Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Telling Nebraska's Story - The Coalitions

Nebraska's tourism entities have found that there is strength in numbers, especially when you're trying to marketing similar regions of the state. Many have banded together to form coalitions. Not only do they create a cohesive website for their respective regions, but they pool their membership dues (often based on the lodging tax revenues of member counties) to create publications and place print advertising in target markets.

Lincoln County, my home county, belongs to the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition. The focus here is on western adventure that can be found in our communities such as North Platte, Ogallala and Crawford; the landmarks of the western trails - Chimney Rock, Scottsbluff National Monument; the wide open spaces of the portion of the Nebraska Sandhills within the region, and the beautiful Pine Bluff region in the northwest corner.

There are wonderful attractions within this region, such as Lake McConaughy, Front Street in Ogallala, Fort Robinson, High Plains Homestead, Chadron State Park just to name a few.

Another region that Lincoln County falls into is the South Platte United Chambers of Commerce. In the State Travel Guide, this region is known as the Prairie Lakes.


This region is characterized by rich fertile Loess Hills, sparse prairie lands, and of course, lakes: Sutherland Reservoir, Lake Maloney, Jeffrey Lake, Johnson Lake, Red Willow Lake, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Harlan County Reservoir. Great fishing, hunting and birdwatching can be found here.

This region has also banded together with another marketing coalition known as The Chicken Dance Trail. Not only does the Chicken Dance Trail tout the great tourist opportunities within the region, but also showcases the fantastic small towns, employment and economic development opportunities, and the joys of calling this area home.

Central Nebraska has also banded together with the Central Nebraska Adventures group.
This area is home to some very active tourism marketing and development groups, such as the Hastings Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kearney Convention and Visitors Bureau, Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the busy Ord Chamber and Development and Burwell Convention and Visitors Bureau. These guys have created a great website, and actively produce marketing materials and attend regional travel and tourism shows to showcase their communities.

Within this region is the scenic and historic Loup Valley, to which the Ord representatives belong. It is home to great events such as the Burwell Rodeo, and Junk Jaunt and great attractions like the Calamus Reservoir and Fort Hartsuff. It is a great example of a smaller coalition getting together to collectively market their area.

Southeast Nebraska is also home to a strong coalition.
If all that you thought of Nebraska is the flat cornfields of the Platte River Valley route of Interstate 80, you really need to get off into the breaks of the Missour River that characterizes this region. Here you'll find the picturesque towns of Nebraska City and Brownville, and great attractions like the Strategic Air and Space Museum, Homestead National Monument, Arbor Lodge and the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center.

Northeast Nebraska has also gotten together, although I couldn't find a map representing the region. It would roughly correspond with the "Lewis and Clark" region designated by the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism.This again is a beautiful section of Nebraska, and something totally unexpected for those not familiar with Nebraska's diversity. The beautiful Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake offers spectacular water sports. There are so many state parks and recreation areas, not to mention the Missouri River that you would be hard pressed to experience them all in a lifetime. This area is also home to such attractions as the Fremont Dinner Train, the Johnny Carson Museum and the Neligh Mills State Historical Park.

Naturally, I have only mentioned the barest of minimums of the great things to do within each region of Nebraska. You'll have to do a little digging of your own to find it all! I fully intend to spend more time exploring all of Nebraska's diverse regions and sharing my experiences with you.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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