides Producer
Baca House, Bloom House and Pioneer Museum Colorado Historical Society
Museums on the Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway- Mountain Branch Organization
Koshare Indian Museum Koshare Indian Museum
Koshare Indian Museum, Inc. Koshare Indian Museum, Inc.
Museums of Trinidad Joint Museum Marketing
Step Back to Grandpa's Day Otero Museum Association
Visit Big Timbers Big Timbers Museum

Other Interpretive Brochures Producer
Bent's Old Fort Official Map and Guide National Park Service
What Made Trinidad Trinidad Trinidad Historical Society
Walk Through History of Trinidad Trinidad Historical Society
Like a Ribbon Across the Prairie US Forest Service (available 1/1/98)
Faces Along the Santa Fe Trail Jane Kurtz
Boggsville Path to Permanent Settlement Boggsville Revitalization Committee
Big Timbers The Story of the Madonna of the Trail Lamar Chamber of Commerce
Comanche National Grassland A Range of Resources US Forest Service
Teamwork for the Trail: Citizens and the Santa Fe National Historic Trail American Hiking Society
Welcome to John Martin Reservoir US Army Corps of Engineers State of Colorado 
Trinidad Lake State Park  State of Colorado

In addition, a variety of brochures and travel guides have been printed which cover areas which are either larger than or outside the boundaries of the Byway corridor but which contain references to the Santa Fe Trail and its resources. These include:

Miscellaneous Tourism Brochures
Regional Titles Producer
Southeast Colorado Travel Planning Guide Southeast Colorado Tourism Council, Inc.
Southeast Colorado Emerald of the Plains Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Local Titles Producer
Baca County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Bent County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc
Bent on Tourism Bent County Chamber of Commerce
Crowley County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Kiowa County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Lamar Colorado Lamar Chamber of Commerce
Las Animas/Bent County Map Las Animas-Bent County Chamber of Commerce and Bent County Development Foundation
Otero County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Prowers County Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development Inc.
Welcome Lamar, Colorado Kampgrounds of America, Inc.

Other printed materials which have marketing applications have also been produced including fliers, newsletters, poster, ads and magazines. An inventory of printed materials is included in the appendix.


Miscellaneous Promotional Activities

Multi-State Activities

The five states through which the_Santa Fe National Historic Trail passes (Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico) have formed an alliance known as the Santa Fe Trail States (SFTS). Promotional activities undertaken by this group and its members include:

The effectiveness of the materials and activities described above is are on the upswing. Direction for future marketing efforts and strategies to reach desired visitation goals and objectives is provided by the following Promotion Plan.


Promotion Plan

A goal of this CMP is to "increase visitation and tourism's contribution to the economy." In order to achieve this goal, promotional activities undertaken in the past should be continued and new strategies should be implemented. The extent to which the actions outlined in this plan will meet the CMP objective "to increase visitation approximately 5% per year" is uncertain since tourism levels in the past have not been monitored in sufficient detail to evaluate the effectiveness of past marketing activities.

Since the creation of our CMP, we have achieved our goal of 5% increase in visitation. However impacts beyond our control contriubute to a slower than desired increace in visitation. Obstacles which are beyond our control which have had an adverse effect on the progress of visitation on the Santa Fe Trail have been drought and gas price increases. While the drought is over, gas prices continue to fluctuate. We have concluded that we should dirrect marketing efforts to our in State visitors taking short trips close to home to meet our goals for visitor expectations. In 2017 we sent Colorado Byway representatives from our sister byways to the International Pow Wow. In 2018 we will get additional benefits from our partnership with the coalition at the International Pow Wow in Denver.

General Guidelines

Promotional efforts in the future are to be designed and implemented according to several guidelines developed through the public involvement process.
1. Efforts should be focused on targeted visitor segments rather than on broad promotional campaigns. Targeted markets include:

2. Promotional materials (collateral) should be compatible in terms of design, color, logo and terminology.

3. Participation in multi-state promotional programs is highly desirable.


Promotional Activities In Progress

Audio Tour CD - An interpretive audio cd covering key sites in the corridor has been produced. Several hundred have been distributed free of charge to groups, press organizations, and Trail and history associations. Various podcasts have been produced and this library should be increased as funding opportunities arise.
Brochures & Visitor Guides- The Byway Brochures developed from three designs over the last five years and 70,000 have been distributed. Reprinting of 70,000 The Historic Santa Fe Trail brochures and production of a Las Animas brochure: Histories and Stories of the Santa Fe Trail (40,000 copies). Since 2003 we have created six variations of our brochures distributing close to 500,000 brochures and three versions of our visitor guides.
Postcards - Press kit photos can be produced as postcards.
Web Site/Internet Address - We have two addresses on the web, and Several groups are creating web sites pertaining to the Santa Fe Trail including local schools, the National Park Service, CDOT, CTO, the National Scenic Byway Program, regional economic development groups, counties, cities and tourism groups. These pages will be linked with other partners in trail-related activities and web sites on travel, history, education and recreation.


Proposed Programs

A variety of promotional activities are planned for the future. For the most part, these activities involve continuation or expansion of marketing efforts undertaken in the past. The priorities indicated were developed by participants in the public involvement process and suggestions from the National and State Scenic Byway programs.

Proposed Marketing Programs

Project  Priority

Byway Milestone Celebrations - A variety of undertakings which celebrate milestones of the Santa Fe Trail Have been undertaken including a reenactment of the 100th year of "The marking of the Santa Fe Trail" in partnership with the Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteer reenactors. Our tenth year celbration of our designation as a National Scenic Byway and one of America's BywaysOther activities incldue, a Kids Coloring Contest, promotional booths at Byway festivals and community gatherings, giveaways of byway Auto Tour CD's, distribution of Brochures and Byway birthday balloons at Welcome and visitor centers with games, races or gold panning activities.

Byway Newsletter - Create a yearly Byway Newsletter which offers venues for membership, renewals, current state of affairs and project updates. High
Visitors Guide - Create an Official Byway Visitors Guide to additional Distribute at Gateways in the Colorado Welcome Centers and other Byway visitor center locations. Special 20th Anniversary issue of our Visitors Guide is planned for 2018. High

FAM Tours - Sponsoring and conducting familiarization tours to educate travel-related groups about the recreation opportunities and visitor services along the Byway. Three distinct groups will be targeted:

  • nationally recognized travel and free lance writers;
  • coach tour operators;
  • travel agents and agencies from Colorado's Front Range.
Press Kits and Press Releases - Distributing additional press kits utilizing existing promotional materials to newspapers and television stations along Colorado's Front Range and upon request. Issuing press releases on a routine basis.  High
Package Tours for Groups - Creating and marketing package tours for targeted groups in Colorado and the southwestern states including museum associations, regional and state history groups, college/university history clubs, and book clubs.  High
Recreational Events - Organizing and publicizing outings for hiking, equestrian and bicycling groups, perhaps as fund raising activities with sponsorship by charitable organizations (like the MS 150, a bike ride to benefit multiple sclerosis).  High
Maps/Brochures - Reprinting existing brochures which are low in supply and publishing a printed guide for the auto tour route utilizing a detailed map of the Byway and sites within the corridor. Aerial photos and maps were revised in 2016-17 in partnership with Palmer land Trust Conservation for our Conservation plan and was revised to include GIS information for the Byway. The Byway created a newer detailed map each year with our brochures.  High
International Promotions - Working with the United States Trade and Tariff Administration and the Santa Fe Trail States on campaigns to target specific foreign counties like was done with Germany in 1995. Additional International promotions are undertaken yearly in partnership with other Scenic Byways Organizations which include the Santa Fe Trail. Most recently in 2017 at the International Pow Wow in Washington DC & 2018 in Denver we plan to target International travelers once again.  High
Advertising in National and Regional Magazines - Placing paid advertisements in magazines which serve the targeted market segments including Texas Monthly, American West, Southwest Traveler, Home and Away, A. A. A. Colorado/Utah Guide, Trailer Life, Sunset, Colorado Tourism Office, True West Magazine, etc. Medium
Trade Show Delegates - Sending volunteer representatives to tourism-related trade shows. Medium
State Fair Booth - Using volunteers to staff a Scenic and Historic Byways booth at the Colorado State Fair.  Low
Souvenirs - Producing T-shirts and other types of souvenirs as both a revenue producing and advertising tool.  Low
Market Director/Advertising Contract - Contracting with a person or advertising agency to promote tourism throughout the corridor. CTO has provided us with a number of grants to continue our efforts.  High

In order to undertake planned marketing activities, new financing sources will be required. Regional support will be required at increasing levels. Exploration of additional sources will be needed, including possible funding from Colorado Tourism Office, Rural Development, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Historical Society, and Great Outdoors Colorado. The visitor guide will provide businesses an opportunity to reach our target audiences and a way to maintain the byway in the future.

Multi-Lingual Information Plan

The Byway web site has a link to a translation site making content accessable to foreign markets. Marketing materials have been produced in German as part of a regional market development program undertaken by the Santa Fe Trail States. The Historic Santa Fe Trail brochure has been printed in Spanish, German, Japanese and French. The statewide scenic byway brochure is available in four languages as well. Additional efforts are needed to make multi-lingual information available throughout the corridor, particularly given the desired emphasis on international promotions. Printing of promotional and interpretive literature in Spanish should be a priority since the Santa Fe Trail connected English and Spanish speaking cultures and because the Byway is in close proximity to Spanish-speaking populations.


Section 6

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