Get to Know Your DMO
The Albany County Tourism Board (ACTB), named Visit Laramie after the largest community in the area, is the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the communities of Albany County, Wyoming, and also operates the Laramie Area Visitor Center. The DMO promotes the region as a travel destination by providing information to potential visitors, and by marketing with a focus on lodging sales, tourism destination development, events and activities, and business services. Visit Laramie uses many media platforms and channels to build brand awareness of the Laramie area and its many offerings to visitors.
Visit Laramie's marketing efforts are funded by the county-wide lodging tax, up for renewal this year on November 8, 2022. This tax is not paid by residents of Albany County, as it only applies to paid overnight accommodations, typically paid for by visitors to the area. Learn more about the impacts and benefits of the travel and tourism industry in Albany County below.
Albany County welcomed 683,460 overnight visitors, which accounted for 68% of all travelers.
Direct travel spending in Albany County was $194.8 million.
Albany County generated $12.4 million in travel-generated tax revenue, of which $4.6 million in sales tax stayed local to Albany County. This represents approximately 18% of all sales tax collected in the county.
Travel spending supported 2,130 jobs.
If not for the taxes generated by the travel industry, the average household in Albany County would have paid $753 more in taxes for existing government services.
In fiscal year 2022 (July 2021 - June 2022), the Albany County Tourism Board generated $1,243,421 in lodging tax revenue, the most in its history.
In fiscal year 2022, the Albany County Tourism Board's budget was spent 66% on marketing, 24% on wages and benefits, and 10% on operating and overhead expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) is to promote a town, city, or region as an attractive travel destination by providing information to potential visitors and leisure travelers. It promotes destination development, focusing on hospitality sales, tourism marketing, and vendor services.
The Albany County Tourism Board is a Joint Powers board with split membership chosen between the city and county. The board is comprised of seven volunteer board members who apply for two-year terms. Four board seats are selected by the Laramie City Council, and the three remaining board seats by the Albany County Commissioners.
The Albany County Tourism Board is funded by the county-wide lodging tax up for renewal this year on November 8, 2022. This tax is paid by visitors who stay in paid overnight accommodations. Visitors also pay this tax when frequenting outdoor activity outfitters.
As a taxpayer-funded entity, we do not have a membership base and it is free to have a listing on our website as long as the business generates visitation. If you believe your business should be listed as an area attraction, please contact us and we would be happy to work through getting you added.
Albany County Tourism Board represents the whole of Albany County, Wyoming, including Albany, Bosler, Buford, Centennial, Foxpark, Laramie, Rock River, Tie Siding, and WyColo. As a rising tide lifts all boats, we also often partner with our surrounding counties to build travel itineraries and maximize the activities and time spent in our beautiful state.
Our goal as a tourism board is ultimately to drive overnight stays that support the lodging properties in the county. However, the economic impact on the community from a single overnight stay is much greater. A person visiting for leisure travel, business, or events will eat in area restaurants, shop in area stores, fill up a tank of gas, and bring sales and use tax dollars to the area as well. In the summer months, Wyoming tourism keeps our small businesses and restaurants thriving. In 2021, sales tax spending by tourists accounted for $4.6 million in sales tax generated for the county. This was approximately 18% of all sales tax collected. Without this tax revenue generated by travelers, the average household in Albany County would pay $753 more annually in taxes for existing government services.
Visit Laramie also supports events that bring travel to the area by awarding grants and sponsorships to support event marketing. To learn more about grants, keep reading more below.
Destination marketing invites visitors from outside Albany County to the Laramie Area who in turn help to support the local economy. Many of these visitors support our communities in a variety of ways, from staying in a hotel and trying a new activity to attending an event followed by a trip to local shops and restaurants. All of these visitors help to support our local businesses and jobs, and in turn generate tax revenues for Albany County that support our way of life.
In 2021, the Visit Laramie team created and executed a strategic marketing plan to inspire and educate travelers who are interested in visiting the Laramie Area. Though we are funded by a lodging tax, our goal is always to use those funds to help support a strong local economy for Albany County that is supported by travel and tourism. With a mix of tactics and a committed team, we were able to reach travelers at each step of their journey to ensure continued success for Albany County’s tourism economy.
The Visit Laramie team executed a range of strategic marketing tactics throughout the year to reach our target customers. This included a small paid media campaign with most campaigns being managed internally. Our mixed media tactics included but were not limited to things like digital, print, out-of-home, TV, radio, hosting travel writers, co-ops with the Wyoming Office of Tourism, and more. Whenever possible, local partners and vendors were chosen to support these efforts.
New in 2021, the Albany County Tourism Board began efforts to work on growing a destination management campaign to promote but protect our outdoor recreation areas. Dubbed Cowboy Character, our team worked with the University of Wyoming, the USFS, and many other local businesses to develop and distribute campaign materials that blend Leave No Trace ethics with the Cowboy Code of the West. Our team launched a mixed media campaign to support the effort, generating over 2 million impressions in its first year. Our goal is to continue to grow these efforts in future years through additional marketing campaigns and innovative tactics like the Cowboy Character Challenge.
Each year, the Visit Laramie team reviews the prior year's visitor traffic to determine where to run campaigns for the year ahead. In 2021, we continued to focus on some of our key geographic markets including the Midwest and other areas of the Rocky Mountain West. Specifically, our team focused on growth opportunities created by shifts in the travel market during the covid pandemic. This included targeted marketing to Chicago, Kansas City, Lincoln and Omaha, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. The team chose not to run any marketing in Colorado in 2021 with the Cowboy Character campaign being the lone exception as we focus on education and destination management in that market. These markets and strategies have remained the same for 2022 while adding the Dallas Fort Worth metro area into the mix in 2022.
Other Facts, Figures, Awards, & Accolades
In 2021, we distributed over 100,000 Visitors' Guides and brochures, most of which are printed locally.
In July 2021, Visit Laramie moved to a new location at 800 S 3rd Street, which has resulted in a 67% increase in foot traffic in the first 12 months. This means that we are able to tell 67% more people about where to go, what to see and do, and how to spend more time in Albany County.
In 2021, visitlaramie.org received 953,372 pageviews, or an average of 80,000 per month.
In December 2021, visitlaramie.org was awarded a Silver Davey Award in the "travel website" category for being one of the best new travel websites launched in 2021.
In 2021, visitlaramie.org referred nearly 15,000 website visitors directly to the booking page on local hotel websites, an increase of nearly 37%.
In 2021, @visitlaramie reached over 2 million users using social media.
In 2021, our team sent over 2 million marketing emails with an average open rate of 37%. This means that over 750,000 people open emails from Visit Laramie to learn more about planning a trip to visit the Laramie Area.
The Albany County Tourism Board provides grant support for local nonprofits to put toward marketing events that draw outside visitation to Albany County. In the Fiscal Year 2021-2022, ACTB sponsored over 24 events totaling $87,250 in grant requests awarded.
To learn more about this process or to submit your own request, please visit our grant request page.
The Albany County Tourism Board runs on a Fiscal Year calendar starting July 1st and ending June 30th of the following year. Click below to view and download the report below for our most recent fiscal year.
Still looking for more information? To learn more about our board, team, mission, vision, and more, click the button below to learn more about us.