Last updated 5:46PM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Durango Named a "Distinctive Destination"
(2007-03-08)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Durango is receiving some significant national recognition.
And local officials say it could pay off with a major boost to the communities primary industry.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports:

(NAT SOUND)
HOST LEAD: The Strater Hotel's Diamond Belle Saloon was hopping early Wednesday.
About 2-dozen people gathered to hear Indiana Reed, of the Business Improvement District, announce Durango is being recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
REED: FOR EIGHT YEARS THEY'VE ANNOUNCED THE DOZEN DISTINCTIVE DESTINATIONS. AND THIS YEAR, FOR 2007, DURANGO COLORADO IS A RECIPIENT OF THAT AWARD.
The trust recognized Durango for what it said is a charming and vibrant historic downtown. It also applauded the train, the nearby Ancestral Puebloan heritage as well as the abundant outdoor recreational activities here.
67 Communities applied for the 12 designations.
Durango councilor and Mayor Sidny Zink accepted the award on behalf of the city.
ZINK: THIS AWARD BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY OF DURANGO AND RECOGNIZES OUR COLLECTIVE COMMITTMENT TO MAKING DURANGO SOMETHING WE ALREADY KNOW IT IS, ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST DISTINCTIVE DESTINATIONS.
The award is more than just another plaque to hang on the wall.
Durango city downtown coordinator Bob Kunkle, who along with Reed and Strater owner Rod Barker applied for the award, says it will play a significant role in boosting tourism.
KUNKLE: THIS WHOLE AREA OF HERITAGE AND CULTURAL TOURISM IS THE FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT OF TOURISM. PEOPLE DO FOLLOW THESE DESIGNATIONS AND AWARDS. THE PRESERVATION MAGAZINE, THE PUBLICATION PUT OUT BY THE NATIONAL TRUST HAS 270-THOUSAND MEMBERS.
And Barker says the value of the publicity the award will generate through it's magazine easily reaches six figures.
BARKER: IT'S PROBABLY WORTH HALF A MILLION DOLLAS IN AD EQUIVALENCY THAT WE'LL SEE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
With gas prices spiking and concerns by some that could hurt tourism, Durango Area Tourism Office Director John Cohen says the timing of the award is perfect.
COHEN: THE TIMING IS GOOD, IT'S GOOD BECAUSE WE'RE LEADING INTO OUR PEAK SEASON, THE SPRING AND SUMMER SEASON, SO IT'S GOOD IN THAT RESPECT. WE'VE DONE STUDIES ON GAS PRICES AND HOW THAT HAS AFFECTED PEOPLE TRAVELING AND WE FOUND EVEN WHEN IT WENT OVER THREE DOLLARS IT DIDN'T AFFECT THE DRIVE MARKET. NOW IF IT WENT OVER FOUR DOLLARS, THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER STORY, BUT WE REALLY HAVEN'T SEEN THE IMPACT WE EXPECTED FROM GAS PRICES.
Businessman Cy Scarborough of the Bar D Chuckwagon attended the celebration and says he's hopeful the award boosts tourist business.
SCARBOROUGH: AFTER THE FIRE CROWDS WENT DOWN A LITTLE BIT BUT NOW THEY'RE COMING BACK UP, AND THIS YEAR LOOKS LIKE A GOOD YEAR AND THIS WILL JUST ADD TO IT, I THINK.
Durango is the 5th Colorado Community be among the winners of the Dozen Distinctive Destination awards.
Silverton won the same award, in 2001.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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