Durango, Colo. – After nearly fifteen years of service to the Durango Area Tourism Office (DATO), Bob Kunkel has announced plans to step down from his current position as Executive Director in 2017.

After serving on DATO’s board of directors since the organization’s inception in 2002, Kunkel took on the top leadership position with the destination marketing organization in March 2014. The board of directors recruited Kunkel from his position as business development manager at the City of Durango to bring focus and stability to the budget, staff and marketing plan.

“I’m proud of the work that DATO has done to successfully and consistently drive economic growth for our community,” states Bob Kunkel. “Over the past three years we’ve bolstered these efforts by building a strong team and balancing operations. I’m confident DATO is in a solid position to further develop and promote year-round destination visitations moving forward.”

This week the DATO board of directors begins the search for a new executive director to pick up where Kunkel leaves off, and continue building on the organization’s strong momentum.  According to DATO board chair Alex Mickel, “This position requires a level of competence and experience in modern marketing, the tourism industry, business administration, and a solid base of local knowledge for which Bob was uniquely qualified and has done an exceptional job.”

Lodgers tax collections have grown steadily, increasing 7.5-percent, 7.4-percent and 11.6-percent over the last three years since Kunkel took the helm in 2014. In recognition of these efforts and his vast contribution and commitment to Colorado tourism, Kunkel was recently awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Award from the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO).  He will remain in the position until a new executive director is hired.

The full job description is posted on the DATO website. Qualified applicants are invited to submit an introductory letter and professional resume to careers@durango.org or visit www.durango.org/career-opportunities for more information.

About Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is an independent non-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. The unbeatable combination of the iconic San Juan Mountains, art galleries, culinary fare, cultural and historic sites make it the perfect base of operations to explore Southwest Colorado. Visit DATO’s full-service Welcome Center, located at Main Avenue and 8th Street in the heart of historic downtown Durango, or online at www.durango.org. Follow @visitdurango on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.