Durango has that special ‘snuggle factor’

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 11:05 AM

It happened again this week. Durango received yet another accolade to add to its ever-expanding list of awards, recognitions and rankings.

Sure, we understand being called out as a great place for outdoor recreation, nationally acclaimed galleries and having more than our fair share of outstanding independent restaurants. We’ve been lauded for our climate, scenic byways, Western heritage and cultural attractions. We’ve been highly ranked for mountain biking, beer brewing and even bird watching.

But now, the content team at Expedia Viewfinder tells us that Durango has been named as one of the 17 “coziest” American mountain towns.

Yep, apparently, when people are researching vacation options using the Expedia booking engine and are thinking about places with mountainous terrain, access to nature, local history and snuggling up in cozy places, Durango is on their list. Wow, who knew? What they didn’t tell us was, what makes Durango “cozy?” And, where are people likely to be snuggling up?

So, being as we are the tourism folks and we get very excited about these things, we started our own list of what we think is downright comfy and cozy.

How about our many coffee houses, riverside campgrounds and cabins at Vallecito, the back patios of our downtown restaurants, the private railroad cars, the Diamond Belle Saloon or the Office Spiritorium in the Strater Hotel?

Or maybe it’s our welcoming independent retail shops, the Community Concert Hall, the Farmers Market, the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel or Music in the Mountains.

Ever sit by the fireplace at Purgy’s or spend a night at Blue Lake Ranch? Those places are really cozy. Heck, even when you look down at Durango from Rim Drive, the whole Animas Valley looks kinda cozy.

Now that we’re “officially” cozy, what do we do next (besides start snuggling up)? Whenever Durango receives an accolade or top ranking, the tourism office utilizes the recognition in many ways, such as: share it with our 50,000 social media followers, send it to our 60,000 subscribers in our consumer newsletter, post it to our website to share with our 500,000 visitors, tweet it out to our 4,000 followers, use it in advertising copy or write a blog about it. We brag about it.

As for the opportunistic young entrepreneurs in Durango, maybe there’s a business opportunity in being known as a cozy town. How about a new shoe store called Cozy Toesies, a bar called Cozy Rosie’s, a flower shop called Cozy Posies, or a pet grooming salon called the Cozy Nosey?

Or maybe even a new event like a 5K pajama walk called the Cozy Mosie. The opportunities are endless … if you can pull yourself away from your own favorite cozy Durango spot. Bob Kunkel is executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office.