These are difficult, trying times for the people of Sheridan County, for our country, and for the world. What matters today is your safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of those in your community. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 changes daily, but what does not is our commitment to serving the people of Sheridan County.
To that end, Sheridan Travel & Tourism will continue to share the stories of our incredible community – the creators, the innovators, the makers, and the mavericks. We will share with you the beauty of the legendary Bighorn Mountains. And we will share messages that inspire and uplift in these uncertain times.
When the dust settles, we will still be here. This temporary distance will serve to bring us together for the future.
Here we’ll share with you resources on how you can support local businesses while also practicing social distancing; how our local industry is planning for the future; and more.
The author Sam Morton says that Wyoming is a testament to what people are capable of if you give them enough space. That is more true today than ever before.
Sheridan County Travel & Tourism
COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES – UPDATED March 25, 2021
Sheridan County Board of Commission Incident Management Team – click here
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce – click here
Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition – click here
Wyoming Office of Tourism Industry Resources – click here
City of Sheridan – click here
Wyoming Department of Health – click here
At this time there are no travel restrictions in Wyoming for U.S. travelers. Please review the considerations for U.S. travelers prior to your arrival and follow all public health orders during your visit.
WYOMING PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS
Heath Orders Further Relaxed. All Orders on Restaurants Lifted.
Effective Tuesday March 16, 2021 all health orders limiting spacing, etc. for restaurants have been lifted. Please see below for additional orders that have been relaxed or eliminated altogether.
· Elimination of all restrictions on restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters.
· Restrictions on outdoor events are removed.
· Restrictions on indoor events with less than 500 people are removed.
· Indoor events of more than 500 people must be held at no more than 50% capacity
· Statewide mask order is eliminated
Wyoming’s vaccination efforts are among the most efficient in the country. Nearly 100,000 first doses have been administered and 19% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost all counties in the state are now entering 1c phase, which includes restaurant, hotel, bar, gym, and theater workers. Wyoming vaccine distribution information can be found here.
TRAVEL & TOURISM INDUSTRY RESOURCES
Data and Insights – National Research Highlights, Recommendations for Brands and KPI from WOT paid Search and travelwyoming.com/industry.
2019 Travel Impact on Wyoming’s Economy with the county by county impacts is now available here.
Information from the Wyoming Office of Tourism
Contribute to armchair travel, help us build out virtual itineraries, and cross promote one another by sharing content. Share any virtual tours or live outreach in your community. Please share with Lexi. Share new imagery in the WOT Media Library (continue using #ThatsWY on social posts). Check out the amazing virtual tours just added to travelwyoming.com. (Thanks Content and Web Team!)
Are you representing your destination/business to its fullest potential when travelers are dreaming? Many listings on travelwyoming.com are incomplete or out of date. Please help us bolster content and help drive travelers to our Wyoming industry businesses. Kera can help you with Partner Portal training and updates.
RFD-TV is seeking content! Patrick Gottsch, President, has offered to air Wyoming content stories on their network whenever there is programming availability. They are accepting full feature stories to short subject stories. Please send your content stories directly to Patrick and reference your affiliation with the Wyoming travel industry.
Looking forward…….Travel Landscape and Conversations
Skift shared “Marketers Confront What Travel Will Look Like Post-Crisis.” Expectations are what travelers valued before will not be what they will prize in the future. If brands don’t take heed, they stand to lose. “This is the time to revise and rethink all destination brands. Everyone is going to travel differently for the foreseeable future. Priorities are not going to be the same,” remarked David Keen, CEO of Quo Global, a company that focuses on travel and hospitality branding. Marketers believe local and domestic travel will bounce back first, but with interest in traveling to more remote locations.
Predictions & Key Takeaways for Wyoming: Increase in local and domestic travel; Rural areas and small cities/businesses will thrive, along with nature destinations; Revival of camping parks, motorhomes, caravans and the age of glamping; Visitors will be more apt to stay at small resorts and individual, new age, lifestyle, eco-friendly hotels; International travelers will be interested in emerging destinations where they can enjoy healthy choices, nature, top affordable luxury hospitality, and clean facilities and attractions.
Remember, we are in this together, and our commitment to proactive communication remains as high as ever. Share the travelwyoming.com/industry link in your newsletters and communication so your local partners can stay informed, too.
WLRA continues to explore every avenue and provide timely and relevant information for our industry. Updates are available from WLRA and Governor Gordon (this links directly to the Wyoming Business Council site). Updates on Governor’s orders and directives can be found here. The Wyoming Business Council along with the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association and the Wyoming Department of Health hosted a listening session. You can access the recording of the session here.
|The Wyoming Business Council is the agency who will administer the COVID19 business relief programs. Please sign up to receive updates on the progress and process for the Business Relief Programs. WLRA/WTIC will also be closely monitoring how our industry can best be served through these programs.
Marketing and Messaging
Click each link below to view the new pubic health orders:
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The state of Wyoming has received approval for its small businesses to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans for COVID-19. Follow this link to the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 Business Resource page for updates and instructions.
GOVERNOR GORDON’S RESOURCES
Governor Mark Gordon announced the launch of a state government webpage that will provide resources and information on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The webpage may be viewed at covid19.wyo.gov.
“We want to offer a single location to share information and resources from multiple state agencies as we respond to this pandemic,” Governor Gordon said.
The page includes links to resources and information from the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming Department of Education, the University of Wyoming and the state’s community colleges.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
BUSINESSES URGED TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Starting April 3, the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
Because there is a cap on the amount of money available for these loans, those interested in applying are urged to submit their applications as soon as possible so as not to miss out on the funds. It is recommended to consult with your lending institution, accountant and/or attorney for guidance.
Click here for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program Sample Application.
While many of us are fortunate to be able to work from home, some of our friends and neighbors have been laid off or displaced from their jobs due to COVID-19. The hospitality industry has been hit extremely hard, and layoffs have become a reality across the nation.
But there are companies, many in our own community, still hiring – and in some industries, the need to produce essential material and equipment, food, provide services, etc. means that there is more urgency than ever to find qualified personnel.
The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce maintains an excellent archive of available jobs, that you can visit here.
Employees who are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to a medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures, may be eligible for unemployment benefits.Employees who are quarantined or directed by a federal, state or local government authority or a medical or public health professions to remain in isolation related to COVID-19 may also eligible for unemployment insurance. Employees can apply for unemployment insurance here.
LOCAL FOOD AND BEVERAGE
To make it easy on you to find what you’re looking for, and to support your local restaurants in these difficult times, check out our restaurant guide.
And don’t forget that our breweries, tap rooms and many other establishments are offering curbside pickup as well.
Public Health Orders:
With the Governor extending the public health orders, it is of the utmost importance that we continue to push travelers to combat COVID 19. Please utilize the pieces within the Travel Safe toolkit as well as your social channels to persuade visitors to take precautions and travel responsibly to keep WY safe and healthy. The toolkit will provide messaging as well as a template for easy to produce posters that can be used around your communities.
CARES Act PPE Masks Update:
Another way we as an industry can help fight the COVID 19 pandemic is by distributing and promoting the use of PPE masks while visiting the state. As discussed on the industry calls and earlier messaging, WOT, through work with the Governor’s Office and WY Dept. of Health was able to secure an inventory of disposable paper face masks available for Visitor Information Centers to distribute to travelers. These PPE were provided at no cost and allowed communities to support the public health messaging as well as help ensure the safety of the visitors, industry partners, and residents as they enjoy the state.
Through a very smooth distribution process and working with the local lodging tax boards, we were able to distribute nearly a half million masks to industry partners. However we still have a limited supply available, so If you haven’t already done so, please follow this link to submit a request for the PPE masks for your Visitor Information Centers.
Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC)
The SBDC Network is working with a contractor that has deep experience on marketing and strategic messaging, particularly as it relates to large events. Melissa Forziat (Intro video) is available to advise WY businesses and organizations of any sort, particularly those planning/hosting events that have been challenged by the 2020 season (fairs, rodeos, festivals, concerts, etc.). If you know of businesses and community groups who are managing events, figuring out how to message the cancellation/ postponement/new attendance requirements/planning for next year/etc. please reach out to your local SBDC advisor, or to Tara Kuipers, the CARES ACT Recovery Program Mgr. with SBDC Network, and she can help get them connected with Melissa. The SBDC Network can also assist in providing an article for a newsletter, email blast, or anything similar.
State Parks Update:
State Parks continue to see record attendance numbers, significantly above last year. Camping statistics indicate that a majority of reservations and nights are from Wyoming residents, who had a two week head start on reservations when State Parks transitioned to 100% reservations in mid-May as a result of COVID-19. Non-residents were able to access the system starting to June 1, and their numbers are expected to rise somewhat over time as the effects of the resident head start diminish. State Parks will re-evaluate the transition to 100% reservations this fall and make a decision about how best to proceed next year. To see a breakdown of resident to non-resident reservations, please click here.