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Committee proposes slogans for area

| June 23, 2004 12:00 AM

By Roger Morris, Western News Publisher

Public input on a marketing slogan to support the Kootenai River Country identity is needed by a committee that has whittled the choices down to five.

The slogan will be used as a consistent catch-line in marketing materials to entice visitors to Lincoln County. The Connect the Dots committee started with 29 possible slogans.

The five slogans being considered are ³Rich, Rare, Remote,² ³Mountains of Fun,² ³Wildly Accessible,² ³As Big as Your Dreams,² and ³Montana¹s Great Northwest.²

The committee is hoping to take the most popular three slogans, and with Glacier Country¹s help, seek opinions from other regions of the country as to which slogan would attract people to this area, said Vicki Munson, committee member. The slogans will be tested in Texas, Colorado and California, she said.

Locally, the committee is asking county resident to rate the slogans and tell them, in writing, which should be first, second and third. The committee needs the input back by July 10.

Written ratings of the slogans can be dropped off at the Kootenai River Development Council office at the Memorial Center, at Troy City Hall, at Libby City Hall, at First National Bank in Libby at The Western News or people may e-mail their ratings to KRDC@lclink.com.³We hope to tabulate the results within a week and then share the results locally,² Munson said.

Also, the committee is circulating a survey that seeks local resident attitudes toward tourism. The surveys will be distributed to Kootenet and Kootenai Valley Internet Service customers. Copies will also be available throughout the Libby-Troy area. The survey needs to be completed by Aug. 1.

And the committee is coordinating completion of the gateway sign project, which evolved out of a meeting in June 2003.

The first sign, to be located near Yaak Hill on U.S. Highway 2 north of Troy has been engineered and is ready for installation.

Troy Mayor John Brown has worked with engineers Thomas, Dean & Hoskins of Kalispell. He has also enlisted the help of Twinkle Welding in Libby to design a form so that the signs can be reinforced concrete and the same mold used for all five signs. Helping Brown are Dave Norman and Clint Taylor, Troy city employees.

The county commissioners have contributed $25,000 from the hard rock mines fund.

The signs at Bull Lake and the Yaak Hill have been approved by the state Department of Transportation. Approval for signs north of Eureka, near Stryker and at the Chain of Lakes, is expected shortly, Munson said. Construction of the signs is expected afterward.

³I¹d say before the snow flies,² Munson said.

The signs will welcome travelers to Kootenai River Country.

³If people are saying why are we doing these signs: we want to let people know they have arrived in the Kootenai River Country, which is basically Lincoln County.²

³We want to create a personality,² said Sandra Johnson, Troy city clerk and a committee member. ³It¹s a recognition.²

During last year¹s meeting with Roger Brooks and his associates of Destination Development Inc., it was agreed by county residents, businessowners and elected officials that the Kootenai River was a common thread for the county.

Every county in the western United States is competing for tourist dollars and Lincoln County has taken steps to stand apart, Brooks said. He said the country of northwest Montana is big and beautiful and the signs are needed to make a lasting impression.

The sign locations were chosen to emphasize that impression and identify where people are.

The signs at Yaak Hill and north of Eureka will include ³Gateway to Montana.²

The Connect the Dots committee consists of Deb Davidson, Jolene Workman of Eureka, Munson and Johnson.