Finding a way with the VCB
While the Thurston County Visitor and Convention Bureau (known as the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau) (Hereafter referred to as the VCB) touts the advantages of a Tourism Promotion Area, an effort to coordinate other VCB activities has fallen by the wayside.
The Wayfinding Project, once pushed by the VCB as a way to coordinate regional points of interests using uniform signing, has been shunted aside with each city going its own way.
In 2005, the VCB introduced the concept using uniform signage to direct visitors to points of interest through out Thurston County such as the State Capitol, Tumwater Falls and the Regional Athletic Complex.
A year later the three cities contracted with the VCB to develop a plan and allocated funds for the purpose. Over a three-year period the three cities continued to allocate funds each year for that program.
After several meetings, with interested parties, it was determined that each city was unique and needed its own signing. To that end, the City of Lacey has contracted for its own directional signing and will soon be placing such markers around the city. Included in that program will be directional signing for the Regional Athletic Complex, Cabela’s and Shipwreck Beads.
The city will also develop a policy which defines a “significant tourism draw” and determine what, if any funds, are available for additional signing.
If the VCB learned anything from the Wayfinding Project, it’s that each city is different and regionality is a force to be respected.