TORRINGTON, Wyo., March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of business owners from Goshen County, Wyoming is implementing strategies learned at a Destination Business BootCamp in Longmont, Colorado, with the goal of attracting out-of-market customers.
The business owner group includes several new businesses that are involved in transforming a 12,000-square-foot building into a "destination downtown" center with a coffee shop, gift store, art gallery and entertainment venue, along with the chamber of commerce and a visitors' center.
"We were strategizing on what to do with that building and we wanted to make it a destination downtown," says Lisa Johnson, Executive Director of Goshen County Economic Development. "With the new businesses we're bringing in, we thought it would be good if they all attended Jon Schallert's Destination BootCamp."
The Goshen County group is participating in Schallert's Community Reinvention Program, 6-months of group training and an on-site visit in Torrington by Schallert, after they attend the BootCamp. Schallert developed his 14-point Destination strategy over 25 years of working with small businesses and consulting in over 500 downtowns in the United States.
"Our economic development office provided scholarships to help offset the cost," Johnson said. "We wanted to make sure we had a team of owners so we as a community would qualify for the follow-up services."
In addition to the Goshen County's support, owners received financial assistance from Wyoming's Workforce Development Training Fund.
"The fund covers 60%, up to $2,000," said project assistant Amy Duke. "That includes travel, hotel, meals, and the tuition."
Business groups from Laramie and Worland have also participated in the program.
Duke said participants started developing strategies and sharing their experiences with others immediately after the BootCamp.
"It's already impacting the businesses that attended," Duke said. "They're already implementing a lot of Jon's ideas. They're thinking about cross-promoting and they're holding each other accountable."
Schallert's presentation on social media was especially eye-opening, she said.
"We all learned so much that we didn't even know was out there, and a lot of free resources too," Duke said. The breadth of practical advice included brand identification, team solidarity, and high-profile attractions.
"There's nothing out there like the Destination BootCamp," she said. "We would have had to hire 10 or 15 consultants to get what we got from Jon. It's priceless."
SOURCE The Schallert Group, Inc.