By Chris Mannara
Kristi Smith is the newest member of the Pagosa Area Tourism Board (PATB), after earning the board’s support on June 9 to fill the open at-large seat.
Interviews were conducted by the board with Smith, Anne-Marie Sukcik and Kari Preuit to determine the best candidate for the vacant seat.
Following the interviews, PATB member Madeline Bergon made a formal motion that Smith be recommended to the Pagosa Springs Town Council and Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners for appointment to the vacant at-large seat on the PATB.
That motion passed unanimously by the PATB board.
In an email to The SUN, Smith explained that she is pleased to serve on the PATB, adding that this has been an opportunity she had been keeping an eye on for several years.
Smith described the tourism industry in Pagosa Springs as being “vital” to her businesses.
“I have so much pride for this sweet mountain community and I feel the position aligns with the passion I have in getting the word out about Pagosa and telling others why it is the best little town in Colorado,” Smith wrote.
Smith added that she is eager to learn from the PATB and gain new insight on what it has accomplished, as well as what it hopes to.
“I’d love to be able to use my background in Event Planning and Vacation Rental Ownership to provide input to perhaps help generate new ideas or contribute a fresh perspective to enhance the groundwork that has been laid out so far,” Smith wrote.
Topics that are of interest to Smith are following travel trends, ecotourism, millennial travel preferences and food tourism. Smith added that she would like to see how these ideas apply locally.
Other ideas of interest to Smith are creating unique destination experiences and researching solutions for future year-round space for retreats, events and conferences.
“Ultimately, I take the Board’s Mission Statement as my main goal – which would be to raise awareness of Pagosa Springs as a vacation destination and improve visitor experience so that the result is a solid, growing tourism industry that generates economic prosperity for the residents of Pagosa,” she wrote.
The PATB’s recommendation to appoint Smith to the board was later approved by the Pagosa Springs Town Council on June 18 and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners on July 7.