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Meet Steve Chapman of Salida Walking Tours in Salida

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Chapman.

Steve, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Salida Walking Tours began with curiosity about the history of this historic town, home to Colorado’s largest National Historic District with 136 buildings preserved from 1880-1910.

Our 5-star rated tours (on every travel platform) are the result of thousands of hours of research. Before starting this business, I’d see tourists wandering and looking at old buildings. I’d enjoy them, offering insights I’d learned from my own curiosity. From there, the idea came about to start a walking tour of downtown Salida. The business began in June 2018 and has exploded since then.

Salida Walking Tours is well-known and supported locally, and pulls guests from around-the-world. Today, we offer a 1-hour, 2-hour, and 4-hour history tour and a ghost & murder tour (our most popular). We tour year-round with 3-4 tours daily during the summer months.

Additionally, we now have a series of books on early Salida history (a new one comes out every six months). In the past year, we’ve donated thousands of dollars to local non-profits and we regularly take local school students on the history tour to show them our fascinating town.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting any new business has challenges. The most difficult item was figuring out how to promote the tour outside of the Salida area. For potential guests who don’t use the internet regularly, getting the word out requires creative marketing.

Our reputation among locals is our best source of advertising. Wander into almost any shop in downtown Salida, and ask ‘what is there to do here?’ and you’ll hear: Salida Walking Tours.

Salida Walking Tours – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are the source for historical facts and true ghost stories in Salida, Colorado. No one knows Salida like Salida Walking Tours. When reading reviews of our tours, words like éntertaining, funny, knowledgable, engaging, and fascinating pop out. Our tours are 5-star rated on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and every other travel platform.

Outside of sharing true tales, we are in the entertainment business. We recognize our job is to put on a great (fact-based) show and make sure our guests leave with fascinating tales they can share back home and a deeper insight into the fascinating 140-year history of Salida.

Our tours are the highlight for many visitors to the area.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being named Salida’s business of the month, December 2019.

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