The National Geographic is known world-wide for its exceptional maps. They come as a World Atlas in a hard cover that slips into a box and measures about two feet by 14 inches, give or take, to maps that fold out of their monthly magazine to the Geotourism maps.
The Geotourism maps are exceedingly popular and have been published in a variety of locales around the world. Their most recent endeavor is close to home and represents a promotional opportunity the area has probably never experienced.
The map was unveiled last week by National Geographic and Travel Oregon. This most recent map is known as the National Geographic’s Central Cascades Geotourism Map Guide. Guides have been done in areas from Peru to Vermont, and this is their ninth map.
Butte Creek Mill, Historic Prospect Hotel ,Union Creek Resort and Beckie’s Café are four of the 10 sites noted in Jackson and Josephine counties.
“They were looking for historical, ecological sites,” said Bob Russell, who with his wife, Debbie, own the Butte Creek Mill. Russell said the Southern Oregon Visitors Association made him aware of the opportunity to have the Mill listed on the map and more than a year ago he went to an event at Roxy Ann Winery where he learned more about the opportunity.
Fred Wickman, owner of the Historic Prospect Hotel, learned about the map through his membership in the Bed and Breakfast Guild, where he serves on the board of directors. “Our son actually nominated us,” said Wickman. “This is big,” said Wickman. And, according to Russell, a representative from National Geographic told him other areas where the magazine has done a map have had anywhere from a 300 to 700 percent increase in tourism. “Millions follow National Geographic,” said Russell.
Hard work on the part of both of these relative newcomers to the Upper Rogue is being noticed. Butte Creek Mill and the Historic Prospect Hotel were both featured on the SAIF calendar with statewide distribution and the hotel was recently featured in the Oregon cultural publication .
While Wickman readily admits he is hoping for the lion’s share of Upper Rogue business not only to dine, but to spend the night, he said his real goal is to get everyone to pay more attention to the Upper Rogue, “I want the Upper Rogue to be a destination. Having my parking lot full benefits the entire community.”
Wickman said he will continue to do what he can to get the name of the Upper Rogue out. The Wickmans moved to Prospect from the Bay Area in 2005. He said he has increased sales every year.
There were some 1200 applications to be featured on the map. Of that number about 200 were selected. Others in our two-county area finding a place on this unique map include the Table Rock, Rogue Creamery, Wolf Creek Inn, Applegate Trail Interpretive Center Museum in Sunny Valley, Ashland and Jacksonville.
Butte Creek Mill, Historic Prospect Hotel and Union Creek Resort are all members of the Eagle Point-Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce and will be working together to promote the area through 2nd Saturday events throughout the year.
The map can be seen at http://thecentralcascades.com/ and will be available for $5.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent