/ Modified jul 19, 2019 4:42 p.m.

Willcox steps up marketing, looks for greater cooperation across Cochise County

The new city manager says cities and towns in the county should work together to draw tourists.

When traveling west on Interstate 10 from New Mexico, Willcox is one of the largest communities drivers will see first. The city is in the midst of taking a new approach to turn it into a destination, rather than a thoroughfare to somewhere else.

Caleb Blaschke accepted the job of city manager a year ago. One of his top priorities is to promote the community’s many events, western culture and growing winery culture. That includes renovating Willcox’s visitor center and forming a new marketing and tourism commission that meets weekly. Community leaders and business owners trade ideas about how to market themselves and cross promote each other.

“It’s hard to help people catch the vision. And that’s something this community has done a great job of doing. All these business owners and event organizers, they’ve caught the vision and they’re on fire right now. They’re wanting to work and see things happen,” Blaschke said.

“Willcox, we can’t do it alone. We need Cochise County,” Blaschke said. “We all have a stake in it together and it’s really trying to get other councils from other groups to buy into this as well. It goes beyond our community, which is hard.”

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