A Letter from the GCA President
Greetings from the Grand Circle!
We are thrilled to welcome you back to travel and experience everything that travel has to offer.
All our members would like to invite you to explore the best of America’s Southwest – The Grand Circle. If you enjoy magnificent natural wonders, diverse cultural traditions, colorful history, and friendly people The Grand Circle is for you.
From the depths of Arizona’s Grand Canyon to the beautiful mountains and mesas of Western Colorado and Utah soaring stone arches the varied terrain will surprise you at every turn with its diversity. Traveling through the Grand Circle is an adventure and will create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Grand Circle includes National Parks and Monuments, laced with Scenic Byways, Native American cultural sites, and dotted with archaeological wonders. As you drive through this wonderland of scenic attractions you will taste authentic Native American cuisine, rejuvenate yourself in welcoming communities and have the opportunity to experience outdoor adventures.
Whether visiting for the first time or returning, we want to help you create the vacation of your dreams. The Grand Circle is pleased to help you with your travel planning. Please reach out to our members listed in our travel planner and visit our itinerary page for travel ideas.
We invite you to share your Grand Circle adventures, stories, and pictures with us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We would love to share your adventures with the world.
The Grand Circle Association, a not-for-profit coalition of businesses and destinations who promote travel to and within the Four Corners region of the U.S., celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2009.
This web site is designed to help you explore our area virtually in the hopes that what you learn will motivate you to come and visit us in person!
History of the Grand Circle Association
The Grand Circle encompasses parts of five states – Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. The Circle includes some of the most important archaeological and historic sites in America. America’s largest concentration of National Parks and Monuments is in the Circle. Four of the 22 prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site designations in the country are in the Grand Circle.
The nonprofit Grand Circle Association was organized in 1983 by four travel professionals: Dave Johnson of Del Webb (concessionaire to Lake Powell); Gerald LaFont of Gouldings Lodge at Monument Valley; Steve Tedder of TW Services (holding company for Trans World Airlines); and Bruce Fears of ARA (concessionaire to Mesa Verde; now Aramark). Each contributed $50,000 towards their goal was of promoting the National Parks and Monuments in the Four Corners area. It was based on their observation that no one was visiting just one destination, but rather as many destinations as possible within the Circle. They decided to form an organization to promote the whole area. Their first meeting was at Manco, Colorado in 1983.
The early years were about collaboration, and members contributed financial resources and their time to launch a brand new way of marketing. Fall, winter, and spring itineraries and collateral materials were created to market the Circle, and a concerted effort was made to sell directly to tour operators.
The Association has expanded greatly since these beginnings, and currently has about 100 members, including tourism-based organizations of every description. Thirty-five years of promotion by the organization has vastly increased awareness of the outstanding tourism opportunities in the Circle.
Past Presidents include: