New Task Force Created To Increase Area Tourism

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A new task force was recently established to bolster Payson's attractiveness as a tourist destination.

The Tourism Task Force, another of the Mayor's task forces, met for the first time Wednesday.

Its members include Bob Edwards, Barbara Ganz, Phyllis Haddon, Leon Keddington, John

Landino, Carol McCauley, Ginger Schoettinger and Charles Shillingburg.

Ganz, who was selected to chair the task force, said the group's first focus will be to determine what kind of tourism is prevalent in Payson.

"We will evaluate what currently exists and make sure that the events that currently exist are the best they can be," she said.

Ganz said the next step would be to find ways to attract different types of tourism.

"Next is looking at the scope of tourism and what other kinds we can benefit from here," she said.

Ganz said working with tourism operators, to ensure that Payson is a stop on a larger tour, is an example of things the task force can do to increase tourism.

"We're looking into ecotourism and the geology and archaeology we have here, which can be used to attract (tourism)," she said.

The group will likely meet every two weeks, Ganz said. The focus of the next meeting will be to establish goals and make sure each member is on the same page.

"I think tourism has been and is going to be a major part of the economy for the Payson area," Ganz said. "It's time we stop, study and do analysis for the full benefit of the tourism industry."

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