Fraser Visitor’s Center open for business
July 8, 2011
The Town of Fraser is looking for a new partner for the Fraser Visitors Center. After years of working with Destinations West, owner Diann Butler has moved her business to Grand Lake and will not be renewing her arrangement to occupy the building and run the the visitors center for the town.
The town will soon be issuing a request for proposals seeking a new partner who is interested in occupying the building and running the visitor’s center side of things as well.
One idea that came up at the Fraser Business Forum was to seek a team of recreation-based businesses, such as a rafting company, a fly fishing guide and snowmobile tour operator – all businesses that need a good central booking and meeting location – that could create a partnership to share the space and the duties of answering phones and covering the front desk. Such a partnership would be a win-win situation for the town and the companies.
The front office also has historical artifacts and visitors information. Public bathrooms are located on site.
The town board is interested in keeping the building open to the public and having it serve both as a visitor’s information site and and a historical center.
“I don’t want it to be turned in to a real estate office,” said trustee Joyce Burford. “Balance is the key word.”
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Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Catherine Ross said the chamber would like to offer its assistance to make sure that the information in the visitor’s center is up to date and consistent with the visitor’s center in Winter Park.
The board also discussed including 200 Eisenhower with the RFP.
Another topic was improving signage or to build a kiosk at the train station to direct travelers to the visitor’s center and other key locations around town. One idea was to paint penguin feet on the street showing the path from the train depot to the visitor’s center.
Sherry Sanders of the Clayton Family, whose great grandfather came to Fraser in 1905 and whose father donated the property where visitors center is located, said that the Clayton Family owns a lot of historic artifacts and photographs from the logging, railroad and ranching industries that they would like to donate to the town for the museum or visitor’s center.
She said that among mountain towns, “Fraser is the last standout.”
In the short term, the town approved spending $10,000 for the chamber to hire two more part time people to keep the Fraser Visitor’s Center open seven days a week, on the same schedule as the Winter Park Visitor’s Center, through the remained of the summer.
The chamber employees will rotate through both visitor’s centers and the positions are available immediately through Labor Day.
Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.