From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 22 - August 29, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Tourism board logo causes debate

by Cat Urbigkit

The Sublette County Joint Tourism Promotion Board met for a marathon three-and-a-half-hour meeting last Thursday night in Marbleton.

While much of the meeting focused on routine matters such as the advertising schedule in both print and broadcast media, the board spent the majority of its remaining time discussing its proposed logo and catchphrases.

Although the board held a contest to select its logo and catchphrases, and those decisions were already approved by the majority of the board attending a previous meeting, it was evident last week that the earlier decision wasn't satisfactory with some of the board members.

The logo consisted of a mountain, stream, sagebrush and rocks within the boundaries of the shape of Sublette County. The catchphrases approved by the board are "Explore the lore" and "Where the mountains meet the sage."

When Dan Abernathy of Rock Rabbit Graphics presented his updated logo design to the board, which consisted of variations of the board's selected artwork and phrases, board member Leanne Rellstab said it was "entirely too busy for a logo" and should be one image with only a few words.

Board member Gwen Schwab made a motion to rescind the board's vote approving the logo and catchphrase. She suggested the board take a step back and have its marketing committee bring its top three choices to the board for its consideration.

"I just don't think that it's settled," Schwab said.

Board member Dray Hunter expressed opposition to such action, noting that the board had already paid for the logo and had hired Abernathy to refine it.

Rellstab said in her view, the selection of the logo is one of the board's most important decisions, to which Abernathy agreed, stating, "This labels you forever."

Board chair Bobbi Wade explained that the four board members on the marketing committee went through a very laborious process for selection of the logo and what the board had agreed on was the concept on which the logo should be based.

Schwab pressed to have the board's earlier action rescinded, but Wade questioned the appropriateness of such a motion since the board had already granted its approval by a majority vote. Wade eventually allowed the vote. Voting to rescind the motion granting approval for the logo and catch phrases were Schwab, Rellstab and Lisa Doorn. Board members Dray Hunter, Alan Huston and Wade voted against the motion, leaving the board in a tie.

With it being unclear what should occur next, and with several board members absent from the meeting, the board decided to present the procedural question to its consultant, John Godfrey, to have him provide the board with guidance for its next meeting.

In other business, the board agreed to have a "Tourist information' sign constructed for the front of the Sublette County Visitor Center/Pinedale Chamber of Commerce hut in Pinedale.

The board heard a proposal to have a jingle written for radio promotions that would be specifically composed for the tourism board. Chuck Pyle of Jingle Promotions of Oklahoma proposed that his 12-cut jingle package would cost $2,200, and would consist of a packet of 12 ready-to-go promotions which would allow the board to have local messages incorporated with ease.

WyoRadio's Tom Ellis explained that having such a jingle would bring consistency to the board's broadcast advertising and it would bring a music thematic to all the board's broadcast promotions. After listening to Pyle's draft jingle, the board decided to revisit the issue at a future board meeting when it will also contemplate its entire broadcast advertising budget for the coming year.

The board agreed to send a letter opposing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's proposal to implement a one-percent statewide lodging tax to raise money for the agency. All revenue generated from this additional tax would go to the state wildlife agency, with none of the revenue being returned to local communities.

The local board's opposition reflects the position adopted by the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association. The idea has been proposed to the Joint Legislative Travel Committee, which will provide its recommendations to the next legislature.

At last week's meeting, Wade said she doesn't think a statewide lodging tax is the appropriate funding mechanism for the state wildlife agency. "Personally, I'd say I'm totally against it," Wade said.

Rellstab expressed her opposition, as did the remaining board members attending the meeting. Houston suggested the local board support the state lodging group by writing a letter in opposition to the tax, which visitor center director Tracy Walker agreed to do.

The board's next meeting will be held Sept. 26 in Pinedale.

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