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Conquistador Golf Course marketing expands

Council wants Phil’s World viewed as a Cortez attraction
The city of Cortez continues expanding promotional efforts for the Conquistador Golf Course, located by the Elks Lodge and off Colorado Highway 145.

Cortez city officials continue growing Conquistador Golf Course’s promotional efforts – and want to emphasize that the course and nearby Phil’s World are Cortez sites, for marketing and tourism purposes.

Golf talk featured prominently at Tuesday’s City Council meeting and work session. In addition to the discussion on golf course promotional efforts, the council interviewed three candidates for the at-large seat on the Golf Advisory Board, ultimately selecting incumbent Sam Jarvis for the post.

The approval was unanimous.

Jarvis had been recommended by staff members for approval at a previous meeting, but Councilor Jill Carlson had asked that City Council interview the finalists.

“I think it would be really beneficial to talk to some of these people,” Carlson said on May 14. “We get the recommendations, but it sounds like maybe all of them could fit into a volunteer position with the city someday.”

The other two candidates were Nicci Crowley and Bill Lewis. During the work session interviews, Crowley said that as a mother to a young golfer, she would be well-positioned to grow Conquistador’s youth programming, while Lewis cited his experience as a former dean at San Juan College.

Jarvis has served on the board for the past six years. He said his priority is ensuring the golf course is maintained properly, specifically pointing to tree removal needs and growing bentgrass sod on-site.

Additionally, he said he will serve as an advocate for the at-large community.

“I represent the community as a whole,” Jarvis said. “And I want to be an advocate for the community. And I also want to be approachable.”

Also during the work session, Jon Brooks, manager of marketing and events for the city, presented some of his recent promotional initiatives related to the golf course. He specifically pointed to media coverage of Conquistador, such as in Colorado AvidGolfer and through ads on Durango community television.

The course, he said, is in great shape. Despite having lost two months of play because of heavy snow, he added, that revenue is down only about $7,000.

They are working on promoting the phrase “Where Mesa Verde meets the Greens,” Brooks said, along with emphasizing the course’s proximity to Phil’s World.

The council also wants to make sure Cortez retains promotional rights of the trail system by the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. According to Brooks, there is some concern that Durango tourism officials are trying to market Phil’s World as a Durango attraction.

“In an effort to change that narrative, we made up a bunch of stickers which we’re having people give out for free,” Brooks said. “Welcome Center, we got some at Kokopelli’s, FB, Colorado Love Outdoors. Just to get it out there that Phil’s is Cortez, Colorado.”

City Attorney Mike Green compared the situation to that of the town of Mancos, which was previously involved in a dispute with Durango over the use of Mesa Verde for tourism purposes.

“So that’s where you may be headed, ” Green said.

City Manager John Dougherty agreed and suggested that the golf course consider copyrighting the “Where Mesa Verde meets the Greens” tagline. The council asked Green to look into this possibility.

ealvero@the-journal.com

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