Welcome to Havre: Now, Get Lost


Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson

In the blistering heat, Paul Guest of SCS Unlimited in Bozeman attaches a 12-foot-high by 20-foot-wide "GET LOST. (IN MONTANA)" sticker on to two grain elevators next to the viaduct, at 7th Avenue and 1st Street in Havre, Thursday afternoon. Guest, who was hired by Mercury CSC of Bozeman, hung the stickers as a part of the Montana Office of Tourism's summer advertising promotion for the state. Havre was one of 7 communities in the state chosen by the Montana Office of Tourism to receive the stickers so far, and Guest added that Havre was the only community to receive two stickers. For more information about the advertising promotion, go to http://www.getlostmt.com/. To see more photographs of stickers hung statewide, go to http://scswraps.com/.

The Montana Office of Tourism has hung eight such signs around the state as part of the program to encourage Montanas to vacation closer to home. Two of the signs are in Havre.

The signs are part of a two-year-old state campaign telling vacationers that if they want to see interesting spots, they need to go to some of the less traveled roads in the state, said Katy Peterson, consumer marketing manager for the Office of Tourism.

The Get Lost program, which used Internet, television and radio advertising, began in 2010, figuring this would be a good time to convince people that during a recession they could save money, travel close to home and "keep Montana dollars at home. "

"It exceeded our wildest expectations, " she said.

The program was the buzz around the state, she said. And they knew it was gaining attention by the large number of hits on the wesbite, http://www.getlostmt.com/.

"We were saying, 'yes, we have Glacier and Yellowstone, but we have a lot more, '" she said.

The program was such a success that the office decided to expand it to include neighboring states and provinces. If Montanans could be enticed to go off the state's beaten path, so would people from the Dakotas, Canada, Wyoming and Idaho, she said.

Peterson said as soon as word of the plans to construct the signs got out, Debbie Vandeberg, executive director of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, starting lobbying to get one in Havre.

Before long, she convinced the state to put two signs up, so one can be seen by incoming and outgoing traffic, Peterson said.


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