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Tourism-sponsored Caches?


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I've been approached by a local tourism promotion group about placing some caches in areas where they'd like to see more activity. We haven't discussed any details, but I'd bet they are willing even to cover costs of containers, swag, etc. I don't believe these could be viewed as commercial caches, because these folks are a non-profit agency, and their main goal is to simply promote recreational activity in an area that is under-utilized. The idea of someone totally funding me going out and placing new, quality caches for the sake of encouraging others to have fun seems to me like a dream come true. I've done quite a bit of volunteer work with them in the past, so we have a great working relationship.


Is anyone currently doing this sort of thing? Can anyone see any problems with it?

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This article seems to be hitting several papers this week.


A couple years ago the Arcola, IL board of tourism contacted me about doing a cache that would lead people around several of the sites in the town. We put together a multi that showed the city off but didn't require any commercialism. I think that's the balance you have to walk when putting together something like that.


Amazingly enough, the person who initially contacted me was the director of the "Amish Interpretive Center." :rolleyes:



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Amazingly enough, the person who initially contacted me was the director of the "Amish Interpretive Center.  :rolleyes:

If clippety clop, clippety clop, bang-bang is the sound of an Amish drive by (apolgies to amishacker) then what sound would an Amish laptop make? :lol:


I recently hid this cache using information from a North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences brochure. While the cache isn't directly tourism-sponsored, the museum is one of the major tourist draws for Raleigh, and the text was reprinted with the enthusiastic permission of the marketing and geology departments.

Edited by wimseyguy
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There's one in Townsend, Tennessee that was set up by the Smoky Mountain Visitor's Bureau. They heard about geocaching somewhere and contacted us locals to get help in setting up the cache and making sure it met the listing guidelines.

I think these caches are kinda cool. They teach you about the general area in which they are placed. The cache in the quoted text is an excellent example of somewhere I normally would not go if I weren't caching. The container is also very cool. Good job David...

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I've been working with the Idaho Department of Commerce on a Best of Idaho idea and they have been receptive. However it's not one of their high priorites.


What's differnet is that your group is actually interested in getting some caches in places worthy (I Hope) of tourism. I'd work with them and find locals willing to get the cache placed. Between both groups I think you can get a great working relationship going.

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Nice to hear the favorable replies. To me it sounds like a win-win proposition. The area where they want more exposure is fairly rugged, and well off the beaten path. But these guys have some pretty good swag to offer, so I can see us putting together some nice hides. It is indeed a shame more people don't get to experience this area; it is beautiful, and really a geocaching heaven (and hunting, and fishing, and mountain biking, and kayaking...).

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An example from Butler County, Ohio


I agree...I think these caches are a good idea.  It shows that the "tourism" councils are broadening their horizons, and realizing that people pick the locations they choose to travel to for a variety of reasons.

Let's see, if I am back in South Carolina and go to see my niece's baby in Bowling Green, KY then go on to visit Mom in the Youngstown area that would take me right past . . . . I see a plan in the works. :rolleyes:

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I agree...I think these caches are a good idea.  It shows that the "tourism" councils are broadening their horizons, and realizing that people pick the locations they choose to travel to for a variety of reasons.

In talking with the folks at the Visitor's Bureau while helping set up that cache, this was exactly the attitude they expressed. Their job is to find out what brings people to an area, what they plan to do there, and what they want to see during their visit. Caching has become a sort of "tour guide" for many people while on vacation, since many caches are hidden by locals and therefore often highlight the unique, odd, out-of-the-way stuff that people would like to know about but which often go overlooked. The bureau was attracted to caching because, essentially, their goal is exactly the same. I can't even begin to count the number of unique and interesting things that have been pointed out to me through caching that I never would have known existed otherwise.


The Visitors Bureau realized that, although we're a relatively small crowd, cachers on vacation tend to stick to areas with quality caches that highlight the best the area has to offer, and therefore it's in those areas that cachers spend money. I, for one, am less likely to spend time in an area that isn't "cache friendly" since I don't like to see the same old "touristy" stuff; I like to go on vacation to get away from the crowds and seek out the unique.


Good caching can draw people to an area much like good trails or good whitewater draw in a niche crowd that is willing to spend time in an area doing what they enjoy. I'm glad to see that, increasingly, tourism boards and land managers have become more open to embracing caching as a legitimate activity that attracts visitors.

Edited by DavidMac
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An example from Butler County, Ohio


I agree...I think these caches are a good idea. It shows that the "tourism" councils are broadening their horizons, and realizing that people pick the locations they choose to travel to for a variety of reasons.

Would somebody PLEASE ask the Tourism People to call the DNR/Parks PEOPLE and tell them Geocaching is a GOOD thing. :rolleyes:


So far, here in Indiana, I know of only one State Park that has "outlawed" caching, but I figured that should change soon, as several OTHER parks are hosting events and one or two Nature Centers are sponsering their own caches.

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My dad sent me a brochure this summer from Ontario (north of the Great Lakes) from a town that runs a geocaching treasure hunt contest as a tourist draw (don't have that brochure anymore...). Looked pretty interesting to me! Why not use geocaching to lure visitors - it's a legitimate 'destination' activity...


I found the afore-mentioned Nevada State Line cache this spring - what a treat! Good swag, superclean bathrooms (the wife liked that part), air conditioning, friendly staff, access to money-saving coupons (for good meals) and free road maps - what a deal - plus an easy to find cache! Of course, the Moose Mob & their Vegas-area compadres put out plenty enough quality hides to make that area a geo-tourist attraction all its own... despite the nearby presence of loud overlighted megabuildings :rolleyes: On a serious note, caches hidden just off the edge of some of the federally-managed 'no-caches-allowed' type land areas are the best guides for hikes in the southern Nevada region. The Nevada geocaching group's website does an awesome job of showing off excellent backcountry travel opportunities for visitors - far better than most other on-line guides I've seen.


Best example I've seen of a 'visitors guide' to local caches is lahontan's Issaquah Visitors Cache, a well-done guide to a town with everything from hides in parks and along streams to an excellent series along a 'rails to trails' system. It gave me tons of fun on a too-short visit this spring (it's on my 'must return' list - and I think it's on the way to the Project APE cache too). It was my first encounter with a bison capsule, and so well-camouflaged that I only found it by accident on my third survey of its location. More 'guide' caches like that need to be done... it's challenged me to come up with one for my hometown here before next tourist season. Sort of like a bookmark list and cache all rolled into one... I write my public bookmark lists as 'tour guides' for visitors anyhow, so a 'guide cache' is a logical extension.

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Found this one over the weekend...



Check the note on the cache page about the commercial nature. Groundspeak gave special approval for the cache.

Ha! I love it! (no pun intended :rolleyes: )


I'll have to add that one to the list of caches I'll try to find when I visit Nevada sometime. As I expressed in my post above, odd, quirky, unique stuff like this is what I love to seek out while on vacation, and caching can help highlight these places.

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