By HDN staff
Much ever-increasing hoopla has begun to surface over the Lewis and Clark Expedition Anniversary which will begin in the year 2004 and continue through 2006. Havre, Hill County and much of the surrounding Hi-Line wasnt personally visited by the Expedition. But the prediction is that 10 percent of the nations population, a mere 25 million people, will be visiting the Northwest, including Montana, during the course of the celebration. That is approximately 6.4 million people each summer.
Where should Havre fit in? That is the question we need to analyze now. Havre and the Hi-Line sit squarely in the middle of U.S. Highway 2, our own personal tourist funnel. Highway 2 connects such communities as Seattle, Spokane, Minot, Duluth and eastern points beyond, not to mention southern and northern connections. As the direct route to Montanas crown jewel, Glacier National Park, Havre is on the prime tourist path. But what can we do to make these tourists drop some of their vacation cash here?
Goals are good, both long and short term. But these goals must be flexible and, like a master chess player, we must ready ourselves for this healthy influx of travelers. The Great Falls Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, along with the other attractions, cant accommodate all these folks at once.
We have an attainable goal if we all pull together and begin to work to make every one of our valuable attractions as positive and inviting to vacationers as possible during this celebration.
Many new opportunities could present themselves if the right communities are ready and prepared to accept the challenge. We know Havre has the right stuff and the right people, so lets gear up now. The job belongs to every business owner and employee, government employee, homeowner, and teacher every single one of us.
Lets roll up those sleeves, Havre, put on those thinking caps and grab our piece of the pie!