Green Chamber unveils OMDP marketing tools
Business, community join promoting national treasure
By Alta LeCompte
Las Cruces Bulletin
September 4, 2014
If a tourist asks you which sites in the 496,330 acre Organ-Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument to visit, what would you tell them?
Even if you’ve never been past Dripping Springs, there’s no need to struggle for an intelligent answer: The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce is unveiling its OMDP marketing toolkit for local businesses at the First Friday brown bag 11:30 a.m. Sept. 5.
Carrie Hamblen, executive director of the Las Cruces Green Chamber, will give a workshop on how businesses can use the toolkit.
Hamblen also will introduce the toolkit at ribbon cuttings, a training session Tuesday, Sept. 9, at Beck’s Coffee, a presentation to City Council Monday, Sept. 15, Green Drinks on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and Networks Business Tuesday, Oct. 7.
The toolkit includes OMDP talking points, Visitors Guide brochure with “where to visit” information, and “ask me about” buttons for staff to wear, as well as goodies such as magnets, stickers and posters for customers.
There also is a follow-up form to evaluate the success of OMDP marketing.
Hamblen said the kit was planned to reflect the input member businesses provided through a survey.
Each brochure has a place where businesses can affix their logos.
The brochure will direct people to thewebsite, which links to the Bureau of Land Management site for maps, permitting and other information a local or out-of-town visitor needs for a day of adventure in the nearby mountains.
“Our goal is to get the brochure in as many people’s hands as possible ? distributed by the CVB, hotels, any business that wants to highlight the opportunity to explore OMDP,” Hamblen said.
“People don’t need to be Green Chamber members to be a part of this. Ultimately this is about how the entire community can benefit.”
Getting out there
Eagerly awaiting the debut of the kit is Russell Hernandez, food and beverage manager at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.
“We’re excited to learn what we can do to together to promote this – it’s such a great thing,” he said. “Since we at the hotel are poised with a directview of the Organ Mountains, why not have the opportunity of promoting it?”
Others who are partnering to market the peaks are the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), and city and county economic development agencies, as well as the Southwest Environmental Center, New Mexico Wildlife Alliance and Friends of the Organ Mountains.
“Since the national monument was designated, we’ve had double the people clicking OMDP on our website,” said CVB ‘s executive director Philip San Filippo. “People are excited about it, and so are we.”
“The interesting thing is several groups are working together to maximize everything the National Monument can provide,” Hamblen said.
“Friends of the Organ Mountains will be bumping up the number of trips it organizes as well as awareness of the monument area. The Green Chamber is getting businesses to capitalize on the benefits as well as to become stewards of the National Monument.”
Hamblen said the kit is just the beginning of coordinated efforts throughout the community to create opportunity as a result of the OMDP designation in May by President Barack Obama.
Acknowledging that sometimes multiple groups involved in a project can mean “lots of cooks,” Hamblen said OMDP team members share a common commitment.
“We all want this to be respectful, to approach this in a thoughtful way,” she said.
Hamblen said while the marketing campaign will encourage people to take advantage of the economic opportunities from the monument, it simultaneously will “encourage respect for the lands and those who use them.
“We want to do it right,” she said.
Hamblen said the coalition working to achieve monument status knew once the designation was made county residents as well as people visiting the area to see the sites would need information.
The toolkit was created to address the needs of both locals and tourists, while also making it possible for local businesses to benefit.
“There are quite a few trail sites people can go to see wildlife, plant life and cultural and historical sites,” Hamblen said.
A bit off the beaten path are trails in the Robledo and Sierra de Las Uvas mountains as well as Kilbourne Hole and Aden Crater in the Patrillo Mountains where members of the NASA space program prepared to drive a vehicle on the moon, she said.
For more information, www.nmgreenchamber. com/omdp-visitor or call the Green Chamber at 5231575.Alta LeCompte can be reached at 680-1840 or alta@ lascrucesbulletin.com
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