Sisters Chamber of Commerce Launches Successful Marketing Campaign

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Focused efforts bring additional tourists to the Sisters Country this holiday season.

Setting a course toward the future, the Sisters Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the business community to focus their marketing efforts on bringing additional tourists to the Sisters Country this holiday season and their efforts are proving to be very successful.

Last weekend thousands of families, shoppers and outdoor enthusiasts flocked to The Sisters Country for what proved to be one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year.

"We have worked very hard to put some strategic promotional efforts in place to increase our winter traffic," said Tate Metcalf, President of the Sisters Chamber of Commerce. "From what I'm hearing from business owners, this has been one of our town's busiest Holiday Season's ever."

The Sisters Chamber efforts began early with a marketing campaign, A Cowboy Christmas, designed to saturate the Portland and Eugene markets with a mix of advertising including a statewide promotion on Oregon Public Broadcasting. The Chamber focused on creating marketing efforts that would benefit the entire region and bring in tourist dollars during the slower winter months.

"We are a new business in Sisters and we were packed. It was standing room only in here, " said Steven Segal owner of Alpaca by Design this years winner of the Gingerbread House Trail. Businesses throughout The Sisters Country have their gingerbread creations on display to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

"We have been at 85% capacity this entire season, and over 100 people attended our Grand Illumination event" said Vincent Rosán, assistant general manager of the Lodge at Suttle Lake.

The event, the Grand Illumination of The Lodge at Suttle Lake, is a new event this season in which over 65,000 bulbs were illuminated. A large crowd gathered for the inaugural festivities, filling the lodge to capacity.

"We had over 40 vendors at our Christmas Bazaar and it was the busiest one ever, " said Roger White, owner of the Camp Sherman General Store. The Camp Sherman Bazaar is famous for its handmade wreaths, and over 60 were crafted this year by the joint efforts of Black Butte School students, their parents and teachers.

Key to the success of this seasons marketing campaign was the creation of a new brand. The Sisters branding project grew out of a community visioning process that began last year to identify Sisters' values and strengths and to set a course into the future.

This new brand is an "S" inside a circle, representing Sisters at the heart of Oregon. The symbol and the tagline give a nod to heritage while looking forward with a modern-day pioneering spirit. As a part of A Cowboy Christmas, park benches, porch pillars, and the sides of businesses all around Sisters were branded by Sisters Country resident Jeff Wester.

Kara Calmettes, owner of The Paper Place said that, "Business was booming on Friday."

Barclay Park was packed with a record crowd as buildings were branded all afternoon and the community tree was illuminated for the first time, while hundreds of folks joined the choir in singing a variety of old Christmas favorites.

The investment the Chamber has made in this new branding process and it's marketing efforts toward A Cowboy Christmas have procured numerous articles in publications throughout the Pacific Northwest and on local television station - Z21, the Bend Bulletin, the Sisters Nugget News, Travel Oregon and many more.

The Sisters Country Cowboy Christmas events continue through December 31st including:
--Gingerbread Trail, November 23 - December 31, 2007, Downtown Sisters. View the various gingerbread creations of the Sisters business community on the "Gingerbread Trail." Vote for your favorite with a donation to Sisters Habitat for Humanity.
--Festival of Lights, November 24-December 31, 2007, The Lodge at Suttle Lake will be hosting events throughout the holiday season including sleight rides, music & pictures with Santa.
--Home on the Range Display, December 1 - December 31, 2007, Black Butte Ranch. Visit the Home on the Range Gingerbread House Display at Black Butte Ranch at the Lodge. All proceeds from lot sales of Home on the Range benefit Sisters Habitat for Humanity.
--Classic Christmas Movie Matinees, Saturdays and Sundays, December 1 - 22, Sisters Movie House.
--Open House/Art & Craft Show & Sale, Saturday, Dec. 1, 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sisters Art Works.
--Bon Fire & Tree Lighting, Saturday, December 1, 5pm, FivePine Lodge.
--Holiday Open House, Saturday, December 1, 11am - 4pm, High Desert Gallery. Featured artist, Cary L. Weigand. New fine art Sculpture in Porcelain. Enjoy refreshments and Holiday cheer!
--Gingerbread House Building Workshop, Tuesday, December 4th, 9am, Ray's Food Place.
--Holiday Open House, Saturday, December 8, 11am - 4pm, High Desert Gallery. Featured artist, Paul Alan Bennett and his Pendelton Tapestry Blankets. Enjoy refreshments and holiday cheer!
--Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, December 15 & 22, 9am, Black Butte Ranch.
--Lunch with Santa, Saturday, December 15, 11am - 2pm, FivePine Conference Center.
Carriage Rides, Saturday, December 15 & 22, Sunday - Monday, December 23 - 31 (except Christmas Day), Black Butte Ranch.
--New Year's Eve Party with Fireworks Display, Monday, December 31, Hoodoo Ski Resort.

For more information about A Cowboy Christmas contact the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-549-0251. For a complete listing of events go to http://www.sisterschamber.com.

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Tate Metcalf

Sandy Muller

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