Title of Paper

Tourism Recovery from the Gold King Mine Spill

Author Bios (50 Words)

Lorraine Taylor, Ph.D., teaches in the Tourism and Hospitality Management concentration in the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College. Her research interests include tourist decision-making and motivations in niche markets. She previously worked in the hotel industry for Walt Disney World, Marriott International and Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Abstract (150 Words)

The Gold King Mine Spill occurred on August 5, 2015, just north of Durango, CO. An accident caused by a team of workers hired by the Environmental Protection Agency to drain water near the entrance of the closed mine, released 3 million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River. Durango, a popular summer destination, was highly dependent on the Animas River to support outdoor recreation activities for the summer visitors, such as rafting and fishing. This study looks at the role of the Durango Area Tourism Office in the recovery of the tourism industry from this disaster. Interviews of leaders from the local tourism industry revealed their strategies for managing the messages to existing and expected tourists, the local residents, and the media. Collaborations of community leaders and their post-crisis recovery efforts are also reviewed.

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Tourism Recovery from the Gold King Mine Spill

The Gold King Mine Spill occurred on August 5, 2015, just north of Durango, CO. An accident caused by a team of workers hired by the Environmental Protection Agency to drain water near the entrance of the closed mine, released 3 million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River. Durango, a popular summer destination, was highly dependent on the Animas River to support outdoor recreation activities for the summer visitors, such as rafting and fishing. This study looks at the role of the Durango Area Tourism Office in the recovery of the tourism industry from this disaster. Interviews of leaders from the local tourism industry revealed their strategies for managing the messages to existing and expected tourists, the local residents, and the media. Collaborations of community leaders and their post-crisis recovery efforts are also reviewed.