“Visit Aurora and Bruce Dalton support the arts,” said President and CEO of Visit Aurora Bruce Dalton, in an opening statement at his Tuesday, October 3 presentation to the Business for the Arts committee.
Dalton went on to talk about his professional journey in the Destination Marketing industry, starting at age 18 as a bellhop at the Twin Bridges Marriott in Arlington, VA. Dalton says it was that first experience as a bellhop that helped him to understand characters, personalities, and the diversity of management, staff, and clientele of the industry.
Prior to coming to Visit Aurora, Dalton was the Vice President of Groups360, a Nashville hospitality company. His 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry includes Managing Director of Sales for the Grapevine (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau, and positions with Marriott, Hyatt, and visitor bureaus in Fort Worth, Hawaii, Nashville, and San Antonio.
“Our #1 goal at Visit Aurora is to promote Aurora as a destination,” said Dalton. “We sell fun for a living; and we focus on what makes Aurora special.” Dalton went on to expand that concept to the entire region. “We are Visit Aurora, so of course we are promoting Aurora, but we are also selling the larger package of Aurora-Denver Metro and Colorado as a whole. People can stay in Aurora for fun or business, and can access all that Colorado has to offer.”
Dalton maintains that people visiting for conferences or for vacations want to have a great experience, so the more there is to do, the better the experience.
The meeting provided a great forum for the Business for the Arts committee members to learn about the goals and objectives of Visit Aurora, as well as how to share events to be promoted as experiences in Aurora for those visiting the City.
Dalton, who has worked with Gaylord properties, also gave an update on Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, saying that when the Resort opens in November of 2018, it will have nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 1,501 rooms – including 114 suites, an indoor/outdoor pool and lazy river, and eight restaurants. Booking has already extended to 2030.
“The development of Gaylord Rockies will spur additional growth in the area,” said Dalton. “We are at step one of some amazing growth!”
Specifically, regarding the arts, Dalton wants to put together a sub-committee that focuses on helping the arts with funding and other support. “We get many requests for sponsorships, and would love to be able to support everything, but realistically, it makes sense to have a group of informed and engaged people helping to decide what Visit Aurora will support financially.”