Dear Editor:

Dee Conklin is on to something. Searching for and discovering a strong pitch that helps promote our valley is a worthy idea and it should be discussed. Those who favour leaving success to chance are also willing to let other places attract tourists and that siphons them away from us.

Tourism is our very clean, natural and dominant industry. It is well worth having, it is well worth promoting, and it is well worth working hard to improve. Many people know about this valley, but there are a lot more who dont know a thing about us. Those who have never been here have vacation money that we could use in our community, as we are in need of a significant cash infusion. Some people dont like tourists. They think they crowd our community and overuse our parking spaces. However, they are going to have a difficult time getting the visitors to stay home and send their money by mail.

With much respect for our mayor, I do not believe that we need to seek a slogan that includes industry, development and a host of other dimensions. Branding requires that a product promotion be shot from a rifle and not a shotgun. If they come as tourists we then, at that time, have the opportunity to promote investment.

A slogan such as, The Valley Of Smoking Waters has an arousing interest for those from afar, has a historical reference and tweaks the curiosity of outsiders. It is not the only slogan that would do that. There will be many others. However, it is a slogan that few other places can use. That is what branding should do, set us apart from other vacation opportunities. What Ms. Conklin is seeking is a search for the best catch phrase. What could possibly be wrong with that? Either we create employment or we continue to ship our children away in search of work.

Some persons argue that,We have always been known as the Columbia Valley. They are quite correct, but why should any far-away person come here as opposed to some other valley, or any other vacation for that matter? Importantly, it is not how the locals have long referred to this area that matters but rather, what catches the imagination of those who have never been here. What needs to be discovered is our uniqueness and then we should do what any business would do: promote our product.

We ought not diminish ourselves by being caught in a situation where we have everything to sell while demonstrating little desire to promote our advantage. Together, we have work to do.

Arnold Malone