Document Sample
					                                      Appendix A – SWOT


                                                                       Table of Contents

                                         Attractions, Activities, Events & Amenities.............................50
                                         Transportation & Accessibility .................................................53
                                         Business Climate .......................................................................55
                                         Quality of Life .............................................................................57
                                         Workforce, Education & Training .............................................59
                                         Real Estate & Public Facilities ..................................................61
                                         Tourism Management & Marketing ..........................................63
                                         Public Policy & Funding ............................................................65

TOURISM STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE LEWIS-CLARK VALLEY – APPENDIX A         APRIL 2007                                  49
                    APPENDIX A: SWOT ANALYSIS
Appendix A is an overview of the Valley’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities
and Threats (SWOT) from the perspective of tourism and business investment.
The SWOT analysis covers the following topics:
           ♦   Attractions, Activities, Events and Amenities
           ♦   Transportation and Accessibility
           ♦   Business Climate
           ♦   Quality of Life
           ♦   Workforce, Education and Training
           ♦   Real Estate and Public Facilities
           ♦   Tourism Management and Marketing
           ♦   Public Policy and Funding

Travelers visit a place because of its attractions, activities, events and amenities.
Tourism marketers must understand their area’s unique attractions, events and
amenities, along with their existing and potential customers, in order to promote
effectively to various traveler segments. Travelers visiting friends or family
generally rely on their hosts to recommend fun things to do or see
                                                                             “Friendly people, and
during their stay, and business travelers often try to carve out a few       green belt parks
hours of leisure time between meetings or after a conference.                throughout both towns are
                                                                                    the Valley’s best
STRENGTHS (AND POTENTIAL THREATS)                                                   strengths.”
                                                                                         . . . . . . .Survey Respondent
♦   World class natural resources: Hells Canyon, Snake and
    Clearwater Rivers, nearby National Forests and wilderness areas,
    wildlife, unique geology and panoramic vistas.
♦   Nez Perce Tribal culture: Nez Perce National Historical Park museum and
    sites, pow wows, horse breeding program, new hotel and casino
♦   Scenic drives:
      Northwest Passage National Scenic Byway and All-American                “Two qualities stand out:
      Road (U.S. 12), Nez Perce and Lewis & Clark National Historic           gateway to Hell's Canyon
      Trails, Northwest Discovery Water Trail (Columbia/Snake                 and homeland of the Nez
      Rivers), Clearwater & Snake River National Recreation Trail             Perce. These conjure
                                                                              images of a natural
      U.S. 12 links Glacier/Yellowstone Parks & Columbia Gorge                grandeur and an ancient
♦   History: Downtowns, museums, neighborhoods, Nez Perce                     human heritage that make
    culture, Sacajawea, Lewis & Clark explorers, settlers, mining, etc.,      the Valley unique--not just
♦   Outdoor recreation: Year-round: fishing, boating, golf, biking,           as a tourist destination but
                                                                              also as a point from which
    hiking, scenic driving, jet boat tours, hunting, sight-seeing, wildlife
                                                                              tourists may explore and
    viewing and open space                                                    experience.”
♦   Shopping: Historic Downtowns, malls, national retail stores,                   . . . . . . .Survey Respondent
    specialty shops
♦   Dining: Local specialties and unique eateries, national chain
♦   Cultural: Art exhibits, performances, wine tasting, history tours, tribal

♦   Existing large events:: NAIA World Series, Lewiston Roundup, Jazz Festival in
    Moscow, sports tournaments, Dogwood Festival
♦   Climate: Agreeable year ‘round weather conditions extends
                                                                                Great climate was listed as
    traditional travel season into Fall and Spring shoulder seasons
                                                                                the top overall strength,
♦   Lodging:1,066 lodging rooms and 338 RV/campground units                     garnering 65.6% of all
♦   Parking: Free parking everywhere, low traffic (except 21st and              survey respondent’s votes
    Bridge Streets)
                                                                                   . . . . . . .Online Survey Results
♦   City/County/State parks and recreation facilities, including college
    and high school auditoriums, aquatic center, ball fields, etc.
♦   Friendliness: Amiable people generating a rural, small-town feel
♦   Affordable: Cost of living, housing, utilities, health care, transportation, goods
    and services
However, the Valley’s Attractions, Activities, Events, and Amenities
may be threatened by……
♦   Shrinking federal funds for recreation facilities & program management.
♦   Declining salmon and steelhead fishing runs
                                                                            “The dams on the Lower
♦   Abuse and/or overuse, may reduce availability of natural resource       Snake River and the
    attractions                                                             declining salmon and
♦   Growing competition from tourist destinations in other                  steelhead numbers are the
    states/countries                                                        single most important
                                                                            problem. The numbers are
♦   Assumption that the Valley can compete effectively and not change
                                                                            not sustainable and we’ll
    status quo                                                              eventually lose one of the
♦   Inability to manage negative communications from residents and/or       most (financial and
    businesses                                                              emotional) important
                                                                            tourist attractions of the
♦   Increasing fuel costs may slow travel from visitors and local
                                                                            LC Valley.”
♦   Decline of Downtown areas                                                  . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦   Lack of interest or time to develop and market new activities
♦   Voter apathy for infrastructure changes to support tourism-related

♦   Lack of available rail service
♦   Poor air quality and pervasive smell
                                                                                        Availability of rail service
♦   Hells Canyon & other attractions are relatively unknown outside the                 (62.7%) and air quality
    region                                                                              (52.4%), were the top two
♦   Nez Perce Tribal Tourism is new; tours and programs are still being                 weaknesses, as reported
    developed                                                                           from the online survey.

♦   People are unclear of Chief Joseph and Appaloosa horses tribal                           . . . . . . .Online Survey Results
♦   Preservation of local history has been inconsistent
♦   Unfamiliarity with Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage & Education Ctr
♦   Most Valley leisure activities are focused on outdoor recreation
♦   Events lack sufficient funding for promotion
♦   Need more effort to package events with lodging and other activities

♦ Lack of upscale lodging facilities and dining opportunities
♦ Limited shopping opportunities in Downtown districts
♦ Public parking locations are not highly visible
♦ Business owner/employee parking is not well managed or enforced
♦ Aquatic center and other public recreation facilities (waterfront parks, levee
  trail system, etc.) are not easy to find, or linked to other tourist
                                                                                          The top priority issue to
Nevertheless, the Valley’s Attractions, Activities, Events,                               address for the
and Amenities could be enhanced by……                                                      development of tourism is
                                                                                          promotion from
♦ Cultivating tourism promotion links between existing tourism                            advertising, developing a
  entities, visitor services, businesses, agencies and the Nez Perce                      brand/theme, to packages,
  Tribe Tourism organization.                                                             web-based marketing
♦ Packaging Hells Canyon and other attractions with bigger name                           plans and strategies, as
                                                                                          reported from the online
  destinations such as “Top 10 Destinations in the Northern Rockies”
♦ Encouraging high value travelers (Europeans, heritage/cultural
  tourists) keenly interested in Nez Perce culture to visit the area                         . . . . . . .Online Survey Results
♦ Building on existing activities and events to draw more visitors

♦   Expanding competitions, special events (uphill bike race, Golf                  As reported from the
    tournament, Volkssport, motorcycle, car club rallies, etc.                      online survey, the next 5
♦   Linking indoor attractions and promoting more aggressively via                  most important issues to
    visitor centers, hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, etc.                  address for tourism
                                                                                    development were:
♦   Evaluating the potential to recruit a small upscale boutique hotel and           1. Improve air quality
    other luxury class lodging                                                       2. Restore fishing
♦   Addressing the air quality situation by creating a tourism committee             3. Improve transportation
    to work with EKO and Potlatch to develop feasible solutions                      4. Develop a waterfront
                                                                                     5. Establish a single
♦   Encouraging the formal adoption of the National Main Street model                 tourism organization
    to improve business diversity and profitability in Downtown districts
♦   Linking Downtowns to visitor attractions via signs, bike/pedestrian                 . . . . . . .Online Survey Results
    trail system
♦   Creating a Valley transportation system that includes both sides of
    the river, and utilizes both bus and water modes of travel
♦   Inviting a rail tour business to location of in the Valley, offering rail tours of the
    Valley and surrounding area to tourists and residents
♦   Establishing staffed, year-round Visitor Centers at each entrance to            “There needs to be one
    the Valley, with visible signage, adequate parking (RV’s, etc.)                 Tourism agency for the
♦   Organizing a single tourism entity to assume responsibility for all             entire Valley, with funding
                                                                                    coming from all
    Valley tourist-related marketing and promotion efforts
                                                                                    stakeholders in an evenly
♦   Developing a unified tourism message & create a framework for all               distributed amount.”
    tourism-related businesses to use the same message
♦   Nurturing a ‘visitor culture’ among the Valley’s businesses, insuring               . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    a high-quality tourist experience in the region, thus building a
    tourism momentum, and a high likelihood of repeat business

Tourism is dependent on adequate highway and available air access.
transportation impacts a visitor’s ability to get to their desired destination, and it
impacts businesses’ ability to receive or ship goods in a timely and cost-effective
manner. Once a visitor arrives at their destination, they need a good system of
visitor information, including directional and locational signs, and visitor centers
to help them find their way to, through and around the destination.

♦   The Lewis-Clark Valley is located at the junction of two U.S. highways: U.S. 95
    (north-south) and U.S. 12 (east-west)
♦   The Valley is only a 2-3 hour drive from potential visitor markets: 110 miles
    south of Spokane/Coeur d’Alene, 139 miles east of the Tri-Cities, 318 miles
    east of Seattle, 218 miles west of Missoula, and 273 miles north of Boise
♦   U.S. 12, from Lewiston to the Montana border, has been designated as the
    Northwest Passage Scenic Byway All American Road
♦   The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport has daily flights from Seattle, Boise
    and Salt Lake City, rental car service, hotel shuttles and free parking
♦   The airport also has a general aviation terminal with a Fixed Base Operator
    (FBO), charter service, FedEx service, and room for expansion
♦   The Valley has good freight/package shipping and delivery services
♦   Three inland seaports are located in the Valley; the Port of Clarkston serves
    cruise ships that travel the Columbia and Snake Rivers
♦   Jet/tour boat and outfitted fishing tour companies operate guided tours into
    Hells Canyon, and on the Salmon and Clearwater Rivers year-round
♦   Private boaters often travel the Columbia/Snake route from Portland or the Tri-
    Cities through the system of locks to arrive in the Valley
♦   Valley Transit offers service to visitors as well as residents in Nez Perce and
    Latah County, Idaho, and Asotin County, Washington
♦   Lewiston has commercial rail access connecting to the main transcontinental
    line in central Washington, the Upper Clearwater River and the Camas Prairie
♦   The 27 mile paved levee National Recreation Trail (Asotin to Clearwater River
    Casino) is available year-round (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
♦   The levee National Recreation Trail could be expanded throughout the
    Northwest Passage Scenic Byway corridor connecting the Nez Perce National
    Historic Park sites, state parks, and tribal enterprises.
♦   Funding for levee maintenance and upgrades is impacted by federal budget
♦   The Lewis Clark Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (LCV MPO),
    formed September 2006, is a newly designated MPO, or transportation
    planning organization, that includes the Cities of Lewiston, Clarkston and
    Asotin, as well as portions of Nez Perce and Asotin Counties. The MPO
    developed the first long range transportation plan for the Valley, and provides
    a new way to obtain and allocate transportation project development dollars
    within the urbanized area.
♦   Increased transportation planning and funding may benefit tourism by
    providing improved transit systems to move both residents and visitors
    throughout the area.

♦ Sculptures, welcome signs and landscaping enhances entrances to the Valley
♦ Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, with two airlines providing daily
  service direct to three larger hubs: Seattle/Tacoma, Boise, and Salt Lake City

However, transportation services may be threatened by…
♦   Declining state and federal transportation funding
♦   Necessary highway maintenance and improvements to U.S., state, and county
    highways and roads may be delayed due to diminishing federal funds
♦   Lack of dredging threatens use of ports and marinas
♦   Declining federal funds, and cross-state jurisdiction issues, threaten efficient
    use of transit assets
♦   Connective rail lines lose rail car availability to main lines
♦   Potential high fuel costs may increase transportation fees

♦   Lack of Interstate highway access affects the potential number of pass-
    through travelers who visit the Valley                                             A year 2010 vision
                                                                                       for one survey
♦   Many local roads and streets need repair                                           respondent was
♦   Circulation is confusing at key entryways to Lewiston, particularly at             “Less mess with
    21st/Main Streets, and in Clarkston at Bridge/diagonal streets                     billboards and signs,
♦   Downtown districts and key intersections need better illumination, and             less overhead lines,
                                                                                       and more trees.”
    reduction of sign clutter so visitors can see directional signs
♦   While air service has improved in recent years, flights are often full and         -Online Survey Respondent
♦   Commercial recreation use of Hells Canyon, Salmon River, and
    Clearwater River is underutilized
♦   Availability of public transportation connecting Valley attractions, hotels, visitor
    services and facilities, for tourists and residents
♦   Clarkston has no rail access
♦   Portions of the levee National Recreation Trail do not have pedestrian               “Single most
    lighting                                                                             important problem
                                                                                         facing the Valley is a
♦   Lack of multi-jurisdiction partnerships for expansion of the levee National          lack of
    Recreation Trail                                                                     transportation
♦   Billboard blight                                                                     around the Valley.”
♦   Industrial areas along U.S. 12 with chain link fences, barbed wire, and no
                                                                                         -Online Survey Respondent
    landscaping, etc. do not convey positive image of community
♦   Entrance to Lewiston on westbound U.S. 12/northbound U.S. 95 has no
    “hook” to draw people into town
♦   There is no highly visible visitor center near the junction of U.S. 12/95 to
    capture north/southbound traffic and pull them into town
♦   Clarkston VIC is difficult to find, has poor access, and no RV parking
♦   The Hells Canyon NRA VIC building poorly represents a world class attraction,
    and is not visible to pass-through traffic
♦   There is no central place to book trips into Hells Canyon

However, transportation and accessibility may be enhanced by…
♦   Development of alternative fuel production (biodiesel, etc.)
♦   Increased general aviation use of the airport for tourism (fly-ins, etc.)
♦   Evaluating feasibility of alternatives to current traffic quagmires, such as a
    roundabout at entryways to Lewiston and Clarkston
♦   Improving tourism marketing may increase trip counts on commercial
    recreation use of Hells Canyon, Salmon River, and Clearwater River
♦   Exploring funding sources (private, state and federal), for better street and
    pathway illumination
♦   Considering community pride programs for the industrial areas along US 12
♦   Studying the feasibility of a new, staffed, Visitor Information Center to be
    located near the junction of U.S. 12/95, which may also serve as a ‘hook’ to
    invite travelers to stop and discover the vast vacation opportunities awaiting
    them from the Valley’s attractions, activities, amenities and events

                            BUSINESS CLIMATE
Business climate is one of the most important factors in business development,
location decisions, and creation of higher paying jobs. How business is treated
on a daily basis is the essence of business climate. Business and industry have
many location alternatives when deciding where to make their investment. If a
community places impediments to the development process, those investment
dollars will be placed elsewhere. In addition, the community will gain a reputation
as a difficult place to do business, further impeding other business opportunities.
A growing share of new jobs in the U.S. economy stem from the formation of new
companies. A business climate that supports and rewards entrepreneurs, and
that understands their needs, is an important component of thriving economies
throughout the U.S.

♦   Several organizations are working to support business development in the
    Valley: Valley Vision, the Clarkston and Lewiston Chambers of Commerce,
    Clearwater Economic Development Association, Palouse Economic
    Development Council, the ports, Urban Renewal Authority, Small Business
    Development Center, LCSC, WWCC, etc.
♦   There are a number of local entrepreneurs and corporations willing to invest in
    new business ventures
♦   Tourism is a potential source of new business development as guests in
    motels and other visitors may be interested in business location opportunities
♦   The Valley’s retail sector has grown significantly in the past decade, drawing
    from a 9-county trade area of approximately 168,000 residents
♦   New Clearwater River Casino & Hotel developed by Nez Perce Tribal

However, the Valley’s business climate may be threatened by……
♦   The “Good Ole Boy” network, which can be unreceptive to new ideas and
    opinions related to emerging businesses and managed growth
♦   Lack of a growth-oriented vision, and an absence of creative          “The people in power
    business leadership                                                   within the communities
♦   Unclear or changing city rules, regulations, red tape, and unfriendly pay lip service to the
    local government toward business                                      tourism issue; they are the
                                                                          good old boys and don’t
♦   Poor availability of business and professional services that support  really care if the tourists
    business and industry                                                 come or not.”
♦   Lack of adequate conference and meeting facilities
                                                                                    . . . .Online Survey Respondent

♦   The Valley’s economy has been dominated by wood products manufacturing
    and food processing, which have been beneficial; however, the needs of other
    industries may have been hindered
♦   Some people in the Valley express a fear of or resistance to change; they are
    concerned about too much growth, or impacts of tourism on their quality of life
♦   Some businesses and developers state that there is a general lack of support
    or indifference to their needs for timely, consistent decisions and policies
♦   Past lack of cooperation between cities and counties, and across state lines,
    has hindered business development
♦   There are limited incentives for developers/businesses
♦   Many Clarkston businesses and outside business investors consider
    Washington’s tax system and rates to be a locational disadvantage

Nevertheless, the Valley’s business climate could be enhanced
♦   Establishing an informal communication network of business people who
    explore investment/business ventures, relating to tourism development
♦   Developing and marketing a package to Valley guests and travelers
    outlining the benefits of doing business in the Valley                    “Seniors moving in from
                                                                              outlying communities do
♦   Encouraging existing and new businesses to develop and market             not want growth and the
    conference and meeting facilities.                                        increased traffic that
♦   Enhancing leadership programs to nurture motivated and intelligent        comes along, so they
    business owners and individuals to expand their leadership skills         speak their mind with their
♦   Recruiting new tourism-based businesses, (upscale, retail/restaurant,
    river-related businesses), additional health care services, outdoor          . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    recreation manufacturing businesses, wineries, family-oriented
    commercial firms
♦   Improving downtown areas in Clarkston and Lewiston with upgraded
    infrastructure, clean store fronts, renovated buildings, and managed parking
♦   Better communication and cooperation between Chambers, Nez Perce Tribe,
    agencies, organizations, and other business and community leaders
♦   A ‘Pride of Tourism’ campaign may improve the business climate, producing
    more jobs, higher-paying opportunities and better trained workforce

                                  QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of life means different things to different people, but certain factors are
widely valued, including a reasonable cost of living, low crime rate, cultural and
recreational activities, and overall community ambiance. Entrepreneurs, business
owners and travelers seek similar attributes, like housing availability, community
attractiveness, cultural-recreational assets and the general cost of living,
including the cost of recreation and tourism-related attractions. While cost
continues to be a major factor for business location, quality of life plays an
increasingly important role. All of these factors influence the attractiveness of a
community as a tourist destination.

♦   The Valley has an extraordinary setting, a ‘sense of place’, with its rivers, hills,
    nearby mountains, and mild climate
♦   Available recreational opportunities, high quality river and land-based
                                                                                  “Our local quality of life
    recreation facilities and nearby mountains providing access to snow           remains largely centered
    sports                                                                        on availability of diverse,
♦   The Valley’s heritage and character are highlighted by historic               rich, natural resources.”
    Downtown districts, museums, courthouses, and other buildings
                                                                                      . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦   The low elevation and mild winter temperatures provide an attractive
    environment for year-round outdoor activities
♦   An active arts community (sculpture, theater, music and dance) with programs
    and classes are available for all ages
♦   Local media provide event information to residents and visitors alike.
♦   The Valley is an active community, with many dedicated volunteers and
♦   Many families with deep roots in the Valley, providing a living legacy and
    strong family values. Friendliness abounds, and the crime rate is low
♦   High quality health care services are provided by two medical centers         “This is a small town, with
    and numerous specialty clinics, assisted and long term care facilities,       friendly residents, and a
                                                                                  plethora of outstanding
    etc. Medical support services are a major presence, with the
                                                                                  recreation nearby.”
    corporate headquarters for Regence located in the Valley
♦   Housing is affordable in the Valley, and there is a diversity of                  . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    shopping opportunities, with a number of discount and chain retailers

However, the Valley’s Quality of Life may be threatened by……
♦ New development, which can increase traffic problems and taxes for existing
  citizens and businesses if impact fees, public improvement districts and other
  policies are not in place so that new development pays for expansion of, and
  long-term impacts on, infrastructure and public services
♦ The lack of thoughtful master planning and zoning, which are important to
  protect the investments of existing and new developments, and to ensure that
  new development enhances the character of the community

♦ Continued poor transportation services throughout the valley, connecting
  health care service facilities, residential communities, shopping areas,
  attractions, and recreational locations
♦ Low paying jobs, along with the decline of a skilled workforce and possible
  growing poverty conditions
♦ Continued general poor appearance of some areas, buildings, blocks,
  downtowns, and community entryways
♦ Rise in housing prices due to growth pressure from in-migration of retirees

♦   While improvements have been made over the past two decades, the
    pervasive smell from the Potlatch pulp and paper mill continues, generating
    complaints from local residents, visitors and travelers
♦   More recently, the EKO composting facility has generated offensive smells,
    giving rise to complaints from both residents and visitors
♦   Jurisdictional and turf issues among cities, counties, chambers, ports, federal
    and tribal agencies and other organizations, has created conflicts and strained
    relationships that hinder economic development progress
♦   Interviews with local business leaders cited concerns about the “Good Ole
    Boy” network that drives many city/county policy decisions, and is often
    unreceptive to new ideas and opinions related to emerging businesses and
    managed growth
♦   Drug and alcohol abuse, domestic issues, increased bankruptcy rates and
    child neglect due to gambling additions
♦   Low-paying jobs with no benefits tend to exacerbate abuse issues, and abuse
    problems tear at the social fabric of the community
Nevertheless, the Valley’s quality of life could be enhanced by……
♦   Exploring odor mitigation options at Potlatch and EKO with researchers at the
    University of Idaho and Washington State University smells through new
    processes and technologies that would serve as pilot projects, attracting
    positive public relations and interest from other similar facilities worldwide,
    also creating an attraction at these facilities by means of industry/researcher
    tours, showing their methods to overcome these offensive attributes
♦   Combining all tourism marketing efforts into one Valley-wide organization,
    which acts as a role model to other agencies and organizations, and becomes
    a success story
♦   Creating, nurturing and rewarding a ‘pride of tourism’ amongst residents,
    businesses, the Tribe, agencies and organizations, which in turn improves the
    overall quality of life and the ‘sense of community’
♦   Attracting upscale specialty clothing and accessories retailers to serve
    residents and tourists
♦   Improving the Valley’s “curb appeal”: better connections to the rivers,
    reduction of sign clutter, improvements to entrance corridors
♦   The addition of more cultural and heritage activities and facilities
♦   A large downtown redevelopment abd waterfront rejuvenation project to
    replace dilapidated industrial facilities and buildings with attractive retail
    environments and small business clusters.

To be successful in the tourism business, a well-trained workforce is critical.
Tourism is a relationship-based business, with customer service being
paramount. As the tourism customer base becomes increasingly more
sophisticated, with higher expectations, the Valley workforce must rise to meet
those higher expectations.

♦   The Valley has an available workforce, although some businesses report
    difficulties in hiring people with appropriate skills
♦   The Valley’s public schools have a good reputation for training students in
    basic skills
♦   Wage rates are relatively low in the Valley, making the workforce affordable
    for new businesses
♦   Lewis Clark State College and Walla Walla Community College both have
    vocational training programs that serve tourism and recreation businesses,
    and LCSC has specific degree programs in Hotel/Restaurant Management at
    both the bachelors and associates levels
♦   LCSC continuing education offers a hospitality training program throughout
    north central Idaho
However, the Valley’s tourism workforce, education and training
system may be threatened by…
♦ Apathy and disinterest by the workforce to attend training programs
♦ Inertia and a lack of understanding by business owners and managers
  regarding the tourism customer who increasingly expects a higher standard of
  service; so owners and managers do not provide training, nor do they have
  high expectations of superior customer service from their employees
♦ Lack of higher-paying job and career opportunities, which in turn continue the
  exodus of youth and young families to larger urban areas with great
  job potential                                                             “Many of those put in
                                                                                    positions of providing
                                                                                    information and/or service
WEAKNESSES (AND POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES)                                            don't know the answer and
♦ Many workers in the Valley have had little experience with upscale                don't make any effort to
  tourism experiences elsewhere; for example, many young workers                    find it out -- usually with
  have never dined in an upscale restaurant, so their only concept of               an inconvenienced
  service is the fast food variety, and hotel and tour boat staff may               attitude.
  never have experienced world class concierge or guided tour
                                                                               Our standards for front-
  services, so they cannot relate to the expectations of a more
                                                                               liners should be so high
  educated and sophisticated clientele                                         they are off the charts!”
♦ Turnover rates are high in many businesses because of low wages,
  which is detrimental to customer service and raises overall business            . . . .Online Survey Respondent
  costs (one business reported that recent turnover in key service
  positions cost them a 20% increase in labor costs due to the
  additional training and supervision needed to maintain good customer service)
♦ An inability to fully develop year-round tourism, which in turn only provides
  seasonal job opportunities

Nonetheless, the Valley’s workforce and training could be enhanced
♦   Augmented front-line service training that demonstrates upscale service and
    teaches workers about the expectations of more sophisticated travelers
♦   The development of a cross-trained workforce employment agency who acts
    as both a trainer and clearinghouse of available tourism-related workers for
    any given day, vacation-relief, seasonal or off-season employment
♦   A partnership between like-minded businesses to share employees, so that
    the employee would be guaranteed a full 40 hour work week
♦   Fostering a ‘Pride of Tourism’ culture, rewarding and recognizing
    outstanding employees in an industry segment, like the jet boat tour      “To make the Valley more
    groups, hospitality, etc.                                                 competitive, I’d
                                                                              recommend ongoing
♦   Developing a Valley-wide ‘Pride of Tourism’ customer survey that is
                                                                              training of local people to
    enthusiastically given to every customer in every type of tourism         welcome tourists and
    related, or ‘person-to-person’ business, with awards and recognition      point them in the direction
    to businesses receiving high marks                                        of the area’s services.”
♦   Evaluating the feasibility of a Culinary Arts program at LCSC to train
    chefs, who could do internships in local restaurants, then work to           . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    raise the level of dining in the Valley by working for existing
    restaurants or starting their own;
♦   A culinary arts program may draw students from throughout Idaho and other
    states; and also could offer weekend workshops for locals and tourists
    interested in a culinary learning experience
♦   Encouraging the public schools to offer job training, and high school
    internships for tourism related careers


Available land and buildings are critical to new business development. The
consulting team’s experience in business site selection reveals that 60-80% of
new business locations are seeking an existing building. Available buildings are
very important to the success of manufacturing, distribution, and technology-
related projects, although new tourism site selection such as hotels and
restaurants generally involves new construction. High-speed, broadband
telecommunications capacity is the infrastructure of the New Economy. Most
businesses and industries must have this capacity in order to be competitive and
operationally effective. Lack of available water and sewer capacity can be
immediate “knock out” factors for many companies during the site selection

STRENGTHS (AND POTENTIAL THREATS)                                                    “Both communities desire
                                                                                     their own identity but I
♦   Several parcels of land are available near the highway corridor,                 believe we could be a
    along the waterfront, and at the edges of town for commercial                    stronger voice if we
    development; with high quality waterfront/water view parcels offered             unified as one when
    by the Port of Clarkston                                                         tourism and Hells Canyon
♦   There is office/retail space available in the Downtown areas in                  are the focus.
    unique historic buildings, although many of the buildings need to be
                                                                                 Let the only thing that
    updated with wiring, heating systems, weatherization and                     divides us be the river.”
    broadband access, and several of these buildings are at risk due to
    deterioration and potential fire hazards                                        . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦   Housing units and residential housing lots are available at
    reasonable prices
♦   There are several facilities available capable of seating 400+ people; the
    largest facility, the former Clearwater River Casino building, is an event center
    seating up to 1,000, enhancing the Valley’s ability to attract visitors for events
    in cool weather months
♦   Many other facilities can accommodate smaller groups of 25-60; these
    facilities are not marketed systematically as a resource, despite the Valley’s
    central location for regional meetings                                       “Successful tourism in the
♦   The Valley has several golf courses, a water park, pools and other           Valley can be aided by
    parks                                                                        downtown (Lewiston)
♦   Priority public works projects are ongoing with upgrades to water            underground
                                                                                 infrastructure upgrades
    and sewer systems
                                                                                 (including electrical) for
♦   Currently there is adequate water/sewer capacity for City needs,             improved look and sound
    although services can be impacted by weather patterns (too much              of downtown, particularly
    or too little surface water)                                                 at special events.”
♦   City domestic water supply facilities have been improved and are
                                                                                    . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    capable of supporting economic growth
♦   Electric power services are provided by Avista for both Nez Perce
    and Asotin County; natural gas and propane service is provided by Avista and
♦   Opportunities exist to develop wind power and/or biofuels in the Valley

♦ There are several local telephone exchange service providers, but good cell
  phone service/coverage is limited to the Valley, and sporadic outside the
  Valley; inconsistent (or no) cell coverage is considered a detriment by
  residents, visitors, and businesses
♦ There are several Internet Service Providers in the Valley, offering wireless,
  DSL and broadband services; free wireless for visitors is available at most of
  the major hotels for their guests, but free wireless hot spots are located in
  Lewiston only at the Main Street Grill, and Floral Artistry & Espresso Garden
  and in Clarkston at Tomato Brothers Restaurant.

♦   Lack of cell coverage, wireless coverage outside the immediate Valley
♦   Lack of individual access to the technology
♦   Perception of poor air quality
♦   Limited amount of developed commercial/business park capacity with fully
    served sites (water, sewer, highway access, high speed telecom) and/or
    existing commercial/industrial buildings to meet its economic development
♦   Availability of low interest loans/venture capital financing for new business

Nonetheless, the Valley’s real estate and public facilities                     “I think the single best
could be enhanced by…                                                           thing we could do is
                                                                                develop a wharf (not a
♦ Participation in the regional Telecommunications Plan Task Force,             boat dock, but a true wharf
  and support efforts to enhance such infrastructure according to the           with restaurants, bars,
  Plan                                                                          water related facilities,
♦ Endorse initiatives and projects to improve community infrastructure          cruise boat docking
  and affordable housing for low-wage and seasonal workers as                   capacity, shopping, etc.)
  tourism grows in the Valley                                                   with access from both
                                                                                land and water.”
♦ Encourage and develop business investment in the downtown
  areas of both Lewiston and Clarkston                                        . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦ Aggressively partnering with local business leaders and investors
  together with outside-the-area leaders/investors to pursue
  recreational business opportunities that include wineries, vineyards, wine bars,
  microbreweries, new dining establishments, marina development, recreation
  equipment manufacturing, sporting goods and RV repair facilities

Effective marketing and promotions are critical to tourism development, as
tourism requires the customer to come to the product. In an increasingly
competitive market, tourism destinations must be highly targeted in their
marketing efforts, with consistent brand messages, based on good market
research, and they must think regionally to position their destination.
Market access, logistics, and marketing costs are an important component of
operating costs for all companies. Retailers consider logistics to access their
target customer groups.

♦   Marketing collaborations exist between the Lewiston Chamber, Hells          “There are five excellent
    Canyon Visitor Association and North Central Idaho Travel                   public boat launches in
                                                                                the area, but NONE have
    Association; all three organizations also work on tourism-related
                                                                                fish cleaning facilities.”
    initiatives with the Nez Perce Tribe, colleges, local governments and
    economic development organizations                                             . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦   The tourism promotion budgets of the Lewiston Chamber and Hells
    Canyon Visitor Association combined, including staffing, is about
    $180,000 annually; this total does not include costs for operation of the
    Lewiston or Clarkston visitor centers
♦   Valley Vision markets the Valley to recruit new businesses via direct
    marketing efforts and incentives                                            “The incredible fishing
                                                                                and scenery, combined
♦   Current promotional materials: Valley Visitor Guide, Discover regional      with the rich cultural
    visitor guide, maps, “53 Things To Do in the Valley,” etc.                  heritage and diversity
♦   Abundance of culture/heritage venues with the presence of the Nez           could make the LC Valley
    Perce Tribe located in nearby Lapwai, and the new Clearwater River          a destination area far
    Casino and 50-room hotel just outside of Lewiston                           beyond what it is today, if
                                                                                that is the goal of the
♦   Stakeholder collaboration and sincere interest to promote the Valley’s      people in the Valley.”
    tourism assets
♦   A plethora of outdoor recreational events, activities and attractions are      . . . .Online Survey Respondent
    available to market and promote
♦   North Central Idaho Travel Association consistently assists with
    regional marketing across state lines
However, the Valley’s marketing and tourism management efforts
may be threatened by……
♦ Misunderstood reasons for tourism development collaboration by
  residents and leaders                                                         “Enhance awareness of
                                                                                the proximity of L/C Valley
♦ Historical and ongoing divisiveness/competitiveness between the two           to the vast expanses of
  states, two cities and two chambers of commerce                               local wilderness and
♦ Inability to maximize funding opportunities                                   public lands.”

                                                                                   . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦ Marketing dollars are fragmented between the different organizations,
  attractions, activities, events and amenities
♦ Lack of understanding by residents concerning the benefits of tourism

♦ There is no cohesive image or message (“brand”) being projected to potential
  businesses and tourists in a systematic way – there are different marketing
  messages directed to consumers from private, public, tribal and nonprofit
  organizations, causing information clutter, consumer confusion, and ineffective
  expenditures of limited marketing funds
♦ The Downtown district image is weak, and business hours are limited
  (especially on weekends, despite the fact that more than 50% of all retail sales
  take place after 5 p.m. and on weekends)
♦ The Lewiston Chamber of Commerce provides visitor information services at
  its office downtown, and east entrance of Highway 12, but both locations are
  not easily found by visitors
♦ Poor wayfinding for travelers to locate services, the airport, health care,
  attractions and activities
Nonetheless, the Valley’s marketing and tourism management efforts
could be enhanced by……
♦   All tourism marketing investments could be more effective by pooling some
    resources for a strategic, cohesive marketing plan and message, implemented
    by a single Valley tourism marketing organization
♦   Partnership building between attractions and accommodations, resulting in
    visitor packages that adds to the traveler’s quality experience and extends
    their length of stay
                                                                             “….. follow NAIA's lead.
♦   Developing a branded message for the Valley, encompassing its            Every Friday before the
    many attributes                                                          NAIA World Series
♦   Creating photograph ‘icons’ as part of the branded message that          everyone wears NAIA tee
    are consistently used when marketing the Valley                          shirts around town.
♦   Nurture tourism partnerships among Valley businesses, agencies,          Why not every Thursday
    residents, and the Tribe                                                 or Friday during peak
♦   An interactive Valley tourism marketing Internet presence that           tourism season have the
    promotes all activities, attractions, events and amenities in both       Valley’s retail employee
    cities and counties                                                      wear ‘I survived Hells
                                                                             Canyon!’ tee shirts.”
♦   Researching additional grant opportunities for tourism promotion
    and management                                                               . . . .Online Survey Respondent
♦   Investigate potential partnerships with WSU/UI events to create
    Valley tourism opportunities for the areas businesses and
    attractions, and to provide WSU/UI fans and visitors additional recreational
    events to enjoy and explore

                      PUBLIC POLICY AND FUNDING
Good public policy (or lack thereof) can have a tremendous impact on a
community’s future, including its quality of life, growth and development. Policy
makers (elected officials and government staff) must strike a balance between
policies which do not unnecessarily impede business development, and those
which allow exploitation and poor or unplanned development in a community.
Local option tourism-related taxes (lodging, food & beverage, selected retail) are
often tapped to help support local services and infrastructure, which is
appropriate to capture revenues from tourists to help mitigate the impacts of
tourism. However, inappropriate uses of tourism-related taxes, or excessive
taxation, can artificially inflate costs and reduce benefits for tourism businesses,
causing a negative impact on long-term tourism development and sustainability.

♦ For the past six years, the Valley has benefited significantly from direct
  Congressional appropriations for Lewis & Clark Bicentennial projects and
  programs, and the Idaho congressional delegation continues to be involved in,
  and supportive of, tourism
♦ The cities of Clarkston and Lewiston are supportive of tourism development
♦ Tourism is the 3rd largest industry in Idaho, and enjoys a dedicated funding
  stream for state and regional tourism promotion
♦ Valley tourism and economic development organizations work collaboratively
  to support tourism development
However, the Valley’s public policy and funding opportunities may
be threatened by…
♦ Diminishing state and federal resources
♦ Lack of knowledge/experience to find alternative funding sources
♦ Continued disagreement and inability to effectively communicate between the
  two municipalities and chambers of commerce

♦   The multi-jurisdictional area resulting in different legislative practices with
    regard to tourism tax collections between the two states and two cities
♦   Lack of flexibility in Idaho for tourism-related local option taxes, and limitations
    on use of state tourism funding in Idaho
♦   Lack of public and private investment dollars
♦   Lewis & Clark Bicentennial funding coming to a close
♦   The Hells Canyon permit system is not accommodating to ‘Let’s Go Today’
    river trips
♦   Policy issues with Departments of Transportation and City/County staff
    prevent directional wayfinding signs that direct visitors to attractions across the