A group promoting Havre tourism has rolled out a new campaign to promote the jewel of the Hi-Line.
This week, the Tourism Business Improvement District began making available fresh decal souvenirs, complete with a new slogan part of a new logo.
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“Find yourself in Havre” are the words encapsulated in a blue outline of Montana. The outline is topped with a red heart where Havre’s geographical location is.
The logo has been stamped on bumper stickers, postcards and magnets, now available at select hotels including both local Best Westerns, as well as the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Director and TBID member Jody Olson said the campaign is the result of demand.
“The hotels were the ones that requested bumper stickers, postcards and magnets because their guests were asking for a souvenir from Havre,” Olson said. “I think it’s another great way to advertise our special town. We have a lot to offer if tourists were to stay and take in all the attractions and meet the residents.”
The slogan, former Chamber Director Debbie Vandeberg said, came out of a brainstorming discussion at a TBID tourism committee meeting while she was still director.
The group was working to develop a marketing campaign to promote Havre in the spring, summer and fall, both in print and on the web, Vandeberg said.
Although she was not there when the slogan was being thought of, Olson said she identifies with it.
“I did find myself in Havre 25 years ago when we were transferred here with the railroad. And I found myself back here again in 2010 because that’s where my husband and I chose to live. We found that the town was the best place we ever lived and we were transferred around quite a lot,” Olson said. “To me the slogan is the answer to ‘Get Lost in Montana.'”
Before this week’s rollout, TBID members held several meetings and hired a designer and photographer – who happens to be the same person – to put the slogan on a simple design she created.
“I had already taken pictures over the summer for the Chamber, and when (Vandeberg) asked if I wanted to help provide images for their new campaign, ‘Find yourself in Havre,’ I was very excited,” said Teresa Getten, a local photographer and graphic designer.
However accidental – or fateful – the concept of finding oneself in Havre resonates for and applies to Getten, who moved to Havre more than two years ago from Salt Lake City.
“I came to Havre because every plan I had set up failed. I sent my kids to live with their dad in Havre, got lost for a couple of months and followed them up to start over,” Getten said.
Getten said she took to the landscape immediately. For a photographer, lighting is key, and there is nothing like a north-central Montana sunset.
“I’ve traveled a bit and I can honestly say the sky is bigger here in Montana. And if you drive in the prairie during the golden hour, something magical happens,” Getten said.
Getten started working on the campaign with Vandeberg, and since has continued that work with Olson and TBID members. She has also taken charge of the tourism department’s Facebook page, where she posts event reminders, travel quotes to go with her photographs and, at times, photo albums of exciting area events.
“I’m excited to tell others not only to get lost in Montana, but show them that they too can find themselves in Havre,” Getten said.