CASPER, Wyo. — For months, the Natrona County Travel and Tourism Board has been without a CEO at the helm. That will change at the start of the coming month, though, as Tyler Daugherty will officially step into the position on Dec. 1.
Before coming to Casper, Daugherty had served as vice president of community relations for Travel Dubuque, based out of Iowa, and served in a variety of roles for the athletic department at Indiana University East.
After being a youth in which sports played a huge role, Daugherty carried his passion for athletics into his career, he said.
“Sports at the time had always been a big part of my DNA,” Daugherty said. “My girlfriend at the time, wife now, said, ‘Why don’t you go into coaching?’ It was instantly a lightbulb.”
After several years working as a basketball and track coach and managing the university’s recreation center, Daugherty found himself in Dubuque, Iowa, when his wife accepted a job there.
“I took the position of the director of sports and events,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t really know much about the position except that it had ‘sports’ in its name.”
He ended up working for the tourism board in Dubuque for a decade, and in his time there he helped run a music festival, oversaw extensive grant-writing and much more.
Eventually, he began looking to work elsewhere, and when he saw the open position in Casper, he knew it would be a good fit.
“We felt it was a great spot for us to raise our family,” Daugherty said. “It’s a very similar size to Dubuque, and we loved the people and the interactions we had when we visited. I got the sense that the people in Casper are genuinely nice people who want you to be successful.”
Daugherty expressed optimism for Casper’s future, saying the city is in the position to grow even more in the years to come.
“I like all the state championships [Casper] hosts, and I want to see us keep those and do even more,” he said.
The first things Daugherty plans on doing are just to get a feel for Casper’s community, but beyond that he said some of his immediate plans involve growing the staff of Visit Casper and continuing to promote the city at a statewide level and beyond.
“From not just a state perspective but a regional standpoint, how do we get things, be it a conference or a big convention [and] more business travel and leisure travel?” he said. “I think all the assets are there, and it’s just, how do we expand on that and where do we market?”
Potential long-term goals for Daugherty include a possible destination marketing fee program.
“I think that’s an opportunity for us to grow our budget and therefore grow our marketing reach and footprint,” he said. “That’s something I would love to explore. Obviously, we’d like to keep what we have in place now — from the high school state championships to the national college finals rodeo and the great ski lodge — but what do we need to do from an infrastructure and assets perspective?”
Daugherty said his style of leadership is centered around building relationships and becoming a part of the community. And the other members of Casper’s tourism board are looking forward to building those relationships with him, too.
“Tyler brings years of hands-on experience and a track record of proven success to Visit Casper,” said Jim Ruble, chair for the Natrona County Travel and Tourism Council Board of Directors. “He is a strong fit for this incredible place we call home and he’s ready to step into the role of president and CEO of Visit Casper.”