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Huerfano tourism assessment

WALSENBURG- Tourism expert Judy Walden told a crowd of over 50 people Tuesday night that she could sum up  her 20 years of tourism knowledge in three words: “Three, three, sleep.”

    She went on to clarify her mantra by stating that the typical tourist needs seven slices in their day- “Eat, do something, eat, do something, eat, do something and sleep.”

    Walden was brought in to help cobble together a five county tourism region (Huerfano, Las Animas, Custer, Fremont and Pueblo) and was touring the area to see what we have to offer.

    “If one of these slices are missing from the equation, tourists will go down the road,” she stated.  “You should either have all of these things, or have it close, or you shouldn’t be in tourism.”

    Surveys have shown that the “high value tourist” is typically, well traveled, well educated, and well-off.

    Walden explained the trends in tourism these days are niche markets- eco-tourism, agri-tourism, heritage tourism, cultural tourism, volunteer tourism, civic tourism, and the latest catch-all, geo-tourism.

    Walden feels that Huerfano County has a tremendous amount to offer, especially being so close to major metropolitan areas- “You have 2 million people within three hours of here.  People want to go, see and immerse,” Walden said.  “Recreation will be key.”

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