It’s been a busy spring at the Loveland Visitors Center, but staff there expect an even busier summer as pandemic-fatigued travelers head back out on the road.
But the Loveland Visitors Center isn’t just for out-of-towners, according to Visitor Services Manager Cindy Mackin. At an open house for the center on Thursday, she encouraged residents to drop by and learn more about the events and attractions that make Loveland a destination for locals and visitors alike.
“We want to educate people who live here to let them know what there is to do in Loveland, so when people are having friends or relatives visiting during the summertime, they’re not just necessarily going up to Estes Park or Fort Collins,” Mackin said. “What we’re really encouraging is people to be a tourist in their own town.”
A good first step for that, she continued, is picking up a copy of the just-released 2022-23 Official Loveland Visitors Guide which contains “a lot of fun new content,” including “A Local’s Top 10” list, a summer event calendar, and a primer on Loveland’s vibrant public art, one of the city’s top attractions.
“We really tried to make this one of the most useful, yet inspirational guides yet,” she said. “What’s really great is that most of the pictures are user generated. … They’re people actually having fun in Loveland and then sharing those pictures. So you’re seeing people water-skiing on Boyd or Carter or hiking Devil’s Backbone. It’s not just like we’re taking pretty pictures. ”
For those who do want to venture out of town, Mackin said that the guide also makes the case for using Loveland as a “base camp for traveling,” whether you’re headed to the mountains, plains or city.
“We’re so wonderfully located between Fort Collins, Greeley, Estes Park, Cheyenne, and Denver,” she said. “We’re a great base camp to stay here and go whitewater rafting in Fort Collins, to Estes Park for the day, or to Cheyenne Frontier Days.”
When you get back to base camp in Loveland, plenty of entertainment options await you this summer, according to Mackin, as events delayed or moved by the pandemic return to their normal rotation on the calendar. That includes concerts at Foote Lagoon and Budweiser Events Center, the Larimer County Fair, and the annual Corn Roast.
“Between all of those things, July and August are going to be packed with all sorts of different events,” she said. “And we’re just excited to be able to promote events.”
Visitors to the center can also pick up free maps, brochures, or purchase locally made souvenirs and artwork. Staff members are also happy to answer questions about Loveland or give recommendations on food, drink, and attractions.
“There are a lot of studies that say, when you have people go and visit a visitor center, they will stay 2 times longer, which is why we’re trying to get people to come here,” Mackin said. “The staff are really good at crafting itineraries based on what people want to do.”
For more information or to download a travel guide, visit www.visitlovelandco.org