Colorado made more than $1.3 billion in tax revenue from tourists in 2018, but for the first time, officials are asking them to stay home.
The Colorado Tourism Office this week launched its first campaign designed to keep potential visitors away from the state.
"Our priority is keeping all Coloradans and visitors to our state safe," said Abby Leeper with the tourism office.
The campaign is called "Waiting to CO!" According to tourism office director Cathy Ritter, the campaign should make you "yearn" for Colorado outdoor fun.
The new campaign asks people to post at-home versions of their favorite Colorado activities on social media. Like climbing on the side of your house. Or kayaking on your front porch. Or splashing water on your kids while they sit in a dry raft. Or holding marshmallows up to a pretend fireplace on your TV screen.
Colorado is still in the "Safer-at-Home" stage of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Leeper said there is no definitive way to predict how the staged reopening will affect summer travel plans. She recommended researching county restrictions before traveling.
Some mountain communities are still asking tourists and day-trippers to stay home. The state is advising Coloradans to stay within 10 miles of home for recreation.
The state is hoping to transition into the next stage of tourism messaging as the public health situation improves, Leeper said. They will start by asking Colorado residents to explore their own state and then start encouraging regular tourism again. Officials said the timing will depend on advice from public health officials.