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The Electric Grapevine | Brand X | 09.05.10

Boundary Sentinel
Branding the Boundary is the topic du jour locally and it should be. The area has been in a state of flux for sometime with no real identity coming to the forefront as the area hovers in limbo. The "Sunshine and Borscht" sign has faded into oblivion and been replaced by a gaping hole in the frame that remains. It's a somewhat fitting sight, this vacant frame, as the area is confusingly called "The Boundary" or "Boundary Country." How similar is this frame to the definition of the word "Boundary". "The perimeter around something" isn't exactly a tourist lure is it? Dictionary.com lists boundary as "something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line." "Come to the area and be restricted" certainly is due for a face lift and I can't wait to see what the powers that be come up with. I really hope it's something a little more exclusive than "Sunshine and Borscht" as I have never seen the logic behind that one, not even when I rolled into town at age 11. "Something everyone in the world has and cabbage soup...with cream" "Oh, please move me there dad!" That tagline must have sat just above "Air and Water" on the list of final choices back in the 70's or 80's or whenever that creative decision was made. Don't get me wrong I know that air and water are considered luxuries in some parts of the world but I think we can aim to sell ourselves as quite a bit better than Mexico City or Bagdad. Personally I think the area will have to be pitched aggressively as a package. Our rivers don't rival Colorado's, our mountains aren't epic monsters overlooking gaping canyons, and our amenities are reasonably modest. However, a well-planned trip through the area can be as exhilarating as any of those features. During two separate trips recently, I realized that with planning, the area can definitely sell itself for fun packed three or four day trips. On one trip a month ago, I brought three city dwelling friends up for a "ManVoyage" as we dubbed it that included, driving, shooting, drinking, swimming and the usual spate of summer activities. If we had just rolled into town with little thought we may have not needed more than two days to complete our mission. Knowing this, I decided to slap an itinerary on our trip that included specifics such as "Breakfast at Jimmy Beans", "Swim the Kettle" and much more. The planning panned out as the boys had a great time and are already asking me when we can go back. Sure I see that we can't sell the area on drinking and casual firearms use but you get my point. It takes work. The second trip was work related. As you may have read on the front page, I was the producer on a film that shot in the area a week back. I applied the same logic to the cast and crew's downtime as I did to the ManVoyage. "If you actually plan it they will come". The entire 30 person crew had a blast dining at local eateries, swimming the lakes and rivers, but most of all hanging with the locals. As with my dude friends, this crew wants to come back and the area was a huge selling feature on having various professionals return for my next film in the spring. So it isn't going to be easy but the ingredients are there. Landscapes, boutiques, activities and the people. I'm confident the marketing team in charge will find that winning formula to promote the area using these irreplaceable features. On a side note: The latest project I am associated with is a series about coffee. Check it out here at the Official Site www.globalauthority.ca And be sure to "like" Common Grounds TV on Facebook