“Happy 2022! The new year is here and with it comes new energy, ideas and inspiration. It’s a time to reflect on the previous year and find ways to make the coming year as successful and productive as possible.
One of my priorities in 2021 was educating the public on what the Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) does. As part of this effort, I created a list of frequently asked questions. This month, instead of sharing all the exciting projects that the Wind River Visitors Council is involved in, I thought I’d share some of these FAQs.”
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does the Wind River Visitors Council do?
The Wind River Visitors Council is the lodging tax board for Wind River Country, which includes Fremont County and the Wind River Indian Reservation. It uses the four percent local lodging tax to stimulate tourism by increasing awareness of and encouraging visitation to, the unique destinations, activities and events in Wind River Country.
- What is the Tourism Asset Development program (TAD)?
The TAD program is a voluntary program that is unique to Wind River Country. The Wind River Visitors Council gives 25 percent of the local lodging tax back to the communities in the percentage that they contribute to the lodging tax. Depending on occupancy rates, these numbers are constantly changing.
- If I want to get TAD funds for an event or program, who would I talk to?
In Lander, Riverton and Shoshoni, you’d talk to the Chamber of Commerce for that town/city. In Hudson, you’d talk to City Hall, and in Dubois, you’d talk to Destination Dubois.
- Can the Wind River Visitors Council help me to promote an event? If so, how?
Absolutely. The Wind River Visitors Council maintains an ongoing online calendar, which automatically posts to County 10 and the Wyoming Office of Tourism. In addition, the Wind River Visitors Council sends events to many of the Chamber newsletters. Events can be sent to the Wind River Visitors Council’s Community Engagement Manager, Melanie Hoefle at [email protected].
- What can’t lodging tax money be spent on?
Funds may not be spent on alcohol, lobbying efforts or capital construction (building a building).
- How is the Wind River Visitors Council Board of Directors made up?
The Board of Directors has two representatives from Dubois (currently Randy Lahr and Frank Welty), Lander (currently Thomas Pede and Owen Sweeney) and Riverton (currently Julie Buller and Hal Herron), one representative from Hudson (currently Helen Gordon) and Shoshoni (currently Joel Highsmith), and two representatives from the County (currently John Bass and Cy Lee). Representatives are designated by the Mayor of each town/city, and in the case of the County, by the County Commissioners.
- How many employees does the Wind River Visitors Council have?
The Wind River Visitors Council has two employees, Helen Wilson (Executive Director) and Melanie Hoefle (Community Engagement Manager).
- What organizations does the Wind River Visitors Council work with?
The Wind River Visitors Council works with many organizations in the towns, cities, County and State. This includes the Chamber of Commerce, economic development groups, colleges and universities and the Wyoming Office of Tourism.
- What types of projects does the Wind River Visitors Council get involved with?
The Wind River Visitors Council gets involved with projects focused on tourism. Some of the types of projects are listed below:
- Video production
- WY Responsibly campaigns (including BearSaver recycling/trash containers and bike racks)
- Continental Divide Trail recognition
- Audio tours
- Event production
- Destination optimization campaigns, which include Google Travel and business listings on Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor
- The production and distribution of brochures including Wind River Country Vacation Guides and the Wind River Indian Reservation Audio Tour
- Local, national and international marketing campaigns
- Social media marketing campaigns
- Digital signs
- Influencer campaigns
- Crisis communications
- Motorcoach tours
- Earned media
- Displays featuring Wind River Country
- How does the State support the efforts of the Wind River Visitors Council?
The Wyoming Office of Tourism divides the State into five sections. Wind River Country falls into the “Rockies to Tetons” region. The State markets each of the regions individually and as a whole. In addition, the State offers co-ops, where designated marketing efforts are matched in funds.
Executive Director, WRVC
The Wind River Visitors Council’s mission is to stimulate tourism by increasing awareness of and encouraging visitation to, the unique destinations, activities and events in Wind River Country.