RyanCole2613-150Ryan Cole has been named executive director of Pikes Peak Country Attractions Association.

He takes over for Michele Starling, who led the organization for 13 years.

Cole said the organization is perfectly poised to jump full onto into social media networking and advertising, and make a more concerted effort to attract tourists from within the states and the surrounding states.

“Tourism is in an excellent, fun, influx right now, there is a tremendous opportunity to use social media,” Cole said.

Cole, who grew up in the Springs, had already been to 20 of the area’s 26 attractions, which include Garden of the Gods Park and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Cole has experience in  online marketing, social media and tourism.

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He is a graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School and Colorado State University. He worked in Kansas promoting attractions and most recently running an online marketing and social media company he helped found.

“I am incredibly excited to be back in Colorado Springs and are even more excited for the opportunity to promote attractions around the region that are near and dear to my heart,” Cole said. “Spending years away from the area allows you to appreciate the incredible hospitality and uniqueness of the Pikes Peak region. There truly isn’t anywhere else like it and I’m very proud to be promoting tourism to Colorado.”

The association was formed in 1974 and now represents 26 attractions in the Colorado Springs area.  The executive director reports to the board of directors and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization.

“The Pikes Peak Country Attractions Association believes that Ryan personifies the direction the association needs to go and he will keep us relevant in the ever-changing marketplace,” said Andy Neinas, Pikes Peak Country Attractions Association board president.

Cole was featured as a Young Professional in the CSBJ in August.