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. 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 765,000 overnight visitors, of which approximately 635,270 spent the night for an average length of stay of 3.2 nights.
Direct travel spending in Albany County was $198.9 million.
Albany County generated $11.4 million in travel-generated tax revenue, of which $4.6 million in sales tax stayed local to Albany County.
Travel spending supported 1,740 jobs.
If not for the taxes generated by the travel industry, the average household in Albany County would have paid $693 more in taxes for existing government services.
In fiscal year 2023 (July 2022 - June 2023), the Albany County Tourism Board generated $1,286,556 in lodging tax revenue, the most in its history.
In fiscal year 2023, the Albany County Tourism Board's budget was spent 62% on marketing, 26% on wages and benefits, and 12% 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 2022, 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.
In 2022, the Albany County Tourism Board launched an innovative challenge based on the Cowboy Character destination management campaign from the prior year. This expanded the marketing reach to implement real-life strategies to incentivize crowd dispersion in the National Forest using a mobile trails pass. This all centered around the 2021 Cowboy Character campaign, blending Leave No Trace Ethics and the Cowboy Code of the West. In 2022, a winter version of the Cowboy Code was launched with messaging based around winter safety. In 2022, we reached over 3 million people, and our goal in 2023 is to expand the Cowboy Character Challenge from a trail pass into a trails app, giving people offline functionality in the forest as they recreate.
New for 2023, the Albany County Tourism Board was able to benefit from Destination Development Funding provided by the Wyoming Office of Tourism. This money is a benefit that originates from the statewide lodging tax that was introduced in 2020, and each lodging tax board in Wyoming is eligible for a certain amount based on criteria established by the state. Albany County applied for the full $300,000 that we were allotted with a long list of tourism infrastructure-related projects. In 2023, these new projects include:
- The new Outlaw Trail Dinner & Show event
- Support for murals at Vedauwoo in partnership with USFS and LPAC
- Staffing the Centennial Visitor Center for the summer and fall through partnerships with USFS, COG, and UW
- Purchasing credit card data for improved analysis of visitor spending behavior
- Updating our website to include new web accessibility and inclusivity standards
Future projects include working towards improved transit service for visitors to Albany County, support for new and existing winter events, and improving support for historic tours and signage for self-guided tours throughout Albany County.
Each year, the Visit Laramie team reviews the prior year's visitor traffic to determine where to run campaigns for the year ahead. In 2022, 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 continued to focus 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. Many of these markets continue to do very well even a few years after the pandemic due to increased marketing, and of these areas, Chicago has seen the strongest growth and ROI from our marketing investment.
New for 2022, the team decided to reintroduce marketing in Colorado in the fall of 2022 beyond the Cowboy Character campaign after an 18-month hiatus to prioritize slower and more sustainable growth over growth itself. As the overall economy continues to create headwinds and challenges, the Colorado market will be a key opportunity area for us to draw on this year. Additionally, we have continued to include the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in our marketing plan for the second year in a row. This area has shown incredible potential with great success so far, and we hope that with continued investment in Texas that we will continue to see strong growth.
New for 2023, Visit Laramie launched the Certified Destination Expert Program in partnership with UW’s Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program (ORTM) after working on the development of the program in 2022. This program, dubbed CDX for short, is designed for front-line staff members who interact with visitors across Albany County to help them build and share their knowledge about everything there is to offer in the area. The course includes information on hospitality and customer service, outdoor recreation, sports and education, art and cultural attractions, history and Western life, special events, food and beverage options, and lodging.
The course is online, self-paced, and offers access to resources that help participants learn best practices for the ultimate visitor experience. To learn more about the program and how you or your business can enroll, view the Certified Destination Expert program here.
Other Facts, Figures, Awards, & Accolades
In 2022, we distributed over 60,000 Visitors' Guides and brochures, most of which are printed locally.
In July 2021, Visit Laramie moved the Visitor Center to a new location at 800 South 3rd Street. In our second full year in the new space, we were able to finish an interior remodel through our partnership with LCBA and add a mural on the outside through a partnership with LPAC. Foot traffic increased again in year two, with a 29% increase year over year. This is another large increase in visitor traffic and 29% more people who we can talk to about where to go, what to see and do, and how to spend more time and money in Albany County.
In 2022, visitlaramie.org received 964,305 pageviews or an average of 80,000 per month.
In 2022, a mural was added to the north wall of the Laramie Area Visitor Center, designed by a local Laramie artist.
In 2022, visitlaramie.org referred nearly 15,000 website visitors directly to the booking page on local hotel websites.
In 2022, @visitlaramie reached over 2 million users using social media.
In 2022, our team sent over 2.1 million marketing emails with an average open rate of 46.4%. This means that nearly 1 million people open emails from Visit Laramie every year 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 2022-2023, ACTB sponsored approximately 20 events totaling over $90,000 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.