Klamath River, Kayaking, Happy Camp

Siskiyou County unemployment would be worse if one in nine employees didn’t serve the tourists visiting us. At a recent Tourism Workshop, Grace Bennet told about coming changes at the Colliers Information and Interpretive Center on I- 5. Have you stopped by and seen it lately? If you recall, it had displays with the nine cities as well as county information. Those displays will be changed, modernized, and converted to flat screen display. This will enable the county website to be shown. as well as allowing visitors to check out websites of other local attractions or businesses in our area.

Colliers Information & Interpretive Center is busy with 10,000 or more visitors a month in the summer, but they are open 7 days a week for 8-9 hours a day. Right now they get a great many requests about hunting, especially the elk and deer, and also ducks to the east of us. They’ll even have e-cards, modern Internet versions of old post cards, to send to friends and family to tell them how beautiful Siskiyou County is!!

If you haven’t been to the new county website recently, go and visit the site at www.visitsiskiyou.org/. It will tell you about fishing, kayaking, rafting, mountaineering, ice or lava caves, golfing and other tourism activities we enjoy here! It also has information on events, such as McCloud’s Annual Oktoberfest last week. Participants not only dressed in native German costumes to show off traditional old world dances but also dish up tasty traditional German fare including Sauerbraten with red cabbage, mashed potatoes and gravy, harvest lentil soup and bread, and dessert.

Emilyn Sheffield came from CalState about fifteen years ago to help us with marketing the State of Jefferson and Bigfoot Byways. Karen Whittaker and Bob Warren from Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association reminded us of Emilyn’s visit to Happy Camp. They were also telling accomplishments of their organization and requesting more photos and videos of our area to help them get tourists here from all over California.

Bob and Karen share lots of their efforts with Jonelle Tannahill of the California Travel and Tourism Commission from Sacramento. Jonnelles job is to represent all of California, including Happy Camp. Travel has expanded from the small family on vacation and they see more groups. Visitors to our area come for the beautiful pristine environment not found elsewhere. There was a specialized campaign for people wanting adventure “who are willing for their SUV to get dirty but not scratched.” They like adventure not too wild! Australian, German, Canadian and British are international visitors who love to travel to Northern California. The Europeans love National Parks and nature tours such as birding.

Jonelle and Karen both said a great deal about the Volcanic Byway, perhaps because that byway received thousands of dollars in grants for publicizing it as an All American Byway! They both also shared about how effective it is to have a trailer to go to events, like the Gilroy Garlic Festival where they handed out thousands of pounds of literature to promote an area for visitors. Happy Camp’s Chamber had a trailer for that purpose, but no one seems to know what happened to it a few years ago. Jonelle and Karen have much to offer us in terms of cooperative assistance for tourism. Some local hoteliers are discussing getting together for collaborative marketing for tourism as a district, with open meetings, Brown Act procedures, posting agendas, and discussing issues on the agenda much like the old Associated Chamber did with TOT taxes.

One in every nine jobs in Siskiyou County is in the tourism industry. We have people needing all the jobs we can create! We need to be encouraging tours to this most beautiful place along the wild Klamath River! We live with great beauty all around us.