- Associated Press - Saturday, May 27, 2017

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Travel Pendleton last year went after hipsters to boost local tourism. Now it seeks to entice an older crowd.

Like the last campaign, the tourism arm of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce wants Umatilla County to help with some economic development money.

Pat Beard, Travel Pendleton director, made the pitch to county commissioners recently in Pendleton. Beard said the “tripster” campaign in 2016 was “wildly successful,” and the new effort is “One More Day,” targeting another generation - baby boomers.

The set of folks in their mid-50s to mid-70s, he said, are “mature, inquisitive travelers” with the income for extended stays, and getting visitors to stay an extra day brings significant benefits to the local economy.

Tourists in 2016 brought $137 million into Umatilla County, Beard said, and 170 overnight visitors create one job. Likewise, each $58,000 in direct tourism spending creates one job.

The Pendleton advertising agency Duke Joseph is crafting the campaign’s videos to appeal to the Boomers.

Duke Joseph creative director Jeff Lorton told commissioners Boomers enjoy travel and “bumping into life.” They are agri-tourists, he said, who want to meet the people who make the food they eat and drink, the very experience Umatilla County has to offer.

“We need to reach out to them to encourage them to come here,” he said,

Beard asked the commissioners to give $20,000 from economic development funds for the new effort. He said $15,000 would go into creating advertising to appeal to the target audience and the remaining $5,000 for social media to spread the message.

Commissioner Bill Elfering oversees economic development for the county. He told Beard he needs to go through the county’s grant process for the funds.

Beard said he would have that in an email in short order.

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Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.com

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