[PODCAST] Visit Casper CEO Talks Way-Finding Signs, Trails and More
Visit Casper's new(ish) CEO, Tyler Daugherty, popped by the radio station as a guest on the Report to Wyoming podcast.
Daugherty stepped into the role of CEO in December. He and his family moved from Iowa -- "I'll never move in the winter again," he joked. Their welcome gift was two feet of snow.
It's a whole new world for Daughtery and his family as they had never been to Wyoming before the job opportunity, but he explains that there are many parallels to his hometown -- Dubuque, Iowa -- including a downhill ski lodge like Hogadon's.
It was the access to the outdoors that sold him on the community.
Daugherty grew grew up playing sports: football, basketball, track, baseball.
In college he played basketball and was team captain for three years.
Afterwards he coached collegiately at Indianna University East before moving back to Iowa. And now, 11 years later, he's a Casperite.
His background in sports has helped him with communication, leadership, and recruiting. "From the sports world you can see what stands out to teams to make them want to stay in Casper" says Daugherty.
"What's important for what we do now is to get heads in beds and people to stay in the hotel and frequent our attractions, restaurants, and businesses; so understanding that aspect form being a coach and a player to now having to recruit those inidividuals and having an understanding of what they like is a good asset to have"
In a nutshell, Visit Casper aims to bring out-of-towners to Casper. They are funded by the lodging tax.
EXPLAINER: The Lodging Tax in Natrona County
"We are a natural pass through to Yellowstone, and we get a lot of families and leisure travel trying to get to Jackson Hole."
There's not a cookie cutter approach to getting "heads in beds," which Daugherty loves. He focuses on telling the story of Wyoming's great outdoors and rugged beauty.
They are always looking to increase their asset list -- like the Ford Wyoming Center.
The new sports facility that was proposed last spring is something Daugherty believes will be a good thing for the community. In addition, he believes that "it's wonderful to have an airport of this quality, that's important for us to keep, to expand our service, it makes it easier for people to get here."
Something he wants to see on the table is enhancements to the trails and access to the outdoors.
Visit Casper is currently working with the city to improve way-finding signage downtown to make visitors feel more comfortable.
For example, they will probably put a pin at David Street Station and then signs that direct visitors to the Ford Wyoming Center and Hogadon -- "and so the incorporation of that and roll-out will be up to each community, but I think it's an enhancement to Natrona County."
They also are committed to implementing way-finding signage for Casper Mountain -- Daugherty predicts those will be installed in 2023 with the re-paving of some of the roads up there.
"We're also commititng to helping update and freshen up the locker rooms in the event center" says Daugherty with the rationale that Casper hosts multiple state championships at the high-school level.
"It goes back to me coaching, playing -- what do you look at? Locker rooms was one of them. You want to feel like you're in a space that's clean, gets you ready to go. Not that they're dirty. It's a forty year old facility. It needs some updates."
The locker room facelift will likely begin in July. Daugherty clarifies that this is not going to be paid for with local tax monies, but funding from the destination development grant and the lodging tax.
To hear more about Visit Casper check out the full podcast here.