Prairie Pulse 933; Sara Otte Coleman; North Dakota Tourism Director


Uploaded by PrairiePublicBcast on 15.06.2012

Transcript:
>>> HELLO AND WELCOME TO "PRAIRIE PULSE."
COMING UP A LITTLE BIT LATER IN THE SHOW, WE'LL PROFILE ARTIST,
A FARGO ARTIST, DAN JONES.
FIT, JOINING ME NOW IS SARA OTTE COLEMAN, THE NORTH DAKOTA
TOURISM DIRECTOR.
AND, SARA, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.
>> YEAH. GOOD.
>> AS WE GET STARTED, YOU'VE BEEN ON FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS
WITH US, BUT TELL THE FOLKS A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND
YOUR BACKGROUND.
>> WELL, I AM GOING ON 20, PROBABLY CLOSE TO 25 YEARS IN
THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY.
SO IT'S A FUN, FUN INDUSTRY TO BE IN AND ONE OF THOSE THINGS
THAT YOU KIND OF JUST START IN IT AND NEVER EXPECT TO STAY THAT LONG.
BUT IT JUST GETS IN YOUR BLOOD.
SO I'VE BEEN THE STATE DIRECTOR FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS.
PART OF, THAT I WAS AT THE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
IN BISMARK AND MARKETED THE BISMARK MAN DAN AREA.
AND GREW UP IN BISMARK AND WEPT AWAY TO COLLEGE, CAME BACK AND
MY HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY FARM AND RANCH JUST NORTH OF BISMARK
AND SO WE'RE HERE IN NORTH DAKOTA TO STAY.
>> WELL, AND I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE JUST FINISHED UP ATTENDING OF
COURSE THE STATE TOURISM CONVENTION.
AS YOU CAME IN FOR THIS, FOR THIS INTERVIEW.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT WAS AND SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS AND
WHAT REALLY GOES ON WITH THAT?
>> YEAH.
WE HOST A TRAVEL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE ANNUALLY.
IT'S OUR DIVISION WITHIN THE STATE TOURISM DIVISION, ALONG
WITH THE NORTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF CONVENTION AND
VISITORS BUREAUS.
WHEN WE HAD ABOUT CLOSE TO 250
PEOPLE I'M GUESSING AT THE CONFERENCE THIS YEAR.
WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE NEWEST IN MARKETING TRENDS AND THE, YOU
KNOW, THE NEW THINGS THAT WE ALL NEED TO BE DOING AND THINKING
ABOUT IN TERMS OF ATTRACTING MORE VISITORS, HOW WE CAN WORK
TOGETHER MORE.
HIGHLIGHTS WERE, WE TALKED ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, WE TALKED ABOUT
RETAINING BUDGETS IN GOOD TIMES, WHICH IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT
SLANT, WHERE MOST PEOPLE HAVE A DIFFICULT TIMEETAINING BUDGETS
IN POOR TIMES.
WE HAVE HAD A VERY GOOD ENVIRONMENT HERE FOR TOURISM.
WE -- ONE OF THE BIG SESSIONS THAT WE DID WAS WE TALKED ABOUT
THE IMPACT OF OIL ON TOURISM, AND THAT WAS A SUPER SESSION.
WE HAD ABOUT NINE PANELISTS WHO TALKED ABOUT THEIR JURISDICTIONS
AND HOW THEY FEEL IT'S BEING AFFECTED AND IN THE END IT
REALLY IS ALL ABOUT JUST SHARING INFORMATION SO THAT EVERYBODY IS
AWARE OF WHAT'S REAL AND SO THAT WE CAN INFORM THE VISITORS BEST
AND WE CAN CROSS-SELL EACH OTHER.
>> YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF YEAR HAS IT BEEN FOR TOURISM SINCE
LAST WE SPOKE?
AND REALLY, I'LL LEAVE IT THAT WAY FOR NOW.
SO HOW HAS IT BEEN?
>> YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR PROBABLY SAID IT BEST.
HE JUST SPOKE AT OUR CONFERENCE AND HE SAID HE WAS SHOCKED AT
HOW WELL WE DID CONSIDERATION THE FLOODING THAT WE HAD STATEWIDE.
WE STARTED WITH THE FLOODING IN THE RED RIVER VALLEY IN THE
EARLY SPRING THAT HURT OUR CANADIAN NUMBERS COMING DOWN AND
THEN FROM THERE IT JUST KIND OF MOVED AND BOPPED ALL OVER THE STATE.
WE HAD ME DORA THAT WAS IN DIRE STRAITS FOR A FEW DAYS THERE.
AND THEY LOST SOME OF THEIR, YOU KNOW, THE GOLF COURSE WASN'T
FULLY OPEN THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, MINOT OBVIOUSLY, NONE OF THEIR
ATTRACTIONS WERE VERY STRONG THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER.
AND HERE IN BISMARK WE HAD A NUMBER OF MAJOR ATTRACTIONS THAT
WERE NOT ALL OPERATIONAL.
BUT THAT BEING SAID, WE FARED VERY WELL.
WE MAINTAINED OUR NUMBERS PRETTY MUCH ACROSS THE STATE AND WE
GREW SIGNIFICANTLY IN AIRPORT BOARDINGS, CANADIAN CROSSINGS
MAINTAINED, WHICH WAS GOOD BECAUSE WE WERE UP SO STRONGLY YEAR PRIOR.
AND THE HOTEL NUMBERS ARE JUST STILL GROWING, GROWING, GROWING.
>> YEAH. AND REALLY, I HESITATED BECAUSE THE AM OF FLOODING I MEAN AND
THE STATE FAIR BEING CANCELED BASICALLY, AND, YEAH, WONDERED
HOW MUCH THAT AFFECTED OVERALL TOURISM FOR THE STATE.
>> YEAH. HUGE, YOU KNOW, HUGE LOSS.
YOU HATE TO LOSE THOSE MAJOR EVENTS.
BUT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE LOOKING FOR SOME PENT-UP DEMAND THIS YEAR
AND HOPING TO HAVE SOME RECORD-BREAKING YEARS AGAIN WITH
FOLKS THAT DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT, FIRST OF ALL, RESIDENTS
NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT MAINTAINING THEIR PROPERTY AND
STANDING THE FLOOD GUARD.
SO THEY'RE GOING TO BE WILLING TO -- AND ANXIOUS TO GET OUT AND
SEE THE STATE AND THEN WE WON'T HAVE THAT NEGATIVE NEWS HITTING
THE NATIONAL MEDIA.
SO HOPEFULLY WE'LL BE COMING THIS YEAR.
>> YEAH. AND EVEN TALKING ABOUT THAT WITH THE EARLY SPRING THAT WE'VE HAD,
HAS THAT MADE AN IMPACT ALREADY THIS YEAR?
>> WELL, YEAH, BECAUSE YOU'VE ALREADY GOT YOUR LAWN IN SHAPE
AND YOUR DECK IS ALREADY STAINED, AND YOU KNOW, THE HOUSE
IS PAINTED.
SO NOW YOU CAN JUST HAVE FUN THE REST OF THE SUMMER, RIGHT?
>> YEAH.
LET'S HOPE SO.
LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE STATE'S ATTRACTIONS.
I ASSUME THE MOST POPULAR
TOURIST ATTRACTION WOULD BE ROS THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK.
>> IT'S HISTORICALLY LED IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF VISITORS
EVERY YEAR, USUALLY EXCEEDING RIGHT AROUND THE HALF A MILLION,
PLUS OR MINUS, MARK EVERY YEAR.
SO, YEAH, THEY CONTINUE TO LEAD THE WAY PRETTY MUCH YEAR AFTER YEAR.
>> UH-HUH.
WHAT ABOUT, WHAT ARE THE OTHER I GUESS POPLAR SITES IN NORTH DAKOTA?
>> WELL, SOME OF THE SITES ARE REALLY POPULAR THAT TOP THE LIST
THAT PEOPLE DON'T NECESSARILY THINK OF AS A TOURIST ATTRACTION
ARE SITES LIKE THE RALPH INGLE STEAD ARENA AND THE FARGO DOME.
THE FARGO DOME HAD HUGE NUMBERS THIS YEAR.
OF COURSE IT DOESN'T HURT WHEN YOU'VE GOT POST-SEASON FOOTBALL
PLAY FILLING THE STADIUM FOR WEEKS BEYOND THE NORMAL SCHEDULE.
BUT A LOT OF THOSE FOLKS ARE FROM OUT OF TOWN.
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THOSE VENUES AREN'T
JUST FOR THE, YOU KNOW, QUALITY OF LIFE, THE LOCAL RESIDENTS.
THEY ATTRACT PEOPLE TO EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
SO THOSE ARE GREAT ATTRACTIONS, AND THEY ALWAYS TOP THE LIST,
TOO, IN TERMS OF THE NUMBERS THAT THEY BRING IN.
>> YEAH.
AND I GUESS WHEN YOU SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, IS THERE A DEFINITION
FOR TOURISM THAT YOU USE?
>> WELL, TOURISM IS REALLY ANY KIND OF TRAVEL THAT'S OUTSIDE OF
YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES.
SO ANY TYPE OF A COMMUTE WOULDN'T BE COUNTED IN THAT.
BUT IF YOU'RE TRAVELING FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE OR A
COMBINATION BEYOND 50 MILES AND INVOLVING AN OVERNIGHT STAY, IT
FALLS INTO THE DEFINITION OF TOURISM.
WE FOCUS AT THE STATE MORE ON LEISURE TRAVEL PROMOTION.
BUT A LOT OF THE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAUS ALSO REALLY
WORK HARD ON BUSINESS TRAVEL AND CORPORATE TRAVEL.
SO EVEN AS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BUSINESSES OCCUPYING A LOT OF
THE HOTEL ROOMS, THAT STILL IS PART OF TOURISM.
>> SURE.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR ADVERTISING APPROACH TO CITIZENS
IN OTHER STATES AND, WELL, OTHER COUNTRIES FOR THAT MATTER AND
WHAT ALL IS INVOLVED WITH THIS?
>> WELL, OUR LEGENDARY BRANDING, THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
WE'VE BEEN CELEBRATING THIS YEAR, THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF LEGENDARY.
SO WE'VE SEEN DRAMATIC RESULTS WITH THAT CAM RAIN, NOT ONLY HAS
IT -- CAMPAIGN.
NOT ONLY HAS IT REALLY WORKED WELL FOR PARTNERS WHERE THEY CAN
SEE THEMSELVES UNDER THAT BRAND UMBRELLA, BUT IT'S ALSO SHOWN
REALLY GOOD RESULTS OVER THE CAMPAIGN AND THE ADVERTISING
CAMPAIGN OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS.
WE'VE SEEN CONSISTENT GROWTH IN EVERY METRIC THAT WE LOOK AT,
THE NDSU NUMBERS SHOW THAT WE'VE
GROWN 25% SINCE 2010 -- OR 2002, AND THE USTA, THE U.S. TRAVEL
ASSOCIATION, YOU KNOW, WE'VE LED THE NATION IN GROWTH THE LAST
TWO YEARS THAT THEY'VE -- THAT MOST -- THE MOST RECENT TWO
YEARS THAT THEY'VE MEASURED.
SO IT'S BEEN A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN.
IT'S EVOLVED OTHER THE -- OVER THE YEARS.
THE AD CAMPAIGN KIND OF HAS TWEAKS A LITTLE BIT EVERY YEAR.
WE KIND OF CUSTOMIZE IT AND TRY AND MAKE IT ENGAGE THE VISITOR,
REALLY, IS WHAT IT'S ABOUT.
TRY AND MAKE THE VISITOR SEE THEMSELVES DOING SOME OF THOSE ACTIVITIES.
SO IT'S TAKE AN FEW TURNS.
AND OUR STRATEGY CHANGES FROM YEAR TO YEAR, TOO.
WE OBVIOUSLY ARE SPENDING A LOT MORE ONLINE NOW THAN WE WERE TEN
YEARS AGO.
WE'RE IN MORE OUT OF HOME PLACES THAN WE WERE TEN YEARS AGO,
WHETHER IT'S, YOU KNOW, SIGNAGE AT TARGET FIELD OR BUS WRAPS OR
TRANSIT SHELTER WRAPS OR VIDEOS THAT ARE PLAYING IN THE MALL OF
AMERICA, WE'RE TRYING TO MEET OUR VISITORS WHERE THEY ARE,
WHETHER IT'S ON THEIR MOBILE PHONE, THEIR COMPUTER, YOU KNOW,
THEIR MAGAZINE OR WHEN THEY'RE OUT AND ABOUT AROUND TOWN IN
MINNEAPOLIS OR WINNIPEG.
>> I ALSO KNOW A FEW MONTHS AGO, MAYBE AN ODD THING HAPPENED WHEN
A TOURISM AD THAT YOU HAD PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE HOTEL
DONALDSON CAME UNDER SOME SCRUTINY AND MAYBE A LITTLE
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK CAME FROM THAT.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS AND ARE YOU STILL USING THAT AD?
>> WE CAN.
NO, WE ARE NOT USING THAT AD.
IT WAS AN INTERESTING -- INTERESTING AWARENESS.
THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA I GETZ IS WHAT IT ALL CAME DOWN TO.
WE HAD ONE AD THAT WAS IN A SERIES OF TEN DIFFERENT ADS THAT
WAS KIND OF PULLED OUT OF CONTEXT.
AND SOME PEOPLE WERE QUESTIONING WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS APPROPRIATE.
AND WE ENDED UP PULLING THE AD OFF OF FACEBOOK AND JUST LOOKING
AT IT BECAUSE IF WE'RE OFFENDING PEOPLE OR IF WE'RE NOT
ACCOMPLISHING OUR MISSION, WE CAN DO BETTER.
AND SO THAT'S WHAT WE DID.
WE DID NOT PLACE THAT AD.
IT NEVER WAS PLACED.
IT WAS JUST KIND OF UNVEILED AS PART OF OUR MARKETING CAMPAIGN.
SO IT WASN'T ACTUALLY PLACED, ALTHOUGH IT GOT A LOT OF
EYEBALLS ON IT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND THROUGH THE MEDIA
ATTENTION THAT IT DREW.
IT WAS INTERESTING.
IT WAS PROS AND CONS.
PEEL LIKED IT AND SOME PEOPLE DIDN'T.
WE HAD SOME PEOPLE THAT CRITICIZED US FOR RUNNING THE AD
AND OTHERS THAT CRITICIZED US FOR TAKING THE AD DOWN BECAUSE
THEY THOUGHT IT WAS GOOD THAT WE WERE SHOWING SOMETHING, YOU
KNOW, DIFFERENT AND SOMETHING WITH A YOUNGER DEMOGRAPHIC IN
THE DOWNTOWN SETTING.
>> YOU MENTIONED IT A COUPLE OF TIMES, BUT HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT
AND YOU ALMOST COVERED IT RIGHT THERE, HAS SOCIAL MEDIA BECOME
FOR YOU NOW?
>> IT'S HUGE.
WE HAVE MONTHLY DIGITAL STRATEGY SESSIONS AND WE REALLY TRY TO
WORK TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF OUR CHANNELS ARE WORKING IN THE
SAME KIND OF THEMES AND SAME DIRECTION.
LAST YEAR WE HAD A 27.9 MILLION IMPRESSIONS WITH OUR DIGITAL STRATEGY.
SO THAT INCLUDES THINGS LIKE, YOU KNOW, FACEBOOK AND OUR
WEBSITES AND TWITTER AND ALL OF THOSE, YouTube VIDEOS THAT
WE'RE PUTTING OUT THERE.
>> OKAY.
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR LEGENDARY BRAND.
DO YOU SEE THIS GOING ON FOR A FEW MORE YEARS?
>> YOU KNOW, I DO.
I THINK IT WORKED WELL.
WE WENT OVER THE LAST YEAR, WE WENT THROUGH KIND OF A RE-FRESH
STAGE, YOU MIGHT SAY, WHERE WE WENT OUT TO INDUSTRY MEETINGS
AND KIND OF ASKED OUR PARTNERS TO BRAINSTORM WITH US ABOUT WHAT
THEY SAW ABOUT THEIR COMMUNITY AND WHAT WERE THE ADJECTIVES
THEY THOUGHT DESCRIBED THEIR PART OF NORTH DAKOTA.
AND WE KIND OF TOOK A LOOK AT ALL THAT AND TOOK A LOOK AT THE
RESEARCH AND IT STILL IS SPOT-ON.
IT REALLY DOES EMBRACE A LOT OF WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER, YOU KNOW.
IT WAS BUILT ON THE RESEARCH THAT WE AREN'T NECESSARILY A
STATE OF ONE MAJOR ATTRACTION OR ONE MAJOR LANDMARK, BUT WE'RE A
STATE OF STORIES AND LEGENDS, AND WHETHER IT'S THE STORY OF
THEODORE ROOSEVELT OR ROGER MARIS, WE HAVE THOSE STORIES TO
TELL FROM EAST TO WEST AND NORTH TO SOUTH AND PRETTY MUCH ANYBODY
CAN FIT UNDER THAT LEGENDARY UMBRELLA, WHETHER IT'S GOLF OR
ART OR HIKING.
>> UH-HUH.
YOU KNOW, WE MENTIONED IT EARLIER ABOUT LOOKS LIKE NO
FLOODING THIS SEASON, WE HOPE.
AND WITH THE MILD WINTER WE'VE HAD, YOU SAID EVERYBODY OUGHT TO
BE READY.
BUT WHAT HAS THAT REALLY MEANT FOR TOURISM, YOU KNOW, FROM THE
CANADIANS, FROM THE NEIGHBORING STATES ABOUT FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON?
I MEAN BECAUSE LIKE I SAY, GOLF COURSES ARE GOING TO BE IN
BETTER SHAPE I ASSUME.
AND -- >> UH-HUH.
YEAH. I THINK PEOPLE ARE REALLY GOING TO GET OUT AND ENJOY.
IT WAS INTERESTING WHERE, YOU NORMALLY WOULD HAVE BEEN SELLING
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING IN, YOU KNOW, IN -- OUT IN THE MEDORAH
AREA, YOU WERE SELLING HIKING THIS YEAR INSTEAD.
AND SO IT WAS JUST A REALLY INTERESTING WINTER TO WORK WITH.
I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WEREN'T HAPPY THAT THERE WASN'T ENOUGH SNOW
FOR THEIR SNOWMOBILE TRAILS AND SOME MISSED THE WINTER.
ESPECIALLY THE OUTDOOR RECREATION FOLKS.
BUT WE STILL HAD GOOD ICE FISHING AND WE -- MOST OF OUR
SKI PLACES WERE ABLE TO MAKE ENOUGH SNOW, AND SO I THINK
PEOPLE GOT THAT WINTER ACTIVITY IN.
AND IT JUST ALLOWED PEOPLE TO GET OUT SOONER AND ENJOY BIRDING
AND SOME OF THOSE GREAT SPRING ACTIVITIES IN A GREAT, GREAT ENVIRONMENT.
>> YOU CAN SEE I WENT FOR THE SPRING ACTIVITIES, NOT THINKING
ABOUT THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN NEGATIVE FOR SOME FOLKS.
>> YEAH.
>> OKAY.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE PROMOTING THE OUTDOOR, YOU KNOW, FEATURES
PREDOMINANT IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE VERSUS SOME OF THE
URBAN OPPORTUNITIES?
>> YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A THREE-PRONGED APPROACH WITH OUR
LEGENDARY CAMPAIGN.
AND THIS WAS ADDED MAYBE ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH THE TEN YEARS,
AROUND 2005 OR 2006, WHERE WE FOCUS ON KIND OF THE LEGENDARY
HISTORY CULTURE, UNIQUE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THE SCENIC BACKDROP.
WE FOCUS THAT IN THOSE MARKETS WHERE THAT'S REALLY UNIQUE,
THOSE ARE MAINLY MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN FOR US BECAUSE THAT'S
ABOUT AS FAR AS OUR BUDGET WILL ALLOW US TO MARKET.
BUT CITY EXPERIENCE STRATEGY FOCUSES IN CANADA BECAUSE WE
KNOW THE CANADIANS COME DOWN ON A REGULAR BASIS, AND THE NUMBER
ONE REASON THEY COME DOWN IS TO SHOP.
BUT THEY ALSO LOVE TO, YOU KNOW GO, TO SHOWS OR GO TO HOCKEY
GAMES, ENJOY CONCERTS AND ACTIVITIES AS WELL.
SO THAT -- AND THAT ALSO SERVES US WELL IN THE BORDER, NEAR
BORDER COMMUNITIES, IN MINNESOTA AND SOUTH DAKOTA AND MONTANA,
BECAUSE YOU MAY BE COMING WHETHER YOU'RE FROM LEMON OR
SIDNEY OR FERGUS FALLS YOU MAY BE COMING TO NORTH DAKOTA FOR A CITY EXPERIENCE.
SO THAT'S KIND OF WHERE WE HIT THAT.
AND THEN WE ALSO HAVE SOME NATIONAL ADVERTISING THAT WE DO
IN NICHES THAT WE KNOW WE CAN COMPETE NATIONALLY.
SO THOSE NICHES WOULD BE BIRDING, I MENTIONED EARLIER,
MOUNTAIN BIKING, YOU KNOW, WITH THE TRAIL AND THE EXPANSION OF
THE TRAIL, IT'S ONE OF AMERICA'S EPIC RIDES AND SO THAT'S
SOMETHING WE CAN COMPETE IN NATIONALLY.
HUNTING AND FISHING, WE'RE KNOWN NATIONALLY FOR OUR GREAT
RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE.
SO SOME OF THOSE OUTDOOR MARKETS.
AND THIS YEAR NOW WE'RE FOCUSING MORE ON MOTORCYCLING.
SO WE KIND OF HIT THOSE INDIVIDUAL MARKETS WITH THE
OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE A LITTLE BIT HARDER WITH SOME TARGETED MARKETING.
>> OKAY.
AND TALK ABOUT TRAVELING, GAS PRICES MAYBE KIND OF STABILIZED
AT LEAST IT SEEMS LIKE.
BUT IN THE PAST, WHEN THEY GO UP AND DOWN, IT SEEMS LIKE IN THE
SUMMER GAS PRICES CREEP UP.
HOW MUCH IMPACT DOES THAT HAVE ON TOURISM? FOR NORTH DAKOTA?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, HERE IN NORTH DAKOTAER, OUR ECONOMY HAS BEEN
SO STRONG.
SO INTERNALLY I DON'T THINK IT AFFECTS US THAT MUCH.
WE'RE KIND OF USED TO THAT.
WE EXPECT A SPIKE IN THE SPRING.
BUT FOR OUR NEIGHBORS, WE WANT THEM TO OBVIOUSLY VENTURE INTO
THE STATE AND WHEN THEIR GAS PRICES GOES UP, THEY MAY HAVE TO
SHORTEN THEIR TRIP.
THAT USUALLY FARES PRETTY WELL FOR US BECAUSE WE JUST MARKET
REGIONALLY MYWAY.
-- ANYWAY.
WE'RE MARKETING OUT JUST MAYBE AS FAR AS MINNEAPOLIS.
SOME OF OUR MAGAZINES AND TV COVERAGE MAY GO BEYOND THOSE MARKETS.
BUT WE PRETTY MUCH FOCUS REGIONALLY.
SO IN THE LONG RUN I DON'T THINK IT HURTS US TOO MUCH.
>> OKAY.
WELL, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE FORTS THAT PEOPLE MIGHT SEE,
LIKE ABRAHAM LINCOLN, ABERCROMBIE AND SOME OF THE OTHERS?
>> WE, FORT ABRAHAM LINCOLN OBVIOUSLY HAD FLOODING LAST YEAR.
AND CAVALRY SQUARE DIDN'T AND THE BLOCK HOUSES OBVIOUSLY WERE
HIGH OTHER THE BLUFFS, SO YOU COULD STILL SEE THOSE.
BUT THEY'RE WORKING TRYING TO GET THAT -- THE REST OF THAT
STATE PARK OPENED.
FORT ABERCROMBIE IS FEATURED IN SOME OF OUR ADS THIS YEAR.
THAT'S KIND OF ONE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVEN'T BEEN TO OVER IN
THE NORTH CORNER OF THE STATE, OR THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF THE
STATE RATHER.
AND THEN THERE'S, YOU KNOW, FORT TOTTIN IS A GREAT ONE.
THEY'VE JUST GONE THROUGH SOME EXPANSION KIND OF IN THE DEVIL'S LAKE AREA.
THAT'S A FUN ONE.
THERE'S FORT UNION, WHICH, YOU KNOW, WAS THE WAL-MART OF THE
PRAIRIE BACK WHEN LEWIS AND CLARK CAME THROUGH.
THAT WAS WHERE YOU WENT TO TRADE AND BUY AND GET YOUR GOODS AND
THE HISTORY THERE IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE.
SO WE'VE GOT THEM SPRINKLED THROUGHOUT THE STATE AND THEY'RE
ALL A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, HAVE A LITTLE DIFFERENT STORY.
>> WELL, HOW ABOUT THE RONALD REAGAN MISSILE SITE?
HOW HAS THAT BEEN AS A TOURIST DESTINATION.
>> LOTS OF INTEREST IN THAT.
PEOPLE ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN THAT OLD COLD WAR HISTORY.
AND SO THAT'S BEEN A GOOD SITE FOR US.
IT'S BEEN STRONG.
COOPERSTOWN IS REALLY EMBRAILSED IT AND NOW -- EMBRAILSED IT AND
NOW THEY'RE WORKING ON THE LAUNCH SITE AS WELL AND BUILDING
MORE ACTIVITIES AND WHATNOT AROUND IT.
SO IT'S AN EXCITING NEW LOOK.
IT'S LIKE A TIME CAPSULE.
YOU STEP IN THERE AND IT'S LIKE YOU ARE RIGHT BACK TO THE -- TO
THAT ERA.
>> ONE SPOT WE NEVER SEEM TO TALK ABOUT MUCH HERE IS LAKE METIGOSHE.
YOU KNOW, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT?
YOU KNOW, WHERE IT IS AND WHAT KIND OF ATTRACTIONS IT WOULD BE
FOR VISITORS THERE?
>> YEAH.
LAKE METIGOSHE IS ONE OF THE GREAT -- PROBABLY ONE OF THE
OLDEST TOURISM AREAS IN THE WHOLE STATE.
THE TURTLE MOUNTAIN TOURISM ASSOCIATION I THINK WAS THE
FIRST TOURISM ASSOCIATION FORMED IN NORTH DAKOTA AND IT WAS MADE
UP OF TOURISM PROMOTERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS ON BOTH THE U.S.
SIDE AND THE CANADIAN SIDE BECAUSE LAKE METIGOSHE DOES --
IS PARTIALLY IN CANADA AND PARTIALLY IN THE U.S.
IT'S JUST NORTH OF BOTTANAU.
VERY NEAR THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE GARDENS.
A SCENIC BY-WAY UP THERE IS JUST BEAUTIFUL AND THEY'VE HAD SOME
GREAT ENHANCEMENTS ALONG THE BY-WAY.
GREAT RESORTS UP THERE THAT YOU CAN GO FULL SERVICE RESORTS,
BRING YOUR BOAT.
BUT IT'S ALSO A FOUR SEASONS CAMPGROUND, OR PLAYGROUND AREA.
THEY, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE A WINTER PARK, WHICH DOES A GREAT
JOB WITH SKIING, AND THEY'RE ALSO GOING TO HOPEFULLY SEE A
MAJOR EXPANSION TO THAT LODGE FACILITY COMING THIS WINTER.
THE PARK, THE STATE PARK AT LAKE METIGOSHE CELEBRATES THEIR
75th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR.
>> OKAY.
YOU KNOW, AS THE EX -- THE OIL EXPLORATION GOING ON IN THE
WESTERN PART OF THE STATE AND NEAR THE BADLANDS HAD ANY
NEGATIVE IMPACT ON TOURISM AT ALL?
>> WELL, I THINK PARTIALLY IT'S BECAUSE OF -- IT'S HAD SOME
NEGATIVE EFFECT MAINLY BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE -- HAVE THIS
PERCEPTION THAT THE TRAFFIC IS BAD AND THAT THEY CAN'T GET A
HOTEL ROOM.
SO, YOU KNOW, WE'RE WORKING WITH THE INDUSTRY TO TRY AND GET THE
WORD OUT THAT THERE ARE ROOMS AVAILABLE, EVEN ONE EXAMPLE I
USE IS MEDORAH.
LAST YEAR, A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST ASSUMED THEY WERE BOOKED
YEAR-ROUND AND COULDN'T GO OUT THERE, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SUM
PERP WELL, THEY HAD FEWER THAN 20 NIGHTS THAT THEY WERE SOLD
OUT LAST YEAR.
SO PEOPLE JUST DIDN'T TRY.
SO WE'RE JUST ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO CALL THE HOTEL DIRECTLY.
DON'T GO ONLINE OR TRY THE 800
NUMBER BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO GET BETTER RESULTS IF YOU CALL.
AND DON'T ASSUME.
TRY, YOU KNOW, TRY AND MOST OFTEN YOU ARE ABLE TO STAY WHERE
YOU WANT TO STAY AND CAN ENJOY THE SAME ACTIVITIES THAT YOU'VE
ALWAYS ENJOYED IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA.
>> WELL, SARA, WE'RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME.
IS THERE ANY OTHER THINGS YOU WANT TO HIGHLIGHT REAL QUICK AT ALL?
>> WELL, I THINK THERE'S JUST A LOT GOING ON IN NORTH DAKOTA,
YOU KNOW.
WE'VE GOT SOME NEW AINTERACTIONS.
I JUST INVITE FOLKS TO COME TO NDTOURISM.COM.
TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WEBSITE.
YOU CAN CENTURY REGION.
YOU CAN CENTURY DATES IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR EVENTS.
GET OUT A AND EXPLORE.
FLOORS A LOT TO DO AND SEE.
>> WHAT'S THE MOST FUN PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
>> I THINK IT'S TALKING ABOUT THE STATE.
WHEN YOU ARE WORKING WITH VISITORS, EVEN OUR TRAVEL
COUNSELORS, PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WHEN THEY'RE PLANNING VACATION
AND IT'S TIME OFF USUALLY.
IT'S LEISURE ACTIVITIES SO IT'S FUN.
IT'S A GREAT, GREAT CAREER AND A GREAT INDUSTRY TO WORK IN.
>> WELL, SARA, WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO A GREAT SEASON IN NORTH DAKOTA.
>> SOUNDS GOOD.
THANKS.
FROM THE ROLLING HILLS OF THE MINNESOTA LAKE COUNTRY TO THE
VAST HORIZON OF NORTH DAKOTA FIELDS FARGO ARTIST DAN JONES
DOESN'T HAVE TO VENTURE FAR TO FIND INSPIRATION.
NO MATTER WHAT THE MEDIUM -- OIL, WATER COLOR OR CHARCOAL --
DAN EVOKES FEELINGS OF HOME THROUGH HIS LANDSCAPES AND
FIGURATIVE WORKS OF ART.
>> I LOVE THESE OLD BARNS BECAUSE THERE'S JUST, YOU KNOW,
HALF OF THEM ARE ALMOST FALLING DOWN.
THE NICE THING ABOUT BEING A PAINTER IN FARGO IS YOU DON'T
HAVE TO DRIVE VERY FAR TO GET IN A, YOU KNOW, 30 MILES EAST AND
YOU'RE INTO SOME REALLY INTERESTING LANDSCAPE.
BUT IT'S THE PATTERNS IN THE
FIELD AND THE, YOU KNOW, CORRODED BY THE ROLLING HILLS --
CREATED BY THE ROLLING HILLS OR THE WAY THE LIGHT'S PLAYING OFF
THE LAKE.
>> DAN ORIGINALLY DID SOME OF HIS OWN, BUT I PRETTY MUCH IN
THE PAST PROBABLY SIX OR SEVEN
YEARS TAKEN OVER DOING ALL OF HIS FRAMING.
LOTS OF PEOPLE WHEN THEY'RE IN LOOKING AT THE PIECES KIND OF
RECOGNIZE WHERE THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN FROM OR IT REMINDS THEM OF
SOMEWHERE THEY GREW UP IN NORTH DAKOTA OR LIVED OR HAD BEEN ON VACATION.
AND I THINK THAT THAT'S PART OF THE APPEAL IS IT KIND OF MAKES
PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT HOME.
>> DAN IS THE ARTIST HE IS I
THINK BECAUSE HE LIVES IN THE RED RIVER VALLEY, THAT THE
LANDSCAPE TRULY INFORMS HIS WORK.
>> WORKED AS A CARPENTER FOR YEARS.
ENDED UP GOING TO NDSU.
I THOUGHT I'D GET AN ARCHITECTURE DEGREE.
I HAD TO TAKE A DRAWING CLASS.
AND REALLY ENJOYED IT, YOU KNOW, REALLY GOT INTO IT.
AND SO I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA THE SECOND YEAR.
MOST THE PROFESSORS THERE WERE ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS OUT OF NEW YORK.
I WAS TRYING TO LEARN HOW TO
PAINT IN A MUCH MORE TRADITIONAL MANNER.
I LOOKED BACKWARDS TO TEACH MYSELF, YOU KNOW, LOOKED AT
PREVIOUS ARTISTS' WORK.
GOT TO THE MUSEUMS WHENEVER I COULD TO SEE THEM IN PERSON, AND
DID COPIES OF OLD MASTERS.
MOST OF THE STUFF THAT I DID WAS
FIGURATIVE, AND THE LANDSCAPE CAME MUCH LATER.
>> I THINK IT'S VERY RARE TO COME ACROSS AN ARTIST WHO HAS
SELF-TAUGHT THE WAY DAN IS, THAT MOSTLY PEOPLE COME OUT OF SCHOOL
AND MAYBE THAT'S WHY HIS ART DOESN'T LOOK ACADEMIC.
>> WHEN I GET INTO MAKING THEM,
I GET A LOT OF ENJOYMENT OUT OF
THEM, THE TYPE OF MEDIUM I'M USING.
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A FUN NEW WAY TO PAINT THE FLATNESS.
[ LAUGHS ]
HE COULD BE DEFINED MAINLY AS AN OIL PAINTER.
BUT HE'S ADDED SOME WATER COLOR
AND HIS CHARCOAL AND PASTELS ARE BEAUTIFUL.
SO HE'S DEFINITELY A DRAWER
ALSO, AND I THINK TO PAINT WELL, YOU DO HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO DRAW WELL.
>> I DON'T KNOW ANYONE ELSE WHO
DRAWS AS WELL AND USES IT FOR
SUCH BIG STATEMENTS.
>> APRIL 7th, 2009, A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY.
>> I THINK DAN'S GETTING WELL AFTER THIS ANEURYSM OWES A LOT
TO THE TERRIFIC SUPPORT HE RECEIVED FROM OTHER ARTISTS.
THEY REALLY LOVE LOVE THE MAN.
HIS FRIENDS WOULD GO OUT TO BISMARK WHERE HE WAS IN A REHAB
CENTER AND THEY WOULD GO OUT AND THEY WOULD PAINT IN THE LANDSCAPE.
>> TO HAVE SURVIVED IT AND STILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO MY WORK
IS, I'M A PRETTY LUCKY GUY.
I LIKE TO GO TO THE HUME OF ART AND IN PARTICULAR THE DIRECTOR
LAUREL RUDER HAVE BEEN HUGELY SUPPORTIVE OF ME OVER THE YEARS.
>> I BEGAN TO THINK THAT I SHOULD DO A BIG CHARCOAL DRAWING
EXHIBITION, PUSH HIM INTO DOING DRAWINGS BECAUSE HI THINK HIS
DRAWINGS ARE SPECTACULAR.
>> SHE JUST ASKED ME IF I'D BE INTERESTED IN DOING A SHOW, YOU
KNOW.
YEAH.
[ LAUGHS ]
GREW UP HERE AND GREW UP HANGING AROUND AT THE LAKES IN
SUMMERTIME.
TO HAVE A CHANCE TO DO SOME DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, SOME
LARGE-SCALE AND DOING SOME SMALLER ONES, MEDIUM ONES AND
HOPEFULLY A COUPLE OF REALLY LARGE.
>> I WANT HIS DRAWINGS TO BE HUGE.
>> I THINK SOMETHING ABOUT THE SIZE AND THE DRAMA OF A, YOU
KNOW, A CHARCOAL IS ATTRACTIVE TO PEOPLE.
THIS ONE LOOKS PRETTY CLOSE TO THE ACTUAL SPOT.
A LOT OF TIMES, THEY DON'T.
THEY CHANGE TO THE POINT WHERE, YOU KNOW, I'VE LET GO OF, YOU
KNOW, THE PHOTO IMAGE OR WHATEVER.
AND, YOU KNOW, AND JUST LOOKING
AT IT AS A PIECE WITH ITS OWN PERSONALITY AND ITS OWN NEEDS.
>> THE MOST SUCCESSFUL WORK IS ALWAYS WORK THAT ENGAGES YOU,
THE VIEWER, SO THAT YOU HAVE TO FINISH IT.
AND THE FACT THAT THE DRAWINGS ARE IN CHARCOAL MEANS THERE'S NO
COLOR GIVING YOU ANY CLUES.
BUT YOU DON'T NEED THE COLOR BECAUSE YOU FILL IT IN, AND THEN
IT BECOMES MORE PERSONAL.
IT'S A CONVERSATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE ARTIST.
>> MY PAINTINGS ARE MUCH LIKE MY CHILDREN.
I WANT THEM TO GO OFF AND BE SUCCESSFUL.
SO WHEN THEY SELL, I GET VERY FOND OF THEM THEN.
THAT'S A TRUE MARK OF SUCCESS.
YOU KNOW.
TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY
ENJOYS ENOUGH TO -- TO TAKE HOM HOME.
>> WELL, THAT'S ALL WE HAVE ON "PRAIRIE PULSE" FOR THIS WEEK.
AND AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR
FUNDED IN PART BY THE NORTH DAKOTA COUNCIL ON THE ARTS AND
BY THE MEMBERS OF PRAIRIE PUBLIC