Many are wondering about the future growth of Emery County. The shutdown of Deer Creek Mine in Huntington has been a blow to each community. Efforts are being taken to ensure that Emery County continues to grow. One of these efforts is known as rourism.
Rourism is short for rural tourism, and refers to a process funded by the State of Utah. With help from tourism expert Roger Brooks, Emery County is receiving coaching to become a tourist destination and to take advantage of the natural attractions that already draw people to the area.
“We would like to shake the dust off of our cities and become locations that people would like to visit,” Angie Barton, a member of the Castle Dale Branding Committee, said. “We would also like to see our cities become a place that locals would like to spend time in.””
Rourism begins with each community individually. Each city and town has been asked to put together a branding development committee made up of city council members, citizens and business owners. This committee is then charged with the task of deciding on a “brand” for the area.
“So many communities try to promote everything,” said Jonathan Hunt, a member of the Emery County Travel Board. “They say, We have ‘something for everyone’ or ‘you can do it all’ or ‘it’s such a great place to live.’ None of these tactics work because every community feels the same way about their community. We need to highlight singular events or activities and promote only those.”
Choosing a brand for each community will help decide which single event or activity will be promoted. Once brands have been chosen, the branding development committee becomes the branding leadership team. The focus will then switch to promoting and highlighting the chosen brand. This team will mainly be headed by business owners.
Along with branding each individual community, a brand will be chosen for Emery County as a whole. Brooks will aid in this branding as soon as each city and town has chosen their brand.
To aid the branding development committees, surveys have been created that allow community members and those living nearby to give their input. All are encouraged to take part in the survey.
“Forward the link to family members who have been here, because family members who aren’t from here but come from time to time, they looked at our area with fresh eyes,” said Tina Carter, head of the Emery County Travel Bureau.
Amanda Leonard of the Castle Dale Branding Development Committee said “if the communities follow the process and really make an effort to ‘brand’ themselves I think the effect will be monumental.”
If you’d like to know what you can do to help the branding development committee in your community, contact Carter at (435) 382-3569 or TinaC@emery.utah.gov. Also, take the surveys below to give your input about what brands best fit our local communities.
To access the Castle Dale City survey, click here.
To access the Huntington City survey, click here.
To access the Emery Town survey, click here.