ROGERS CITY - In an effort to boost tourism in Presque Isle County, an effort is under way to partner with Pure Michigan to create an advertising campaign featuring its many attractions.
Joe Libby, county resource officer looking to grow Presque Isle's economy, gave a presentation Tuesday to the Township Association for Presque Isle County about his idea for a county-wide convention and visitor's bureau. This way, money collected from an excise tax on hotel rooms and convention centers can go to Pure Michigan, which will match it dollar-for-dollar to pay for an ad campaign featuring the county.
"The largest obstacle we have faced in promoting tourism in this county is anonymity," Libby said. "People just don't know we're here."
A recent episode of Under the Radar that featured Rogers City helped to raise public awareness about the area, Libby said.
"It really highlighted the fact that we need to concentrate our efforts," he said.
Currently, Libby is working to build a coalition of the county's three chambers of commerce in Onaway, Posen and Rogers City to work together. He has no solid agreements yet, but so far he's heard positive things about the idea.
Being able to leverage Pure Michigan's expertise means the county can get the most bang for its tourism promotion bucks, Libby said.
"We can build a team and raise the funds, and then we give it to the pros who know what they're doing in order to piggy-back and get in on something that I think can make an economic impact that'll be far-reaching."
The county already has seen a boost from being a part of the US-23 Heritage Route, and a partnership with Pure Michigan would help to keep that momentum, Libby said.
While the idea is still in what Libby called the "team-building" stage, he said it could be finalized by June. In the meantime, he'll attend meetings for all 14 of the county's townships to present the idea.
"When people say, 'Why would I visit Presque Isle County over any other county,' it's because we are remote, we are rural and we are affordable on anybody's scale and budget," he said. "It's a wonderful reason to visit here, to vacation here or to retire here."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.