Anyone who knows me is aware I do a lot of traveling and in the last couple decades more around the states. I’ve greatly reduced my travel by plane and taken to the cross-country jaunts. Since I have sisters who live in Seattle WA and Washington DC it offers me some diversity in my sense of direction.
For the past couple of years, I’ve taken to doing some camping first with a ground tent, and now with a truck tent camper. Yes, at 70 years old I find this is an adventure I love. Last fall, I spent two weeks at Mt Shasta which is in the Siskiyou Mountain range of northern California. I camped at the Red Fir Flats in the mountain which is about 10,000 feet and one can set up their tent or park with their campers anywhere. So, I went to this location where a landmark called Ascension Rock is located and through the trees one can see the 14,100-foot peak of this beautiful mountain. I should disclose, I’m writing this article from Mt Shasta right now as I’m housesitting for a friend and camping in the mountain.
Visiting the many locations across the country I recognize how important service to visitors, travelers and residents is to them. One of the things I plan to do is visit the Teddy Roosevelt Park in Eastern North Dakota. I’ve picked up information from visitor centers and businesses I’ve stopped by to catch a meal, get gas, etc.
What I’ve learned by exploring the various businesses in the region is how they have banded together to assure visitors are aware of the opportunities to engage in while visiting, places to stay, and even competitors who offer services. There is a real recognition to help each other out with referrals, suggestions, and open ended invitation to return one more time before leaving the area.
When I’ve asked local chambers about the cooperation among businesses is how imperative they have worked to develop this aspect of serving in a tourism related area. Tourism is a major economic factor to so many areas. Without those dollars, the economy falters. What is even more discernable is if there are not jobs the youth move to metro areas. Thus, diminishing the development of new businesses, or taking over a business, and reducing the workforce pool and customer base for the remaining businesses. One chamber leader mentioned me how some small towns are becoming ghost towns because negative competition was so fierce it forced businesses to shut down.
What I am aware of is our region has so much to offer to visitors and locals alike. We have wonderful recreational opportunity winter and summer. We have businesses offering local services and products. There are events through the schools, museums, arts, concerts, theatre and more which deserve our support and the invitation to the local visitors who come to enjoy our environment, vast forests and lakes, and enjoy the wonderful variety of foods offered in local bars, grills and restaurants. We have golf courses nestled in the wooded areas of our area. Lakes to catch fish on, and sunsets and rises that take our breath away.
So, let’s make a visitor feel welcome to our region and local communities. Let them know about your local museum or bar/restaurant or lodging. Our referral and endorsement of our area will make a difference for everyone who lives here.