Birding on the International Selkirk Loop
A wonderful article written by Jerry Uhlman in a recent issue of Bird Watchers Digest. Jerry points out the key birding places he found birds in abundance in his May visit to the International Selkirk Loop. Read the entire article online by following the link.
RV America article about visiting the Selkirk Loop
The 4-page article about visiting the Selkirk Loop as an RV traveler goes on to point out some of the Selkirk Loop's most interesting attractions such as The Glass House along Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, the soothing hot springs at Ainsworth Hot Springs that need to be cooled to 114 degrees before entering the pools. The writer, Lazelle Jones visited with his wife and grandson in August 2010. He talked of exploring the decks of the SS Moyie, a drydocked turn of the century paddle wheeler in Kaslo, BC as an "especially good stop". The restored electric trolly found in Nelson, BC is the article's cover photo. The free underground tour at "Gardner Cave" near Metaline, WA is also an interesting stop, being Washington state's second largest limestone cave. Read the whole story.
Selkirk Loop article in Photo and Travel Magazine
October 6, 2010
Lazelle Jones, independent travel writer, posted a first installment on his journey with his wife and grandson on the Selkirk Loop this August. Read all about it by clicking here.
WaCanId Ride - a cycling event on the Selkirk Loop
September 21-25, 2010
Enthusiastic riders just finished a 5-day, 350 mile tour of the Selkirk Loop. This ride was unique as it catered to 3 smaller groups starting and riding concurrently. "It was essentially supporting 3 separate rides" says Ken Schueman, ride chairman and Newport/Oldtown Rotarian. Ken's club along with 8 other rotary clubs from around the loop came out in force to shepherd the riders. The total number of registered riders was 84, with 74 ultimately starting. The largest group started out of Sandpoint, Idaho with 42 riders. The next largest group of 22 started out of Creston, BC. The balance started out of Nelson, BC. Many riders commented on how pleasent it was riding with an "intimate" group. In fact, the Creston group created a facebook page. Riders bags were hand delivered to preselected motels at the end of each day. It was another "special benefit" this ride provided. The event will only grow in popularity. The third annual event is slated for September 20-24, 2011.
Female journalists ride an 'All American Road' on the latest Harleys
Organized by the Idaho Division of Tourism, journalists enjoy the sights on the latest model H-D motorcycles
October 3rd, 2009
Clutch & Chrome News Online News-
National and international female motorcycle journalists grabbed the handlebars of new 2010 Harley-Davidson® models and took to the roads out for a four-day tour one of the "Top 10 Scenic Drives" in the Northern Rockies last month.
Organized by the Idaho Division of Tourism, the women’s ride took place on September 18-21 and featured The International Selkirk Loop, one of only 27 “All American Roads” named in the National Scenic Byways Program.The four–day, 705-mile excursion along the picturesque Selkirk Loop, which meanders through northern Idaho, then heads north into British Columbia, and finally crisscrosses back along the eastern edge of Washington.According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, one of the biggest shifts taking place in motorcycle riding today is the growth and impact of female riders.In fact, since 1998 the number of women riding motorcycles has grown 36 percent, with the majority holding technical/professional jobs or college degrees.In organizing this event, Idaho Division of Tourism partnered with Harley-Davidson Motor Company; Spokane, Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau; and hotel/restaurant partners along the International Selkirk Loop to assist in facilitating and accommodating the media ride.“We love combining niche markets such as scenic byways, motorcycling, fall foliage and girlfriend getaways in one creative promotional effort,” said Karen Ballard, Idaho Division of Tourism Administrator.“It is so rewarding to expand the reach of our great tourism product and once again illustrate our brand, Adventures in Living with our collaborative partners, Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies and Harley Davidson,” Ballard noted.
Oct 8, 2009
Selkirk Loop releases cycling guide
Creston Valley Advance
Creston, BC - Motorists have long enjoyed the virtues of the International Selkirk Loop, a scenic 450-kilometre (280-mile) route that winds its way through British Columbia, Idaho and Washington.
Now, the ISL is becoming a premier destination for bicyclists, as well. Lured by its relatively small elevation gains and spectacular scenery, cyclists are discovering the Selkirk Loop's many attractions and charming towns.
Fostering the route's escalating status as a must-ride bicycling route, A Cyclist's Guide to the Internatinal Selkirk Loop has just been published. Printed on all-weather paper, the guide includes 52 route and elevation maps that hae been divided into manageable 80-110-kilometre (50-70-mile) segments around the main loop, with an additional six Super Side Trips that create another 720 kilometres (450 miles) of unique rides.
"Cycling on the Selkirk Loop will be enhanced now that there is a guidebook to give riders some new information that their ride," said ISL executive director Carol Graham. "This type of information has not been available elsewhere and for years, we've had cyclists inquire about elevation maps for our route. Now we're pleased to say that it's here."
The new guide book is $19.95 and can be ordered online at SelkirkLoop.org or by calling 1-888-823-2626
Oct 8, 2009
Selkirk Loop visitors spent $1.4M
Bonners Ferry Herald
Bonners Ferry, ID - The Selkirk Loop in 2009 brought visitors to the region who spent an estimated $1.4 million.
The average visitor stayed four days with almost 20% visiting for seven or more days.
The information was discussed during the International Selkirk Loop's 10th annual General Meeting at Priest Lake Golf Course.
The traveler survey was conducted by Hingston Roach Group and funded by Western Economic Diversification, a department of the Canadian federal government.
"Overall, the information provided by the survey was positive but it also showed where we can make some improvements," said Carol Graham, Executive Director for the Selkirk Loop.
The survey also indicated that for every $1 spent in advertising by the loop generated up to $33 in consumer spending. Eighty percent of the respondents used the Internet to pland their trip.
Three quarters of the visitors had not been to the loop in the last five years, and the majority visited in the shoulder seasons. Ninety-four percent came from the United States and 4 percent from Canada.
Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated they are likely to travel to the loop in the next two years.
Sept. 23, 2009
Female motorcycle journalists pass through Colville while riding Selkirk Loop
BY SOPHIA ALDOUS
Staff Reporter Statesman Examiner
Colville, WA- There’s nothing quite like a road trip. Particularly one that’s made up of 12 national and international female motorcycle journalists who are cruising the renowned Selkirk Loop.
Organized by the Idaho Division of Tourism, in Collaboration with Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the four-day, 705-mile expedition brought the intrepid motorcyclists to Colville last Sunday evening. Over dinner at Lovitt’s Restaurant, the ladies talked about their passion for motorcycles and the open road.
“I’ve had so much fun,” said Diane Norton of the Idaho Division of Tourism Development and coordinator for the trip. “It has been a blast.”
Living as close to Colville as Ione and coming from as far away as Germany, the group was equipped with a variety of new 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycles that they rode from northern Idaho to British Columbia and along the edge of eastern Washington.
“It’s been a sensory overload,” said Pam Collins of New Jersey, a writer for Road Bike Magazine and Key Stone Motorcycles. “It’s been great for me. Where I ride on the east coast, everything’s different. The trees, the foliage, the mountains, and the lakes---I keep thinking I have to come back here and spend more time.
“It’s also rewarding to spend time with like-minded women, because they understand my passion and share it. Every one here gets along; it’s one of the best times I’ve had.”
Motorcycle riding among women on the rise
That ardor for motorcycles is on the rise among women, and manufactures have noticed. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council Owner’s Survey, the number of women in the United States purchasing motorcycles has risen 28 percent since 2008, with one out of three buyers being female.
Women who own their own motorcycles has jumped to a 50 percent increase since 1998, along with a 34 percent increase in the number of women riders, with the majority holding technical/professional jobs or college degrees.
“It’s an exciting time to be female and on a motorbike,” said Genevieve Schmitt, who was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in Sturgis, South Dakota, in 2001 for her journalism work of raising awareness on female motorcyclists.
“Motorcycle manufacturers are slowly starting to take the hint and market their product towards women. There’s an untapped market there that is just waiting to be discovered,” Schmitt said.
Margie Siegal, writer for Classic Bike, Rider Magazine, Motorcycle Collector, IronWorks Magazine (where she is the vintage editor) and Motorcycle Classics, likened the experience of motorcycle riding to the same intensity that comes from skiing, minus the cold weather and money forked over for a lift pass.
“It forces you to forget the cares of the day and allows you to decompress,” stated Siegal.
Michelle Baird, a contributor and copywriter at Cycle News, America’s Weekly Motorcycle Newspaper, echoed that assertion.
“Something happens to you when you are riding a motorcycle,” Baird explained. “It’s like meditation. You’re focused on what you’re doing, but you’re also acutely aware of everything. It’s like this clear-headed calm just settles over you.”
Most of the women in the group have been riding motorcycles for over 10 years. Native Washingtonian, Susan Swan Hobbs, has been riding for 45 years. A columnist and feature writer for Thunder Press, a national motorcycle publication covering Harley-Davidson and American Motorcycle news, she and her husband, Matt, operate a certified sustainable-yield tree farm in Ione. For her, one of the major highlights of the trip has been bonding with other women.
“I don’t think women realize the value of spending time with other women, especially in large groups like this,” she said. “It’s just a source of support and encouragement that is kind of hard to beat. Of course, we’re all very fortunate to have supportive significant others that encourage our love of this sport.”
The ladies had one more day on the road before their excursion ended in Spokane, and they all had to return to their respective homes and workplaces.
“For me, it was great to see this part of the country,” said Jennifer Gruber, Product Communications Manager from Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The local people have been very gracious and I’ve got to travel with these awesome women. It’s been great.”
Sunday, Aug 30, 2009 -
WaCanId Ride could attract hundreds
By David Gunter
Feature correspondent - Sandpoint Daily Bee
SANDPOINT, IDAHO — Eight small towns in North Idaho, eastern Washington and the southern reaches of British Columbia are linked together on a scenic necklace that goes by the name of the International Selkirk Loop.
The loop itself is a ribbon of roadway that straddles the U.S./Canadian border. Strung like beads along its course are colorful communities such as Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry and Oldtown in Idaho, as well as Nelson, Castlegar, Fruitvale and Creston north of the border.
From Oct. 1-5, nine different Rotary International clubs on the route will team up with the International Selkirk Loop Association to sponsor the first annual WaCanId Bike Ride. The long-distance ride takes in 340 miles of the overall Selkirk Loop — approximately 75 percent of an international scenic byway that runs 450 miles in length.
The event, geared toward recreational riders and touring cyclists more inclined to pleasure than pain, gives participants the choice of stopping and starting at any of eight towns on the Loop.
“It’s not hard core, by any means,” said Lisa Gerber, a board member of the International Selkirk Loop Association. “It’s an interesting way to take a vacation. To be able to ride through two states, two different countries and start or stop at any point is completely unique, as far as I’m aware.
“And just by the nature of the event, it raises awareness of the Loop,” she added.
At the national level, the scenic route has begun to garner quite a bit of attention. The U.S. Department of Transportation has named it among the “Top 10 Scenic Destinations in the Northern Rockies” and Sunset Magazine held it up as “The West’s Best Scenic Drive.” Just this year, Rand McNally updated its road atlas with a special feature that includes the Loop as one of only five routes earning its “Best of the Roads” recognition.
But according to Carol Graham, executive director for the International Selkirk Loop Association, local and regional awareness has been harder to come by.
“Sometimes the traveler knows more about our area than the local folks do,” she said. “It’s an education process on our part.”
Graham last week attended a four-day conference in Denver, where she was joined by other representatives of the 126 scenic byways spanning the U.S.
“When you get to a conference like this, you realize that you are unique,” the executive director said. “The Selkirk Loop is one of only 17 multi-state scenic byways — and we’re the only international byway in North America.
“We’re also doing things that are unique,” she added. “For us, one of those things is that we have 400 member businesses and Chambers of Commerce that help fund about 20 percent of our budget.”
The WaCanId Ride is designed to direct business back to those members, Gerber noted, by recommending them to the riders and their families who take part in the event.
“The whole purpose of the Selkirk Loop is to bring economic development to the rural towns along the route,” she said. “The idea is to show off these small communities. When riders and their families come through here, we think they’ll be enticed to come back.”
The ride was the brainchild of Newport/Oldtown Rotary member Dean Cummings, who saw the Loop as a strong resource for promoting tourism and recreation in the region, not to mention acting as a catalyst for revenue.
“By holding the ride in the shoulder season, we’re bringing merchants along the Loop some business that wouldn’t have been there otherwise,” said Newport/Oldtown Rotary member Ken Schueman.
The Rotary clubs will earn a portion of the ride registration fees, he explained, with a larger percentage going to the host club when a rider registers and starts in that community.
“So each individual club is very motivated to have people start and end in their hometown,” Gerber said.
The clubs are allowed to use those proceeds as they choose, Schueman said, but 20 percent will go directly to the Selkirk Loop to promote next year’s ride.
“This is going to be an annual event and we’re hoping that, in the future, we’ll have a substantial turnout,” he said.
The goal for October’s event is about 500 riders, according to Gerber, whose estimate includes both individual and team participants. Rotary volunteers from clubs on the route will patrol the roadways, staff the check-in stations and coordinate rest stops every 10 to 25 miles, depending on the terrain. Rotarians also will transport the riders’ luggage and have it waiting for them at their chosen locations at the end of each riding day.
Although WaCanId still is accepting registration for additional riders, the emphasis has shifted to encouraging businesses in affected cities to soak up the tourism dollars as they pass through town by offering live music, family activities and special promotions during the five-day event.
Businesses that already are members of the International Selkirk Loop Association might fare even better, because the association’s promotional guide, map and Web site highlight them as recommended stops.
“I received a call the other day from a traveler who found my number on the Web site complaining that all the RV parks listed in the guide were full and that we should list everyone for the traveler,” Gerber said. “It was a valid complaint, but I picked up on a more important point — the parks that were not listed, the ones that weren’t members, were not full.”
“We’ve seen very good results from it,” said Steve Meyer, an International Selkirk Loop Association board member who, along with his wife and fellow board member, Julie, operates the Pend d’Oreille Winery in downtown Sandpoint. “People come in with the map in hand and say that they’re in town because they’re driving the Loop. It’s pretty much a year-round thing any more.”
The Loop itself skirts the edges of an historic path that has been used by Native American tribes, explorers and trappers for centuries — the rivers and lakes of the Inland Northwest. Mel Dick, a Sandpoint Rotarian who last year completed a 10,000-mile, cross country bike ride — a fundraiser for the Panhandle Alliance for Education that took him from the westernmost tip of Washington State to the southernmost point in the Continental U.S. at Key West, Fla. — ranks the Selkirk Loop at the top when compared with other terrain he encountered on his five-month trek.
“This really is one of the best bike rides anywhere in the country,” he said. “You won’t find more beautiful scenery anywhere.”
At least two of the Rotary clubs involved plan to use future proceeds from the event to expand existing bike trail networks as a way to connect the communities they serve with adjacent towns. It’s just one more way of thinking and living green, according to Graham, who views the WaCanId Ride as an environmentally friendly way to support economic development.
“We’re always striving for more public awareness and more diverse ways to travel our scenic byway,” she said. “Cycling in an event like this is a way to provide a byway experience that is also a green experience.”
For more information on the Selkirk Loop and the WaCanId Ride, visit: www.selkirkloop.org or www.wacanid.org or call toll-free at 1-866-732-1194.
August 27, 2009
New ride tackles Selkirk Loop
Cycling enthusiasts have a new ride to try this fall. The inaugural five-day bike ride called the WaCanld Ride follows the renowned International Selkirk Loop through Washington, Idaho and British Columbia Oct. 1-5.
The ride, which is sponsored by the participating clubs of Rotary District 5080, covers 550 K/340 miles and riders can participate as individuals or teams at their own pace. Riders can begin at any one of seven starting points: Creston, Nelson, Fruitvale or Castlgar; Newport, Washington; or Sandpoint or Bonners Ferry in Idaho.
Cyclists gear will be transported by local Rotary groups during the ride with the money raised going to the participating clubs along the way.
Sandpoint, Idaho resident Mel Dick is looking forward to the ride.
“This ride has the potential to be one of the great all-time rides in terms of scenery and charming communities,” he said.
The International Selkirk Loop is one of the Top 10 Scenic Destinations in the Northern Rockies, named by the U.S. Department of Transportation; one of the five Best of the Roads named by Rand McNally, 2009; and the West’s Best Scenic Drive by Sunset Magazine. The route follows the river and lake valleys with gentle to moderate grades and only a few steeper climbs.
Riders will receive a WaCanld Ride Pass good for discounts at participating member businesses and a just-published Cyclist’s Guide to the International Selkirk Loop.
For more information contact 888-823-2626, email
or see www.selkirkloop.org.
September 20, 2008
International Selkirk Loop reaches millions of travelers
Nelson BC – The International Selkirk Loop held its 9th Annual General Meeting at the Prestige Lakeside Resort in Nelson. Carol Graham, Executive Director for the organization presented highlights and accomplishments achieved during the past year. One of the key highlights was the media exposure the Loop received during the last 12 months. More than 10 articles and stories about the Loop reached an estimated 5 to 7 million readers in publications such as AAA tour books, Rand McNally’s 2009 Road Atlas, Good Sam Club’s Highways Magazine, Express Jet’s Inflight Magazine “ExpressLane”. “This type of exposure would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in equivalent advertising and is definitely more effective”, said Graham. The entire annual report can be found online at www.selkirkloop.org in the Media Section.
Two awards for service were given out to people who were considered to have volunteered their time and energy over and above any expectations. Janet Ebert of Crawford Bay, BC who resigned from the Board of Directors last year was recognized for her services over a period of six years. Michael Rowland of Kootenay Bay, BC was given an award for his contributions over five years as Board President, Canadian Vice President and Canadian Operations Director. In accepting the award Rowland says, “I have very much enjoyed the time that I have been involved with the Loop. I am stepping down from the Board because I am running in the elections for the RDCK, Regional Director for Area A and want the time to focus on the job should I be elected.”
Four new people were elected to the Board of Directors for the International Selkirk Loop; Jeanne Law, Artistic Director of the Cutter Theatre in Metaline Falls, WA., Chris Evers, Co-owner of Eagles Landing RV Resort Community in Cusick, WA, Donna Cormie, Owner of Between Two Rivers Vacation Rental and Glacier Soapworks in Kaslo, BC, Robin Goldsbury, Owner of Dock ‘n’ Duck Tavern & Grill in Balfour, BC. There are five returning Board members: John Reed of Redstone Golf Resort in Rossland BC, Panny Taylor of Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Nelson BC, Carolyn Deshler of Blue Diamond Marina at Priest Lake ID, Lisa Gerber of Big Leap Creative in Sandpoint ID, John Linch in Priest Lake ID, Dean Cummings the Pend Oreille County Commissioner in Newport WA, and David Bull in Colville WA.
Media Contact: Carol Graham, Executive Director
The International Selkirk Loop
April 23, 2007
INTERNATIONAL SELKIRK LOOP BRINGS OVER $1 MILLION TO THE REGION IN 2006
The International Selkirk Loop has completed the final phase of a tourism study developed to learn more about the visitors traveling the Loop and to measure the effectiveness of the organization's marketing efforts. Key data has revealed the economic impact the Loop brings to the region to be $1.15 million dollars for the 2006 season and a return on investment of $22 to $44 per dollar spent on advertising.
“We are very pleased with the results of the study and have identified key opportunities for growth,” explained Selkirk Loop executive director Carol Graham, “this type of research is invaluable in determining how our past marketing efforts are measuring up, and now we can use this information to develop a strong marketing strategy for future efforts.”
According to Graham, the economic impact number is a very conservative one because it accounts for only the people that received Loop information after January 2006 and traveled in the 2006 season. “It is not possible to know every traveler that drives the loop, therefore, an accurate number is not available. While we know we can back up the fact that travelers spent $1.15 million dollars in the region last season, I can pretty safely say that number is, in reality, significantly higher.”
Additional key findings from the study show that the Selkirk Loop leveraged their $9,000 in media advertising to gain a value of anywhere from $186,000 (conservatively) to $376,000 (optimistically) in media exposure. The result is a return of $22 to $44 on every $1 spent on advertising on behalf of the member businesses.
The majority (83%) of visitors said the Selkirk Loop Traveler's Guide influenced their decision to come. Baby boomers, who are now retiring, traveling, and are more affluent than ever, are the primary visitors to the Loop. Couples without kids or empty nesters are traveling from Idaho, Washington, California, Alberta and British Columbia. Their primary purpose for the trip is for sightseeing and relaxation, and the most popular destinations include Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, the Kootenay Lake Free Ferry, Nelson and Creston. On average, visitors reported that they spent about $460/day on lodging, meals, entertainment and shopping.
A complete set of results is available to the public at www.selkirkloop.org in the media section.
The Loop is a scenic drive that circles around the Selkirk Mountains through Northern Idaho, Northeastern Washington and southeastern British Columbia. It was founded in 1999 to enhance economic development in the rural communities it passes through. Only six years later, in 2005, the Loop received the All American Road Designation making it one of the top scenic drives in North America.
A draft marketing strategy has been developed to capitalize on the data which includes an advertising and public relations plan, an internet and website plan with a virtual tour using cutting edge technology as well as new concepts such as niche markets (i.e. “trails” for birding).
Once adopted, the plan will be implemented by a set of five specialized project committees. Members interested in participating are encouraged to get in touch with Carol Graham.
ISL PUBLISHED IN ACURA STYLE MAGAZINE
The International Selkirk Loop scored a feature article from a major automaker, profiled in a 4-page feature article published July 24th, 2006. This is produced by the automaker Acura and is sent to every Acura owner with a press run of 865,000 copies and a readership of close to 2 million! Great exposure for both sides of the border! This is just one of 22 various articles written about the Loop in since March 2005. Download a pdf version of the Acura Style Magazine Selkirk Loop article here (1.3mb).
ISL LISTED IN NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY BROCHURES
We are also getting a strong presence in three sections of the soon to be released new National Scenic Byway brochure. The Canadian section of our Loop drive is also identified on their map! The first printing will be 300,000 copies scheduled to be released around Labor Day. Download pdf versions of the brochures here: Mountain Region (4.9MB) and Pacific Region (5.8MB).
ISL PUBLISHED IN SUNSET MAGAZINE
Sunset Magazine has published a 2-page information article on the Internatioanl Selkirk Loop in their May Travel Guide. This is the third time in the past two years that Sunset Magazine has featured the International Selkirk Loop. The March 2000 issue named the Loop as the "The West's Best New Scenic Drive." Subsequently, in the May 2001 edition, a 5-page feature article appeared that focused on the many attractions on the Loop.
These articles and the outstanding ISL web site continue to generate numerous queries and ISL Travel Guide requests from as far away as Europe. With a circulation of 1½ million readers, the Sunset Magazine article has proven to be an extremely effective tool in highlighting the beauty, attractions, and character of the region.
ISL RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD RECOGNITION
This past December the International Selkirk Loop received an unexpected national award from the Chief of the US Forest Service, Dale Bosworth. The award is for “Rural Community Assistance Action” 2000-2001. The award is in keeping of the spirit of working together for rural America. In part the award citation states, “The loop is recognized for its outstanding accomplishments in fostering economic diversification, educating tourists and residents and in inspiring the conservation of natural resources and cultural identity in Northern Idaho, Washington, and Southern British Columbia through community based tourism.”
LET OUR MEMBER BUSINESSES KNOW YOU ARE “DOIN' THE LOOP” - HAPPY TRAVELING!!