Pendleton, the small town in eastern Oregon known for its rodeo and whiskey, is looking to Seattle hipsters for a tourism boost.
The tourism authority Travel Pendleton last week revealed a marketing campaign it’s calling the Hipster Project. It aims to market Pendleton’s western flair to young urban dwellers.
Travel Pendleton is asking for $10,000 from Umatilla County’s economic development fund to market the city in Seattle, track the data and then target Portland next year, the East Oregonian reported. The money would be used to pay for billboards in select areas of Seattle.
To appeal to urban lovers of hand-crafted wares, the hipster campaign is using the tagline: “Pendleton is handmade every day.”
“I think that tourism in Pendleton and Umatilla County is the largest under-utilized economic engine that we got,” said Pat Beard, head of Travel Pendleton.
The town draws plenty of tourists to the annual Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, and other events bring overnight guests. Most recently, nearly 5,800 people went to a motorcycle rally in July. But tourism advocates say more can be done to bring money to local businesses.
Pendleton is within a 3.5-hour drive of about 7.5 million people, including Seattle, Beard said, and 12,000 drivers pass Pendleton on Interstate 84 each day. But no advertising asks them to stop in the city.
“We need to capture our potential year-round,” he said.
Beard said he thinks the area’s Western flair, including ranches for horseback riding, and agriculture tourism as “the farm to fork experience” many urban vacationers desire.
Local businesses also need to advertise when they use local goods, he said, such as restaurants that incorporate Hill Meat Co. bacon or Haus Barhyte mustard, both Pendleton-based food makers.
Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.com
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