HeidiTown’s top vocation is vacation

At age 38, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer of Loveland just might have the best job in Colorado.

In only eight years, she has blossomed from a writer for the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor and an obscure blogger reviewing movies, books and restaurants to become a one-woman tourism-promotion machine – and self-proclaimed mayor of “HeidiTown.”

She’s on the road at least three weekends a month to review festivals and unique experiences around Colorado, and has developed such a statewide reputation that most of her lodging and meals now are complimentary.

“I wish I could tell you that I had a beautiful business plan,” she said, adding that besides the comps and revenue from advertisers on her HeidiTown.com website, her greatest return on investment is that “I have met the coolest people. The stories are the people, not the places.”

Kerr-Schlaefer
Kerr-Schlaefer

The best parts, she said, are the experiences that challenge what she thought she knew.

“Usually after three nights in a row of eating out, I’m just not feeling very good,” she said. But during a trip to Delta County last May to write about agri-tourism, “after three days of eating truly farm-fresh foods, I felt great – and that’s the first time I had put A and B together.

Then there was a weekend trip to the High Plains Goose Festival in Lamar, which she was convinced was going to be “flat, uninteresting ranchland. I couldn’t have been more wrong – and I love being surprised.”

One local official told Kerr-Schlaefer that she was so glad the area was getting publicized because “the TV weather lady always stands in front of us on the map.”

After years of covering festivals around the state, Kerr-Schlaefer is getting her own. The town of Ouray will hold the HeidiTown Fest over Memorial Day weekend, with the slogan “Live Like the Mayor.”

Not bad for someone who had degrees in political science and philosophy and was headed for law school at the University of Denver. What changed her mind?

“Working for a lawyer.”

At age 38, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer of Loveland just might have the best job in Colorado.

In only eight years, she has blossomed from a writer for the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor and an obscure blogger reviewing movies, books and restaurants to become a one-woman tourism-promotion machine – and self-proclaimed mayor of “HeidiTown.”

She’s on the road at least three weekends a month to review festivals and unique experiences around Colorado, and has developed such a statewide reputation that most of her lodging and meals now are complimentary.

“I wish I could tell you that I had a beautiful business plan,” she said, adding that besides the comps and revenue from advertisers on her HeidiTown.com website, her greatest return on investment is that “I have met the coolest people. The stories are the people, not the places.”

Kerr-Schlaefer
Kerr-Schlaefer

The best parts, she said, are the experiences that challenge what she thought she knew.

“Usually after three nights in a row of eating out, I’m just not feeling very good,” she said. But during a trip to Delta County last May to write about agri-tourism, “after three days of eating truly farm-fresh foods, I felt great – and that’s the first time I had put A and B together.

Then there was a weekend trip to the High Plains Goose Festival in Lamar, which she was convinced was going to be “flat, uninteresting ranchland. I…