Local tourism officials and tourism-oriented businesses located along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway believe that some signage improvements along Highway 65 across Grand Mesa might help local commercial business.
An evaluation of the byway's highway signs was conducted last week.
Called a "wayfinding exercise," it gauged travelers' ability to find destinations based on signage. The exercise also evaluated the highway signs' value in attracting tourists' attention to significant local attractions.
A dozen business owners, chamber members, and town and tourism officials gathered for pizza following the exercise on June 10 to evaluate the results.
The exercise was funded by CDOT and is being conducted on four other Byways in the state. Two people not familiar with the area drove across Grand Mesa from Grand Junction and were given a list of destinations and features, all shown on a reference map, by using existing road signage to help navigate. The two volunteer tourists were accompanied by a tourism consultant and a CDOT staffer.
Afterward, at the pizza debriefing, results indicated that the two tourists couldn't locate trailheads. There was also a lack of advance roadside signage of some restaurants, though signage for Mesa Lakes Resort was rated very good.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center and Pioneer Town Welcome Center got high marks for friendliness, knowledge, and helpfulness. More advance roadside notice of the Visitor Center was recommended.
It was noted that the interpretative signage along the roadside explaining landscape features was very good.
For traffic southbound from the mesa top, additional highway signage near Pioneer Town was recommended by local officials. And, it was noted, the two experimental tourists had a hard time finding Deer Creek Golf Course for their free pizza. That was because the name of the golf course has been changed to Cedaredge Golf Course. The name change took effect after printing of the most recent maps which still have the old name and which the volunteer tourists were using.
County tourism interests have long faced a quandary: survey after survey has found that most of the tourists stopping at the Visitor Center have come up from the Grand Junction side and return the same way, never passing through Delta County.
Finding ways of getting Grand Mesa visitors to come through Cedaredge and Delta, or at least to stop and spend money in the mesa top businesses on the Delta County side of the mesa, has long been a priority for tourism interests and local government.blog comments powered by Disqus