Her name is synonymous with local tourism, and she has long been known as an unflappable promoter of Four Corners culture and vacation opportunities. Now Lynn Dyer is passing on the directorship of Mesa Verde Country after 17 years and is ready to become a tourist herself.
“It doesn’t seem possible that it went by so fast,” Dyer says of her career, which started at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. “I’ve been working for 25 years to bring people to the area. It has been a real honor to promote this great community.”
Marketing archaeological jewels like Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument was the easy part, she says. It was the so-called shoulder seasons in which businesses needed a boost.
“We’ve given people options other than archaeology, like the Mesa Verde Indian Arts and Culture Festival, agricultural tourism, food and wine festivals. People may remember that Memorial Day used to be dead, and now it is a busy time,” Dyer said.
Some of her career highlights include the designation of the Trail of Ancients Scenic Byway, and the Geo Tourism program, a collaboration with National Geographic that aids visitors with books and maps about the area.
Outdoor recreation has also become hugely popular in the region and has gained national recognition. From hiking, mountain biking, and skiing to hunting, motorized sports, and rafting, there is plenty to do.
“We’re being recognized more and more as a place to vacation, that there are a variety of activities to stay for more than just a day or two,” Dyer says.
She points surge of mountain biking trails and popularity in recent years. The Phil’s World trail network near Cortez and Boggy Draw trails system near Dolores have brought in visitors.
“People drive here from the Front Range just to ride Phil’s World. Cortez and Dolores are now on the mountain biking circuit between Moab and Durango,” Dyer pointed out.
Now she will have time for volunteering and traveling. Plus, the free time is an opportunity to further explore the sites she has been promoting all these years.
“I’ve signed up for two back-country hikes at Mesa Verde that I haven’t done yet. And I still haven’t seen all that the (Ute Mountain) Tribal Park has to offer.”
Leisurely enjoyment of events she worked night and day to organize and promote will be a refreshing perspective, she said, and more time with family and friends will be a well-deserved change in lifestyle.
“I’m looking forward to exploring the area, taking some trips and having more quality time with family and friends, instead of just quick visits every once in a while,” she says. “I’ve got a lot of cats who are looking forward to some more attention instead of me dashing out the door every morning.”
Dyer’s efforts have been acknowledged by awards from National Scenic Byways, Preserve America and the Colorado’s Governor’s Award for Creative Tourism.
A celebration will be held in her honor on June 7, at Koko’s. To attend, an RSVP is required to Candace Brantner at 565-8227 or via email to [email protected]