Schedule at a glance

Wednesday, May 16

Noon - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Pueblo Convention Center
Concurrent DIY Workshops - 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

5:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
LOCATION: Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center


thursday, May 17

8:00 AM - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Pueblo Convention Center
Keynote lunch - Cathy Ritter - Colorado Tourism Office

5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
heart of DOWNTOWN riverwalk RECEPTION
LOCATION: brues Alehouse on the Pueblo riverwalk


friday, May 18

8:30 AM - 11:30 A.m.
Location: Pueblo Convention Center
Breakfast keynote - Kat corell - downtown COLORADO inc.
pueblo arts Panel discussion

NOON - 3:00 P.M.

*SEPARATE Registration Required


Full Schedule

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Wednesday, May 16

Concurrent HOW-TO Workshops

2:30 - 4:00 pm


Best Practices to Inspire, Engage and Convert Visitors

Patrick Attkisson, Miles Partnership, Travel Media Specialist

Miles Partnership is a strategic marketing company focused exclusively on travel and tourism.  They know the most effective, results-driven solutions to tell your story, to share your experiences and to inspire your visitors. If you attend Patrick’s workshop, you will take home a professional media plan for your community needs and budget. 


From Passable to Powerful: How to Power up your Grant Writing Skills

Beth Lenz, Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments, Community Development

What ever your Budget is, it is never enough. That’s why we are all writing proposals for financial programs and grants that can help fund our goals and make our communities more resilient.


POWER UP Your Social Media Marketing

Timothy A. Zercher, EasySocial, President and CEO

Timothy's workshop will focus on social media and how it can be used to Power Up tourism in Southern Colorado. He will go over basic information on why he believes social media has the largest potential to encourage tourism in southern Colorado and then cover the how/where of social media marketing. Timothy likes all of his workshops to be highly interactive and participants are encouraged to bring multiple questions for him regarding social media and online marketing as a portion of the workshop will be based on questions and answers. 


5:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
LOCATION: Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center




8:00 AM - 3:30 p.m.


breakfast speaker: Jill Corbin

Colorado Tourism Office, Director of Destination Development

The future of non-urban Tourism in Colorado looks very promising, due in part to the Colorado Tourism Office’s new CRAFT STUDIO 101 program, a program that provides a broad, comprehensive tourism education and training for rural Colorado. The Program’s Director and co-creator, Jill Corbin, will be presenting a detailed narrative of this enlightening program that is designed specifically to teach rural communities how to build tourism into an economic development strategy.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Madison Brannigan, Great Outdoors Colorado

Find out how you can enhance your community with a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). Ms. Brannigan is the Local Government Program Coordinator at GOCO, which invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds in helping preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces through competition grant programs.

Kat Pappenbrock, Ouray Chamber Resort Association

Executive Director

You might see your small (or nonexistent) tourism budget as a huge hurdle but this discussion will help you Power Up your budget and your visitor and destination marketing and management confidence by learning how to leverage your partners, your local talent and your resources.

Bryan Jordan, Vista Works

Insider’s Guide to Tourism Marketing: 

Big City Strategies on a RuraL BUDGET

VistaWorks has been providing Digital Marketing and Website Design services in Colorado since 1995.  They are a small and refreshing company that understands the triumphs and struggles of rural Colorado.  Theyunderstand community pride and the hesitancy that many residents have about sharing their hometown beauty with “outsiders”.  They understand the fine balance that must be considered when marketing your destination to tourists, and continuing to maintain that Authentic Colorado Experience. 

Ashlee Sack, Fremont Adventure Recreation

Shackles to Chains: How the Royal Gorge Region is Transforming from a Prison Town to a Mountain Bike Mecca" 

Ashlee Sack, Event and Administration Coordinator for Fremont Adventure Recreation explains how historic paths and byways are leading the region to a new era of outdoor recreation. From prison-built scenic trails to tongue-in-cheek trail names, the region has a unique opportunity to propel the area into a future as a historically relevant recreation destination. The organization is committed to promoting a culture of community and healthy living through human-powered outdoor recreation in the Royal Gorge Region. They host several athletic and social events throughout the year and also assist with trail building initiatives.

Keynote lunch: Cathy Ritter

Colorado Tourism Office, Director

The new mission statement for the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is: “Drive traveler spending through promotion and development of compelling, sustainable travel experiences throughout our four-corner state.”  Cathy Ritter, the Director of the CTO, will be taking the stage at Thursday’s noon luncheon to explaining how this new direction will benefit the non-urban, non-ski resort areas of Colorado and bring more visitor traffic to our southern Colorado communities.


Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Vicki Nash, Resort Trends, Inc.

CEO, Glenwood Springs, CO

With vast tourism industry experience spanning 35 years and a passion for travel, Vicky Nash owns and operates the tourism marketing firm Resort Trends, Inc. which specializes in project management, public relations, communications, content creation, and graphic design for destination marketing organizations, convention & visitor bureaus, tourism associations, attractions, historic sites, resorts, hotels, hot springs, and spas. Resort Trends, Inc. implements an integrated approach to communicating specific messages to a variety of targeted audiences including visitors, members, partners, and media outlets. Nash has developed several award-winning campaigns, most recently the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.  

Steve Kaverman

Tourism Champion

Steve is engaged in a number of professional and volunteer pursuits dedicated to supporting and promoting sustainable tourism development and leisure travel. As a certified tour director specializing in the Western U.S., Steve manages tours across 12 states, plus parts of Canada and Costa Rica for multiple clients. When he’s not on the road, you may find Steve behind the wheel as an interpretive guide with Colorado Jeep Tours, based near his home in Cañon City. 

Michael King, Colorado Department of Transportation

Alternative Fuels & Technology Planner

Electric Charging Stations Along or Scenic Byways

Michael King is the Alternative Fuels & Technology Planner within the Multimodal Planning Branch at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). In that position, he is responsible for managing projects and work groups aimed at aligning CDOT’s planning activities with its alternative fuels and RoadX goals to ensure that their benefits are shared statewide.

During his five years with CDOT, Michael has worked on a variety of projects including the development of the 2040 Statewide Transportation Plan, management of Colorado’s portion of the national Volkswagen Settlement, and the Mobility Choice Blueprint effort for the Denver Metro. Prior to joining CDOT, he studied International Development with a focus on Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Denver and spent three years working for nonprofit and government agencies in Latin America.

Alan Ramirez, Colorado Enterprise Fund

Director of Lending

CEF helpsColorado’s small business owners get access to affordable loans and lines of credit with flexible rates and terms. Their lending practices are responsible, transparent, and patient   They take time to get to know their applicants during the loan process. They also offer our borrowers free business advice for the life of their loans so they can achieve their dreams of small business ownership. Director of Lending, Alan works with CEF’s Director of Credit to manage the loan portfolio as well as supervising CEF’s loan production team. Alan also consults with potential applicants about their business plans, performs credit analysis and loan underwriting, provides ongoing business advisory services to borrowers, and oversees loan activity in the Denver Metro area and other parts of the state.

5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
heart of DOWNTOWN riverwalk RECEPTION
LOCATION: brues Alehouse on the Pueblo riverwalk


Friday, May 18

8:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.m.


Breakfast Speaker: Katherine Correl

Downtown Colorado Inc.

Defining Destinations with Purpose, Stewardship and Love

Katherine will take us to some of the most unique places in the world, and in Colorado, to define why we fall in love with one place and not another.


pueblo arts Panel discussion


*Pueblo Chile Farm Tour Experience:
Brought to you in partnership with Frontier Pathway Byway Heritage Tours*
NOON - 3:00 P.M.
*SEPARATE Registration Required*

Agriculture is big business in Pueblo, ranking #2 in economic impact to the community.  The rich soil of the Arkansas Valley produces many varieties of crops from pinto beans, pumpkins, squash, onions, asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage and many varieties of peppers, to name a few.  And of course we can't forget the King of Green....Pueblo Chile!

End your SOCO Summit experience by getting a little dirt on your boots.  Hop in your car and head east on the Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway to the heart of Pueblo's farm country for a birds eye view of a local farming operation   You will tour two of Pueblo's largest family farms, talk with operators on the challenges facing the Ag industry today. Learn how tourism impacts business planning, as well as the culture and heritage that has played a key role in the development of our Southern Colorado's farm families.

Itinerary for Chile Farm Tour:

11:30 -12:00     Depart from the Sangre de Cristo Art Center Parking Lot

12:30 -1:45      Box Lunch from Milberger Farm and Pepe's Restaurant served at processing plant with tour.

2:00 - 3:00      Depart for Mauro Farms and Bakery for tour, dessert and shopping

3:00                 Shopping on own

For more information on Southern Colorado historic and experiential group tours go to