This is The Real America.
What are travelers seeking?
They want real life. Real America.
We are The Real America. We have the wide sky with its vast sunsets. We have the land spreading out with unbroken views.
Every day, we look around us and see the same scenery we saw yesterday and the day before. After awhile, that scenery becomes merely a background. We see it, but we don’t notice it. We forget what we have here in Sherman County. We no longer see the wind turning waving wheat into moving abstract sculptures. We rarely watch the sunflowers change from buds to full-blown yellow giants.
We drive past that giant green grasshopper on Highway 27, but we no longer see it. We know what our crops are and we pay them little mind. We’ve seen center pivots dripping water 100,000 times. They are simply background noise.
Do our visitors always know what they see? No, not really. But they are curious. What are those giant green lawns? Do we grow turf here? One visitor believed Sherman County had the largest lawns he had ever seen. He was intrigued. He didn’t realize that green carpet was a wheat field. Wheat is golden all the time, isn’t it?
Visitors see that giant green grasshopper north of Goodland on Highway 27. They get out of their cars and sit in the lawn chair in front of the palm tree. That mutant grasshopper is the photo on Kansas Explorers’ Club 2016 membership cards.
Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau works to bring people here who otherwise would not come. Our destination marketing organization provides a road map to travelers. We tell them where to look for the answers to their questions. We show them where to find what they otherwise would not see.
These out-of-towners are people who leave money in our community. If a Sherman County citizen donates $5 at High Plains Museum, that money has not produced anything new. It’s been transferred from one pocket to another pocket in the same coat. If an out-of-town visitor drops that same amount in the museum’s donation box, that money has been transferred from their house far away to our house.
Tourism works magic.
Those out-of-town dollars have now been transfused into our local economy. This money generates sales taxes to pay for our schools and Highway 24. This new money holds down property taxes.
Tourism is the lifeblood for a community. Tourism is the first date for a potential new resident or business owner. Tourism is the face we display to the rest of the world.
Event marketing grants
Public events such as Flatlander Festival, Topside Tip-Off, Great Western Cattle Drive, and others attract that new money from faraway houses. Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau helps those events. Now the organization has established a grant program for established Sherman County events. Download instructions and application here. The organization has allocated $3,000 for these grants with a maximum individual grant of $500. Application deadline is June 1, 2016.
Scholarship for Goodland High senior
Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau board has also approved a $500 scholarship to be awarded to a Goodland High School senior who will be attending a Kansas college. Students must declare a tourism-related major, which includes hospitality, English, graphic and web design. A committee will create an application process, which will be announced later.
Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau board and staff believe in Sherman County’s future. Your destination marketing organization, Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the keeper of the flame for Sherman County.by