A Flipchart Survey

This very simple survey method at a special event caught my eye last year at the Larimer County Farmers’ Market in Fort Collins, Colorado, where we live. When I managed a nature center for thirteen years in Pueblo, special events were the lifeblood of our fundraising and they attracted thousands of people to our site.Continue reading “A Flipchart Survey”

Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special

Think about Mardi Gras, and New Orleans comes to mind. Pamplona evokes images of the running of the bulls. Times Square in NYC seems to own New Year’s Eve. I noted several other cities with events but the big televised ones with strong brand identity were at Times Square. Special events help create a communityContinue reading “Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special”

Optimism Is a Choice We Make

I used to like the story about 10-year old twin boys at Christmas-time. Their parents explained to a psychologist that one was always optimistic, expecting good things to happen and the other expected the worst, a pessimist. “What can we do to balance their attitudes about life,” they asked. The specialist suggested they disappoint theContinue reading “Optimism Is a Choice We Make”

Passages Create Connections

In the 1980s I was managing a nature center in Pueblo, Colorado. A local Italian family asked if they could plant a cottonwood tree along our waterfront in memory of their grandfather. Beaver had cut down many of the cottonwoods over the years, so we allowed the planting and I was amazed when more thanContinue reading “Passages Create Connections”

The Blackfish Movie Makes You Think

CNN recently aired the Blackfish film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and it has sparked deep conversations among parents, animal lovers and zoo aficionados. Much of the film is about SeaWorld and the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau, by Tillikum, the 12,000 pound orca she trained. I think this is an important conversation but the reaction toContinue reading “The Blackfish Movie Makes You Think”

Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration

Communities employ varied strategies and tactics to create positive change. These  strategies are a starting point for communities seeking ways to collaborate and improve their tourism products and experiences. 1.    Assess what’s working and what is not – This usually requires a consultant who can serve as an objective observer. Analysis of the visitor experienceContinue reading “Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration”

Tourism Collaboration Should Be Easier – 5 Reasons To Collaborate

Remember when we were children? Our mothers worried about how to get us to play well together, to share toys and to cooperate. There seems to be some natural inclination among humans to compete. But even as children we found ways to overcome the tendency and collaborate. We built sand castles on the beach together,Continue reading “Tourism Collaboration Should Be Easier – 5 Reasons To Collaborate”

Running of the Bulls in the U.S.?

I will never forget a sunny Tuesday in July four decades ago in northern Spain. We drove into Pamplona at daybreak and gathered in the street by the town council building with hundreds of other young men in white outfits with red sashes, berets, zapatas and other adornments. José, my Spanish compadre, and I wolfedContinue reading “Running of the Bulls in the U.S.?”

Try to Remember – Keep a Journal

I am reading Undaunted Courage  by Stephen Ambrose and the wonderful journals of the men on the Voyage of Discovery from Washington, D.C. to Oregon coast with Lewis and Clark left us amazing accounts of their journeys. Where would we be without journals? It was ornithology class in college that made me start keeping aContinue reading “Try to Remember – Keep a Journal”