By Matt Kroschel
GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A major push to get visitors to travel to rural, lesser-known areas of the state, or hidden gems, is being welcomed by those who live in those communities.
Rhea Gallagher manages a unique stop, Gore Range Artisans Group Gallery, along Highway 9 between Silverthorne and Steamboat Springs in Kremmling.
The gallery features a dozen or so artists who have banded together to create an artist village.
“Just so many things people don’t realize we are here,” Gallagher says.
Off the beaten path you can find things you don’t expect like the healing hot springs in Hot Sulphur Springs, tucked away along the Colorado River.
Grand County made the list of hidden gems because of the things locals, like photographer John Williams in Grand Lake, say make this part of the state so unique.
“They all say this is such a quaint little town with the wooden sidewalks everyone so friendly,” Williams said.
Grand Lake is on the less visited western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Business owners in that area want to make this place a year-round destination instead of just a summer time stop.
State tourism officials see this campaign as a way to help rural towns. CBS4’s Alan Gionet interviewed Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office.
“In a very real way, this is a rural economic development initiative, because traveler spending is one of the ways that we can really lift economies of some of our rural areas,” said Ritter.
The Colorado Field Guide has a complete list of all the hidden gems across the state.
A drive down the less traveled road. Just goes to show you there really isn’t a bad place to visit in Centennial State.
Watch video from Drone4 above Hot Sulphur Springs and Grand Lake: