By Stephen Smoot
As the tourism economy, number of events, and expansion of related businesses continues, the Pendleton County Convention and Visitors Bureau board evaluated drafts of marketing materials. These materials, when distributed, will provide locals and visitors alike a fuller picture of county attractions.
After Janice Lantz, board president, called the meeting to order, the group examined mockups of the visitors’ guide and brochures. Amber Nesselrodt, Pendleton County Convention and Visitors Bureau director, shared that “we’re really excited to get the map and brochure done, but we want to get it right.”
The visitors’ guide, also called the Adventure Guide, advises tourists what they can expect to find of interest in the county. Board members discussed the need for clear information on fishing. Sam Yokum, board member and owner of Yokum’s Vacationland, stated that “on ‘Fishing Pendleton,’ we definitely need something about the North Fork River.” He added that the region offers “beaucoups of fishing.”
Board members also expressed concern that some may get confused about references to trout fishing and also Trout Fest.
Lantz asked “Does it need to get broken down more in terms of where you can fish?” Board members agreed.
Jeff Munn, board member and owner of Dry Run Spirits Distillery, pointed out that “the Thorn is a world-class native brook trout stream. It’s a major destination for fishermen.” Munn also requested that the board agree to add historic Pitsenbarger Farm “listed as a place you can visit,” since he is “the only craft beverage place open during the week.”
The board questioned a lack of detail on historical trails, specifically those related to the Civil War. Nesselrodt said, “They asked about the trails, but the information was vague.”
Discussion also focused on a map highlighting attractions. Munn explained that “almost every map has a key on it. Does this map have a key someplace?” This led into a conversation that included suggestions for better readability and ease of use. Board members expressed a desire for a key to “help visitors distinguish between the categories of attractions.”
Nesselrodt advised that the board members come up with suggested edits, then submit them. Then these would be discussed during the next meeting.
In other business, the board discussed recent bylaws changes. First, the board agreed to remove “start-up” clauses that helped to establish the board, but are either no longer relevant, or interfere with good function.
Also, the membership expanded from a limit of seven to a minimum of seven and maximum of eleven. Two members represent local government while nine hail from different elements of the Pendleton County tourism industry. Currently, the board membership falls short of eleven. Lantz stated that she had three letters of interest from potential board candidates.
In response to a question, Nesselrodt said “there’s no deadline to apply. People can keep applying until we reach 11.” Munn suggested inviting expert angler Dustin Wichterman because “he lives and breathes fishing.”
Nesselrodt then turned to another proposal, to hold an “Adventure Fest” in the Smoke Hole area. Despite restrictions on rock climbing in parts of the canyon, the American Alpine Club signaled a desire to partner and promote an event centered on running, biking, and paddling.