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Grand County targets year-round destination shopping

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Economic development leaders in Grand County are aiming to make the county a year-round attraction by helping businesses owners develop destination mindsets.

"I think what will really help these businesses is understanding that it's important to have your business be a destination because the synergy with other businesses working together will bring more people to our community," says Cathie Hook, director of the Granby Chamber of Commerce. "Our county is very tourism-driven. It's very seasonal," with a winter influx in some skiing towns like Winter Park and a summer influx in Grand Lake.

"We're trying to get a feel for how we can all work together to create more business year-round," she added. "If it's a winter season, we need to know how to do better in the summer. If it's summer, we need to know how to do better in the winter."

To address the issue, Grand County Economic Development is sponsoring a free three-hour workshop for business owners, "Increasing Sales & Profits as a Destination Business," by destination marketing expert Jon Schallert of The Schallert Group in Longmont.

"Every business, regardless of its location, must market itself as its own Destination, a business that is so compellingly different that when a consumer or tourist hears about it, they say: 'I have to go to that place!'" Schallert explains.

Schallert has worked with small independent businesses for more than 30 years, including a decade at Hallmark Cards where his marketing strategy was known as "the Schallert Method." He started The Schallert Group in 1997 and developed a 14-step Destination Business strategy that he teaches at workshops and a 2½-day Destination BootCamp in Longmont.

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Hook heard Schallert, a member of the National Main Street Network, at a workshop in Brush and decided that his approach could help Grand County.

"Granby is a Main Street community, which means we have a program where we try to do enhancements to downtown and try to get more business for our merchants and help them," she says. "Jon went to Brush, a Main Street community, and helped the businesses there."

The Grand County workshop will take place on Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Silver Creek Convention Center. It will include a 90-minute presentation about business differentiation to attract both tourist and local shoppers year-round and a 90-minute presentation on high-impact advertising and marketing tactics, including social media. After lunch, Schallert will lead a Marketing Roundtable and provide one-on-one consultations.

To register for the workshop visit http://grandforbusiness.com/calendar/workshops-and-seminars/.

For more information on the workshop, call Grand County Economic Development Coordinator DiAnn Butler, 970.531.1343, or email dbutler@co.grand.co.us. For more information on The Schallert Group visit http://www.jonschallert.com or email info@JonSchallert.com.