The City of Williams Lake should have determined precisely if changing a brand is really necessary.
The first step would have been to take an actual inventory of events that occur in and around the City that currently attract tourists to the City, and greater area.
We need to know what percentage tourist interest and activities play in attracting tourists to this area, this would have more clearly identified what percentage western event tourism plays in Williams Lake’s economic pie.
Such a study could and should establish tourist interest based on the past, present, and expected future.
A marketing study such as this could have clearly identified whether re-branding is necessary.
Having established what percentage various events play in the make up of tourist interest in this area, then and only then, if it is found that western events do not play the greater percentage of tourist interest, should re-branding be considered?
Without this information the City’s re-branding process is just wallowing without clear direction and is a waste of taxpayers dollars.
Many, including myself, believe that Williams Lake’s true heritage should be a focus on western events.
In addition, in the actual marketing of Williams Lake, while mountain biking and constructing log buildings, may not seem as western to some until we study the roots of these activities, the first buildings in Williams Lake were constructed of log, and almost everybody had a horse to get from place to place.
Nemiah’s rodeo still has downhill mountain horse racing and how is that much different than Williams Lake’s mountain biking.
Marketing basically depends on the context of how things are presented, what may only seem as slightly western can be sold with good marketing, as a very excitingly western event.
I include the surrounding area as part of the Williams Lake destination concept strategy, Nemiah wants to develop tourism in their area, they want to make tourism as their basis for their developing economy.
Current Soda Creek and Sugar Cane events can be part of the Williams Lake destination strategy.
By re-branding the City as some sort of modern place to be, are we not in a sense writing these people out of the bigger picture?
Lastly, almost every tourist dollar earned in the greater area, eventually funnels back through the economy of Williams Lake.