Last week, Congressman Ken Buck participated in a Travel Talks Roundtable at Wiley Roots Brewery in Greeley, Colorado. Ian Steyn, a board member of Colorado Tourism, led the roundtable with 14 other travel and tourism leaders including representatives from Denver Airport, Visit Fort Collins and the Greely Chamber of Commerce.
The event kicked off with opening remarks by Rep. Buck on the current state of affairs in Congress. He stressed that for the remainder of the year, the House would be focused on tax reform with the goal of helping the middle class. The Congressman also highlighted the importance of pro-business bills and continuing to prioritize economic growth.
George Merritt, from Denver Airport, began the travel discussion by highlighting the major expansions underway at DIA. DIA is currently exceeding growth projections, and is on the way to becoming the fifth largest airport in the country. This fact carried the conversation to the value of the Passenger Facility Charge for improving and modernizing infrastructure. Many other participants echoed the importance of infrastructure investment as a tool to increase state tourism. George and Cynthia Eichler from Visit Fort Collins also emphasized the benefits of Open Skies agreements for Denver. George concluded by emphasizing the airline competition, international visitation growth, and traveler benefits that Open Skies agreements provide.
The topic then transitioned to the economic impact of travel and tourism. Ian Steyn spoke of the need for broad commitment to travel and tourism as an opportunity for economic growth. Participants from local chambers shared data on what tourism means to their communities, and used this to segue into a larger conversation about the potential for travel-fueled growth in more rural areas within the Congressman’s district.
Colorado’s travel and tourism leaders are fully committed increasing the impact of the industry through infrastructure improvements and rural economic development. We are grateful to Congressman Buck for offering his support, listening to the industry’s concerns and recognizing the importance of travel and tourism to economic growth.