As part of a rebranding initiative, the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the name of the organization to Visit Lewis Clark Valley.
“Over the past 14 years, the organization has grown from promoting tourism in Asotin County to the marketing organization for the entire valley,” said Visit Lewis Clark Valley President and CEO, Michelle Peters. “We have so many things to offer here, with the historical aspects, arts and culture,” said Peters. “There’s just so many things to do and when you say Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau people thought we just book boat tours and nothing else.” Visit Lewis Clark Valley is a call to action and identifies our location and it will be presented as such in everything we do.”
Although the logo and name change is slight, it reflects the mission of the organization: “…to attract visitors from around the world to experience the Lewis Clark Valley to support a positive economic impact.”
Visit Lewis Clark Valley is not the first such destination marketing organization to change its name. The practice has become widely accepted within the travel industry.
The change from Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau to Visit Lewis Clark Valley will come in phases. The revised name and logo has already begun to appear in print advertising. The complete branding transformation will coincide with the launch of the organization’s completely redesigned website in January 2015 (www.visitlcvalley.com).
The organization’s revised logo and branding initiative is being developed by Northwest Media Productions, a Lewiston-based firm who has worked with the organization since its inception. “The marketing message will continue to feature our main attraction, Hells Canyon, as well as the historical, cultural and abundance of outdoor recreational activities, many of which are available year round,” says Peters.
Visit Lewis Clark Valley produces an award-winning 34-page annual “official” visitor guide that is entirely funded through private advertising dollars. It is also deployed online at the organization’s website, www.visitlcvalley.com. Advertising is placed in regional and national travel magazines, regional newspapers, radio and television and via online and social media marketing initiatives. The 2012 advertising campaign created by Northwest Media received a First Place Award in the State of Idaho from the Idaho Travel Council.
Visit Lewis Clark Valley is a not-for-profit organization that enhances the local economy by marketing the valley, and the region, as a premier visitor destination in Southeastern Washington and North Central Idaho for cultural, historic and leisure activities, sports and recreation events and meeting and business travel.
Visit Lewis Clark Valley was formed in 2000, originally as Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau. In the 2007 Lewis Clark Valley Tourism Strategic Plan, one of the visions was a single marketing organization to promote tourism in the Valley and manage all visitor information services. The plan notes that, “cooperation among businesses, agencies, and nonprofit organizations fosters a highly effective marketing program that results in significant gains in visitation and tourism revenue. Funding to support tourism programming is stable. Public policy supports sustainable tourism development. Private, public, tribal and nonprofit partners work together to plan, fund and implement tourism initiatives.” Creating one valley-wide tourism marketing entity has quadrupled the annual budget for tourism marketing. Funding sources include City of Clarkston, Asotin County, City of Lewiston and the Idaho Travel Council Grant.
Tourism generates nearly $40 million annually for the local economy. Each visitor is estimated to spend an average of $197 each day. The leisure and hospitality sector employs 10-12.5 percent of the total jobs available in Asotin and Nez Perce counties.
The Visit Lewis Clark Valley business office and Visitor Information Center is located at 847 Port Way in Clarkston, WA 99403. The organization also operates a Visitor Information Center at the Lewiston Community Center, 1422 Main Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 509.758.7489 or visit www.visitlcvalley.com.