Four well-attended events are among more than a dozen each year that are organized by the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.
Those four well-attended events are among more than a dozen each year that are organized and/or promoted by the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce as part of the organization’s effort to bring tourism dollars to the city. In fact, the chamber contracted with the City of Pueblo in 1983 to oversee tourism and has done so ever since.
“Cities the size of Pueblo often have a separate convention and visitors bureau, but our chamber performs that function for the good of our business community and residents,” says Rod Slyhoff, president and CEO of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. “Our staff goes out and competitively tries to attract large events that will draw tourists to Pueblo.”
Slyhoff says big events must often be “purchased” from owners or associations because there is great competition from other cities to host such attractions. In order to conduct their tourism efforts properly, the Pueblo chamber receives a portion of the city’s lodging tax to cover promotional aspects needed to secure such events.
“We make sure the positive word about Pueblo is heard loud and clear, and as a result we get many visitors at our biggest gatherings from Northern Colorado as well as the surrounding states of Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming,” Slyhoff says. “We try to go after the recreational outdoor activities because once people arrive here, Pueblo has some great mountain biking, a downtown kayak course and four year-round golf courses for people to enjoy.”
A New Visit Pueblo App
Other big annual events or festivals the chamber organizes or promotes include Boats, Bands & BBQ, Cinco de Mayo, the Colorado State Fair, Oktoberfest, Rollin’ on the Riverwalk, Sister Cities International Taste, and Yule Love It Downtown. In late 2015, the chamber also launched a Visit Pueblo tourism app for iPhone, iPad, Android Tablet or Android Smartphone, with information about local restaurants, places to stay and interesting sites.
“We still do all the traditional chamber networking, legislative lobbying and leadership training for our members, but tourism is also part of what we do,” Slyhoff says. “We are a busy chamber, and we like it that way.”