Value of Tourism for Helena and Montana – Event October 16, 2020

Jobs, Community, Economy – Tourism is a leading industry for Montana strengthening small businesses and supporting thousands of jobs. While Covid19 has been a great disrupter for the global economy, now is the time to consider how tourism will be part of Montana’s story of recovery.

By understanding the past, we can steer our path to the future. While we’ll adapt to a new world, future opportunities will present themselves and we want to be ready for them with the right partners in place.

In other years, Voices of Montana Tourism would host a legislative candidate lunch with a panel of business leaders to provide education on tourism. By moving to this online format, we want to offer our candidates a forum to share their perspective. All pre-registered candidates will have an opportunity to speak and respond to questions. The webinar will be open to Helena voters, businesses and tourism stakeholders.

Voices of Montana Tourism is an independent non-profit that provides education and does not advocate for political candidates, legislation or policy.



  • Introduction by Dax Schieffer, Director of Voices of Montana Tourism
  • The role of Destination Marketing Organizations for Montana communities, Sara Bannon, Executive Director of Southwest Montana
  • Telling the local story, Mike Mergenthaler, Helena CVB
  • Partnerships in promoting Helena, Andrea Opitz, Executive Director Helena Tourism Alliance
  • Legislator panel questions as presented by Stuart Doggett, Executive Director of Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association
  • Legislator candidate panel responses
  • Facilitate question and answers for panelists
  • Adjourn by 1 p.m.

Resources and presentations:

Event Page with Videos and Resources

Value of Tourism for Helena and Montana

Role of DMO – Southwest Montana

Local Impact – Visit Helena – TBID

Local Impact – Helena CVB


Dax Schieffer – dax@voicesoftourism.com

Andrea Opitz – AOpitz@helenamt.com

Mike Mergenthaler – mmergenthaler@helenachamber.com

Sarah Bannon – info@southwestmt.com

Stuart Doggett – stuart@montana.com