Small towns are full of characters. Sometimes, we feel a bit embarrassed by that, but what if we started to value our town characters? It might be a savvy tourism opportunity.
Here’s how one town did it, catching the attention of a travel writer.
Eric [Perkins] recently contacted dozens of Chamber of Commerce offices around Minnesota to see what was unique about their community. Not only did Hendricks email back to let him know but they sent a list of about forty different “characters” for Eric to interview.
Hendricks [is] on the border of South Dakota. It may only have a population of 725 people, but it’s a community full of characters.
Eric also met the town’s strongest man, a guy named Bobby Kanz who is the town welder. He demonstrated his strength to Eric by lifting a 15 pound sledgehammer by the very end of the handle.
Eric also met the town’s mayor, a local dairy farmer who collects bib overalls (more than 100 pair and counting), a 71-year-old grandma who rides a mean snowmobile, and a guy who collects more aluminum cans for recycling than you could possibly count!
I am thinking there isn’t a travel writer on Earth who could resist the lure of a list of characters like that. Imagine if you kept such a list, if you shared it with writers, if you gave regular visitors the chance to meet them.
Thanks to Mike Knutson for sharing the link.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.