President & CEO
Kathy Fort Carty purchased Destination Services of Vail, now Destination Services Corporation (DSC) in 1986. She built the company from the ground up with a $2500 loan from her parents; beginning as one individual with a single-minded determination to open the Colorado experience to corporate visitors. She had a short list of prospective clients and a long list of amazing experiences to offer groups. She forged innovative partnerships with hotels, venues and the best local businesses throughout the state. Her energy and passion for the Rocky Mountains changed the landscape of group tourism in Colorado for decades to come.
- Marketing Colorado throughout the U.S.
While others were waiting to sell business to clients coming to Colorado – Kathy was out selling the state. Seeing the competition between resorts, properties and activities within the state, she was concerned about how a potential client would understand ALL that Colorado has to offer. So she co-founded Destination Colorado– a membership organization of hotels, resorts, and suppliers who joined forces to market Colorado to groups. Kathy traveled the state to spur the organization’s growth, later serving on the Board.
- Colorado as a Premier Group Destination
Doing business with corporate travelers meant establishing high standards for local vendors and venues. Kathy established a due diligence process, requiring preferred suppliers to formalize policies, training, insurance, uniforms and encouraging additional amenities. Developing relationships of mutual respect has served both DSC and the supplier network. Kathy is able to promise groups an experience that her suppliers can deliver. The suppliers share in the financial upside of large volume, repeat business through a single contact.
- Hotel Partnerships.
Since the 1990’s, Kathy has actively pursued perferred agreements and formalized contracts with hotels throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Clients benefit by receiving a seamless experience as DSC works closely with the hotel operating departments – from the sales department to the front desk, the bell stand, to the conference services department. Most notable amongst these partnerships, DSC has served as the exclusive DMC of The BROADMOOR since 1996.
- People Define the Culture of Success
Amongst her proudest accomplishments, Kathy counts the development of a highly talented and motivated staff. She has consistently sought out young leaders and given them opportunities to grow, investing in their careers through leadership training and performance coaching.
Kathy has served on numerous Boards including Destination Colorado, the DMC Network, the Association of Destination Management Executives, the Vail Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Young Entrepreneurs Organization for Colorado and FICP. She has loaned her event planning savvy and network of partners to create signature fundraisers for a number of local non-profits and charities, including the Alpine Children’s Charity, St. Clare of Assisi School, Stone Creek Charter School, Battle Mountain and HPS.
- Personal Life
Life outside the office for Kathy is also high energy; her favorite pursuits include skiing, biking, hiking, and snowshoeing with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs – Cooper and Callie.