Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a great place to get a taste of life in the Old West, and the city is constantly evolving to offer more experiences to locals and visitors alike. To learn more about this rustic, yet urban destination, Group Tour talked to Jim Walter, vice president of Visit Cheyenne.
Q. Tell us a about yourself and your role at Visit Cheyenne.
A. I’ve been with Visit Cheyenne for 10 years, starting in convention sales and working my way into the vice president role for the past three years. I live here with my wife and daughter, and enjoy the outdoors and craft beverage scene prevalent in Wyoming.
Q. How would you describe your Visit Cheyenne to someone who has never visited before?
A. Cheyenne is an authentic Western destination. Home to the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western culture celebration, Cheyenne Frontier Days, you’ll find boutiques, shops, and restaurants that showcase the best of today’s West.
Q. What makes Cheyanne a great place for group tours?
A. Downtown has four amazing museums within a six-block radius. Interspersed between the museums, you’ll find bronze artwork, giant colorful murals, and a sense of history and place that you’ll always remember. We also are home to a 40,000-acre bison ranch that offers a train ride into the herd. We are the only place in Wyoming where it is safe to hand-feed a bison.
Q. How does Visit Cheyanne help tour operators plan their tours?
A. Visit Cheyenne is a full-service DMO. We will help plan your itinerary, source your hotel rooms, and give you the practical service you need.
Q. Which areas, themes, or activities do you like to promote for group tours? How and where can group tours discover and connect with those areas, themes, or activities?
A. The West is our theme. People love what they see on “Yellowstone,” but for many of us, that’s just how life is lived. Beautiful landscapes, hard work, and a code of the West are part of our daily lives. From ranch visits to homesteading experiences, we can help open the door to our visitors to experience a little piece of that.
Q. What’s your long-term outlook for group tours at Visit Cheyanne?
A. Group tours continue to be very important. We are interested to see how they change as baby boomers start to age out of that kind of travel and Gen X starts to take advantage of it.
Q. Is there anything new or upcoming at Visit Cheyenne that group tour operators should know about?
A. We are working on turning the area around our historic train depot into a railroad experience. We will have restored rail cars, locomotives, and an entire experience that will tell Cheyenne’s story in a new way.
Q. Is there anything else our audience of tour operators should know about Visit Cheyenne?
A. We are only 90 minutes away from Denver International Airport, and if you’re planning a great western national park trip, we are a must-see. Rocky Mountain National Park is only 90 minutes away, Mount Rushmore is only four hours away, and if you’re headed to Yellowstone National Park, we are less than a full day’s drive from there.
Credit: Courtesy of Laura Grier