Contact: Wyvonne Phillips
Byway Manager
136 W Main Street
Trinidad, CO 81082

November 16, 2004

Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway- Mountain Branch 3rd Seed Grant received

The Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway received their request for the 3rd 25K seed grant from the FHWA's National Scenic Byway Program. The request ranked seven in the state of Colorado. The request for funding to develop a business plan which will help prepare the Byway for it's future as a successful self sustaining organization. Trinidad State Junior College is the matching in kind contributor for the grant with the contribution of office space at the John's Building in the Bell Block at 136 W. Main Street, Trinidad, CO. If your organization has a similar mission, please contact them to offer your support and hand in partnership.

The plan includes becoming a 501C3 non profit organization, submitting an application for All American Road designation, updating brochures and increasing distribution, working with tour companies and travel writers to publicize trips to the Scenic Byway. International efforts to increase Byway travel will also be put into the plan. The new Colorado Grassroots Training Program for Scenic Byways will also be used at Byway visitor centers. The plan also includes the updating and repair of 5 AM radio transmitters throughout the Byway. Byway stakeholders will purchase sponsoring spots for logo grams to encourage travelers to stop for services including lodging, dining, shopping, special events, tours and entertainment. Special web site advertisements will also be offered to stakeholders.

A series of vignettes will be created to highlight multiple activities in specific geographic locations and targeted thematic group activities identified in the scenic byway communities and their vicinities. Vignettes will feature historic dialog and interpretation to highlight the heritage of the area or activity, and then cut to traveler services to inform visitors of the nuances of the Byway and available services. Santa Fe Trail auto tour route signs which are currently in place will provide Byway wide reach for this effort designed to boost Byway tourism, use of the Byway and exploration of the sites of historic, scenic and cultural significance.

Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway also brings with it strong educational value and economic development opportunities. While the goal is ultimately to increase exploration of areas of cultural, historic and recreational importance, it is equally valuable to bring these areas to the attention of Colorado residents who may not otherwise be aware that these assets even exist. Even if they choose not to explore the areas when highlighted, or for other reasons may not be able to explore the area at all, travelers will now be made aware of the rich culture, history, recreational and scenic opportunities available across the Scenic Byway. In addition, as the program will bring new attention to lesser-known areas, it will ideally help boost local economies in small towns and rural areas throughout the Byway.

A robust Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway web site has been created to house all pertinent information on specified regional and thematic cultural, historic and recreational areas of interest on the Byway. Specific events and destinations are highlighted on the web site with links back to Byway partner communities and is designed to enhance other partners' web efforts. The site has also added tours and traveler services with a listing of all Byway Restaurants and Accommodations. We are particularly interested in highlighting off road experiences and extreme tours. If your restaurant or lodging facility are not on this list, let the byway director know via the web site or leave a voice mail for the Byway Director at 719-846-7217.

The Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway is eligible for 2 more seed grants and will submit a request for the 4th seed grant this December. The grants come from the Federal Highway Administration as part of the National Scenic Byway's Program. The program is overseen by the State Scenic Byway Director, Sally Pearce of the Colorado Department of Transportation.