Leadership of Castle Rock Visitor Center Changes from Chamber of Commerce to Community Development Alliance | Local

CASTLE ROCK — The town is transferring management of the Castle Rock Visitor Center from the town’s Chamber of Commerce to a non-profit organization that promotes local businesses, events and tourism.

Castle Rock City Council voted unanimously on Monday to allow the Castle Rock Community Development Alliance to operate the center off Interstate 5 Exit 49 through February 2023 using funds from the nonprofit organization lucrative.

The contract states that the city does not have enough “resources” to benefit the center. The contract also states that the city’s lodging tax advisory committee recommended that services be offered at the center “requiring specialized skills,” which the alliance says it has.

Castle Rock Community Development Alliance vice president Mike Vorse said those skills include local connections to staff the center with volunteers and local knowledge to direct tourists to sites and businesses.

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Vorse said he hopes the visitor center, which hasn’t operated since the pandemic began, will reopen by Memorial Day.

The management change contract stipulates that the Community Development Alliance will provide staff to the center during hours set by the nonprofit organization.

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The city and alliance’s goal is for volunteers to greet and guide tourists to areas like downtown Castle Rock and businesses east of I-5, as well as encourage people to spend the night in local accommodation, the contract says.

Any city or county in the state can levy an accommodation tax when people stay overnight in local accommodations. The city’s lodging tax revenue plummeted during the pandemic, but was nearly $7,000 more in 2021 than before the 2019 COVID-19 strike, according to Castle Rock Treasurer Carie Cuttonaro .

The contract states that the city will pay for utilities and security at the visitor center, and provide tourism funds through grants and lodging tax revenue when available. All other expenses will be the responsibility of the alliance, which receives funds through donations, Vorse said.

The contract requires the alliance to provide regular reports to the city on the number of people visiting the center, as well as visitor interests.

Castle Rock Blooms – a nationally recognized organization for the flowers they plant in the town – is also under the alliance’s umbrella.