While divided on some issues, Delta City Council members have been united in their desire to better "brand" the city with the longterm goal of increasing tourism and expanding the city's economic base.
That goal was one of the top priorities of the 2019 budget, which included funding for a new marketing and outreach position.
As outlined in the city's strategic plan, essential job duties for the marketing coordinator include organizing and coordinating a variety of new and existing special events, facilitating citywide marketing and branding efforts, managing the city's website and social media, and serving as the city's public information officer.
The new marketing coordinator will answer directly to Wilma Erven, director of parks, recreation and golf for the City of Delta. After combing through 18 applications, and selecting a handful for interviews, she offered the position to Darin Hamm.
As a state CRAFT grant for tourism winds down, Hamm will be tasked with implementation of a "huge" action plan developed through a series of community stakeholder meetings.
At the top of that action plan is the Smith Mountain Rally, a two-day mountain biking event to take place April 26 and 27. Hamm has already established a Facebook page and website for that event at smithmountainrally.com, and has set up a new Instagram feed @VisitDeltaCO. He designed Smith Mountain Rally brochures and posters to be distributed across the region.
The first annual rally consists of three unique mountain bike experiences -- a short evening race on Friday, April 26, followed by a tour Saturday of the roads surrounding the planned Smith Mountain bike trails on BLM land east of Delta. The day ends with an option to run the Sidewinder Short Loop Trail.
"This is a really neat opportunity," said Hamm, who said he's excited to be part of the future of Delta.
Hamm has resided in Delta for the past seven years, but visited family members in the area frequently prior to moving here. He earned a bachelor's degree in advertising, design and marketing from Oklahoma Christian University and worked in graphic design before transitioning to ministry. He moved to Delta to serve as a church pastor, and has also worked with youth as a coach and substitute teacher. Though not employed full-time as a graphic artist, he continued to lend his creativity to a variety of causes.
He's enthusiastic about sharing all that Delta has to offer with the outside world through a tourism plan that's been dubbed "Destination Delta."
Erven echoes a sentiment frequently expressed by council members, who recall the energy and enthusiasm that brought All America City honors to Delta. "We need to recapture that passion," she said.
While his focus is on Delta, Hamm will also be fostering relationships with members of the Delta County Tourism Cabinet, as well as tourism officials in neighboring communities.
As the city's vision for the future moves into implementation, Erven said there will be a number of ways to measure success, including sales tax, hotel surveys and Google analytics.
Hamm's office is located at Bill Heddles Recreation Center, 874-0923, or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.