The Winding Road
Ohio’s Rising Appalachia
The Winding Road is an emerging brand that represents a collaboration of social and business entrepreneurs who seek to develop a regional economy based on authentic assets surrounding the natural, cultural, historical, arts, local foods, well-being, education and geotourism business landscapes (sectors) in the Hocking and Muskingum Valleys of Ohio’s Hill Country in southeastern Ohio.
The brand aims to contribute to a quality of life that attracts and sustains creative young people as stewards of the economy and environment while respecting and building upon the region’s rich tradition of unique contributions to the greater culture.
In its initial stages, The Winding Road is represented by a SourceBook of guided experiences that share these assets with fellow citizens and geotourists, establishing commerce around this effort and stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives to build a critical mass of activity that sustains this collaboration and its desired outcomes.
The catalog takes the form of a periodic print publication, as well as a dynamic web site that offers a booking/purchasing feature for events, tours, experiences and products. The catalog is a product of Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, a non-profit organization based in Shawnee, Ohio.
Emerging Key Concepts That Guide The Winding Road SourceBook
The Winding Road SourceBook is committed about promoting experiences and products that are…
—educational and interpretive.
—presented by knowledgeable, trained guides and local experts.
—highlighting regional assets & a “Rising Appalachia”.
—integrated with stewardship of the environment, civic life, historic treasures
and local economic systems
—inclusive of the arts, theater, music.
—engaged with locally sourced foods and products.
—supportive of “humanities consideration” of our provocative story and its
impact on contemporary life.
—inclusive of youth, local schools and regional colleges.
—interwoven with local entrepreneurs & young professionals.
—generally small in scale, authentic and owned locally.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions Might Help Us Get Started
What Type of Products Are You Looking To List in the SourceBook?
Our initial list of targeted “products” include:
- Guided tours and experiences that fit under our areas of interest
- Hikes, Runs, Bike Rides and other outdoor adventures
- Ticketed events that fit under our areas of interest
- Interpretive and Educational Programs and Workshops
- High quality unique and authentic regional products (art, souvenirs, etc.)
What Else Will Be Included?
As we create a sense of place around The Winding Road, we are looking for short articles with high quality photographs and or art work to highlight places, peoples and stories of the region that relate to our key sectors of interest.
Who Is The Audience/Customers?
The Winding Road initiative is much more than just attracting business and making sales. It’s about carefully sharing and caring for our authentic and unique assets in southeastern Ohio and reinforcing a building a sense of place where history, arts, the environment, outdoor activity, local foods, youth, education, civic activity and entrepreneurship are valued. Thus our audience is consumers of the above products, but it’s also everyone who has an interest in this region—local residents, civic leaders, and yes, of course, geotourists.
What Do You Mean by Geotourists?
Geotourists are tourists who have a keen interest in the assets, challenges, customs and civic life of a “place”. They are committed to leaving the place as they found it, or better than they found it. They tend to be curious, socially concerned individuals who show a high degree of respect for local citizens. They aren’t looking to just be entertained, but seek authentic stories, people and experiences that help them understand, connect and contribute to the place they are visiting. Often they become part of the place or a particular effort by staying involved.
What Areas in Appalachian Ohio Are Considerer Part of The Winding Road?
We are focused on the Hocking and Muskingum River Valleys of southeastern Ohio. Our initial effort started as Morgan, Athens and Perry Counties, but we are not limited to these counties. We welcome activities from A to Z (Athens to Zanesville) and beyond. Once successful, Ohio Hill Country will assist with the replication of this effort in other sub-regions.
What About Folks Who Can’t Afford to Purchase Our Experiences
We live and work in a part of the world that is not known for high household incomes. We don’t want to exclusively be catering to monied people, although we recognize a need to transfer wealth to our region by selling products that don’t compromise our landscapes, but enhance our local economy. Thus, we will work to include scholarships and discount pricing for customers upon request, and our on-line catalog will link local residents and visitors to free and low cost attractions that might not be included in the print catalog.
Will This be Only a Printed SourceBook?
First, (a) printed version(s) of the catalog will be created for 2016. But, it doesn’t stop there. It includes a web version, social media posting and shared advertising of the catalog/brand via other media such as public radio, the Columbus Dispatch, Hocking Hills Tourism Association, etc.
Submitting Listings for Inclusion in
The Winding Road SourceBook
Letter of Interest
Persons, businesses and organizations interested in having an event, tour, program or experience listed in the print version of 2016 Winding Road SourceBook should submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) no later than
November 15, 2015 to
The Winding Road
Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area
P.O. Box 114
Shawnee, Ohio 43782
Or via E-Mail to email@example.com
Subject: Letter of Interest/Winding Road
Please include the following information for your letter:
- Proposed Title of Your Event, Tour, Program, Experience
- List which Winding Road sectors or experience types this listing includes (history-culture, art (performing or visual), local foods, outdoor recreation-environment, youth/education, tourism business).
- A one-paragraph description (elevator speech) describing what you are proposing including target audience.
- Proposed date(s) and also answer whether you are willing to be flexible on date(s) based on registration.
- Cost of participating in this event.
- Three key experiences the customer will gain from this event.
- Who will be guiding/interpreting/hosting the event, and what qualifications/experience do they offer to insure the customer has a high-quality experience.
- Interest or need for The Winding Road to provide booking services.
- Contact information for questions etc.
You will be contacted no later than December 1, 2015 to discuss possibilities of inclusion of your listing.
Proposed Timeline of Activity for 2016
- Sept.-Nov. 2015: Letters of Interest recruited for 2016 SourceBook and website
- October-November 2015: National Association of Interpreters Training Offered
- October 2015: Topics for features in 2016 SourceBook identified, writers recruited
- October 2015: Arts & souvenir products identified, vendors recruited
- November 15, 2015: Deadline for submitting Letters of Interest
- November 15-30, 2015 LOI’s reviewed, invitations for full proposals
- November 15-On-Going LOI’s and invited full proposals for digital SourceBook accepted.
- Dec. 1-January 15, 2016 TWR staff work with stakeholders to develop full proposals
- January 15, 2016 Full proposals final deadline including all details such as photographs, web links etc., and inclusion agreements signed.
- January 1-Feb. 1, 2016 Layout, design and printing of 2016 print SourceBook, and website
- February 1-15, 2016 SourceBooks available for distribution
- Feb-Dec 2016 Advertising & Social Media Campaign promoting SourceBook and website