Word came out this week that the number of people visiting the Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump and the H. Earl Clack Museum is increasing, though still short of record levels.
Word on the street has it that more people are passing through Havre en route to Glacier National Park.
All of this ought to be a gentle reminder to us that Havre has a lot to offer people who are passing through. If we can convince just a small portion of those who drive down U.S. Highway 2 to stop here for a while, we will be doing a lot for our area's economy — and for our community’s self-image.
There is lots for visitors to do in our area, especially people who enjoy history. The museum offers an overview of Hill County's history. Fort Assinniboine is one of the best preserved forts from the last part of the 19th century our nation has to offer, and quirky history from the early part of the 20th century.
The area is rich in railroad history.
And in promoting our area, we ought not forget neighboring Blaine County, which offers two museums, including the Wildlife Museum that is winning wide acclaim. And that is just a hop, skip and jump from the dinosaur museums in Malta. The tiny town of Rudyard has museums that are also attracting visitors.
Add to that, the natural wonder of Beaver Creek Park that offers respite to weary travelers.
Nowhere within hundreds of miles is there a community on Highway 2 that offers the kind of restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and taverns that Havre has to offer. There are a host of concerts, community gatherings and plays every week for people to watch.
A Tourism Business Improvement District has been formed by major hotels in the city, and they develop a plan to let the rest of the world know what there is to do in Hill County.
But the best kind of advertising is word of mouth. That means all of us have a role to play.
First, stop the talk of “there’s nothing to do in Havre.”
Check the Havre Daily News About Town section. There are a lot of activities that would interest Havreites and visitors.
Second, when you see people from out of town, offer to help them as they take pictures. Give suggestions on where they can go to get shots. Offer to take pictures of them and their families standing near a Havre landmark. Tell them about some good restaurants, coffee shops or ice cream stands.
We all have a lot invested in Havre. Having more people stay in town is good for the travel industry, the people who work there and for all of us who are proud to call Havre home.