(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 19--It took off right out of the box and has had lots of attention right from the beginning.
Now, with the summer travel season in full swing, it's time to wind the campaign down. That's the way it goes: You attract attention early on, get people to make plans and book travel, let the people get out there and enjoy their vacation, then move on to another project.
Actually, high-elevation hiking trails at three of the wonders (Mount Hood, Wallowa Mountains and Crater Lake) are just now becoming snow free.
Before the campaign ends, Travel Oregon is conducting a poll, with prizes, through its Facebook site (facebook.com/traveloregon) about what is the No. 1 travelers' favorite Wonder of Oregon.
I already ran a similar poll in April, and Crater Laker won hands down. But this is Travel Oregon's campaign and if they want to crown the state's No. 1 icon, more power to them.
This is what Travel Oregon says about the vote: "Whether you've explored them all or they're still on your adventure bucket list, we want to know which of Oregon's 7 Wonders you love the most. Vote for your favorite Oregon Wonder and you'll be entered to win one of three epic adventures from The Clymb, two tickets for air travel on Alaska Airlines and plenty of awesome gear."
Vote through the Facebook link above.
Travel Oregon, of course, is the business name for official state tourism promotion through the Oregon Tourism Commission.
The 7 Wonders of Oregon it chose for the campaign were: Crater Lake, Oregon coast, Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Smith Rock, Painted Hills and Wallowa Mountains.
That covers the state geographically pretty well and spread out the visitors. You can argue that some location in more deserving, but this is only a marketing campaign that worked quite well, so there's no disputing the topic.
As Travel Oregon moves on to its annual fall Oregon Bounty campaign, I will visit the 7 Wonders of Oregon project one last time with a series of posts on the 7 best hikes in each of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.
Of course, there aren't seven great hikes in the Painted Hills, which are very small, but I expand the geographical bounds a bit (which is exactly what Travel Oregon hoped the campaign would accomplish).
Look for my posts beginning Sunday (tomorrow) in this order: Smith Rock State Park (Sunday), Columbia River Gorge (Monday), Mount Hood (Tuesday), Painted Hills (Wednesday), Oregon coast (Thursday), Wallowa Mountains (Friday) and Crater Lake (Saturday).
I have been working on this project for some time and am using it to cover my absence next week when I plan to be out of the reach of the Internet for several days in the wilds of Idaho.
Follow this website all next week for the best hikes near each of the 7 Wonders, with many links of my reporting for each of the wonders.
Below are links to some of what I've written this year about the 7 Wonders, at the introduction of the campaign when I asked for readers' favorite wonders and what wonders were left off.
The "story box" at upper write has much of my "7 Wonders" reporting compiled into an easy-to-find format. Click on "all stories.")
Crater Lake readers' choice as Oregon's top wonder; what about Mount Hood? (poll)
Oregon has Seven Wonders, according to Travel Oregon; readers think it has many more (poll)
Travel Oregon announces new tourism campaign built upon '7 Wonders of Oregon'
Travel Oregon promotes '7 Wonders of Oregon:' how do we stack up against lovely neighbors? (poll)
-- Terry Richard
(c)2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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