Montrose, CO — Sometimes the best way to promote Montrose is, well, to hit the open road hauling the message that everyone should come to the beautiful Uncompahgre Valley to enjoy its natural wonders and make new friends.
When Montrose City Councilor Roy Anderson became mayor in 2018, he had an idea to take his travel trailer and decorate it with as much scenic beauty of Montrose as possible before hitting the summer camping season.
With his wife Sandi as co-pilot, the Andersons spent some vacation time last summer touring the American West and advising fellow campers in every campground they pulled into to look up VisitMontrose.com to arouse curiosity and stimulate conversation.
“You’ve gotta check it out,” Anderson would tell them as a conversation starter.
Anderson, who has been retired from a 30-year career with Hewlett-Packard, acquired local photography from Melissa and Stephen Alcorn and their Alcorn Collection archive. Using some retirement funds, Anderson had the images printed and put on the trailer by a local graphics sign shop.
“It was fairly inexpensive and easy to do,” Anderson said. “First of all, I wanted to beautify the trailer, and I thought showing off some of the natural beauty where I live would do that. And secondly, I thought it would be a great conversation starter at the campground.”
On one side of the trailer features a picture of the Uncompahgre River flowing through Riverbottom Park. On the other side, a beautiful image of sunlight illuminating the Painted Wall of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
"The Black Canyon is so stellar, so unique, and it’s practically in our back yard … the lighting in that photograph just struck my wife and me," Anderson said.
“We had such a wonderful time talking with people about the Black Canyon and our home with our fellow campers. For us its (Montrose) is home and this was a great way to show our pride,” Sandi said.
When visiting the Grand Tetons last summer, Roy and Sandi entertained fellow campers with stories of the Montrose area. Anderson said people from as far away as New Jersey came up to introduce themselves and ask questions.
"Some of them recognized that it was, indeed, the Black Canyon on the side. So it was a neat way to meet new people and talk about Montrose," Anderson said.
The Andersons have more travel plans this coming summer, and when motorists spot the VisitMontrose.com sticker on the back of the silver trailer, the message to Visit Montrose and the Black Canyon will always point the way home.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.