UACES Facebook Create Jobs by Adding Value to Your Community Assets
skip to main content
CED Blog

Create Jobs by Adding Value to Your Community Assets

by Professor Mark Peterson - October 23, 2017

One of the most effective economic development strategies you can employ in your community or region is to add value or leverage the assets you already have.  We recently returned from a trip to southern Utah where we met with our oldest daughter and her family.  Our trip included visiting Zion National Park and Arches National Park, which preserve the extraordinary natural beauty, topography, and geology of the area.  

I was impressed with the multitude of private businesses that have sprung up around these national parks, creating jobs and adding to the unique experiences that visitors can enjoy.  You may have a lake, river, or mountains that draw people to your community or region, but the longer you can keep them there, the more money they will spend. 

These areas in Utah offer typical tourism-based assets that are also common in Arkansas – restaurants, lodging, antique stores, history museums, B and Bs, Airbnb, golf courses, and trails.  But they also offer unique tourism experiences: 

  • 4WD, ATV, motorcycle, and jeep off-road rentals and tours,
  • Rental of mountain bikes,
  • Bi-plane, helicopter, and hot air balloon rides,
  • Skydiving,
  • Jet boat rides on the river,
  • On lakes, renting kayaks, boats, and paddle boards (where you stand on the paddle board as you paddle along)
  • Dinner cruises at night on the lake,
  • Astronomy experiences at night,
  • Zip lines, laser tag, geocaching,
  • Rock climbing – equipment rental and instructions,
  • An art village which included food venues, indoor and outdoor art in a beautiful setting, and
  • Children’s and wildlife museums.

Key points to consider:

  • When you market assets in your region, you will increase the length of stay of visitors.
  • Describing day trips out from your community is one way to do this.
  • If you have things to see, you may attract them once.  If you have things to do, they might come again and again.
  • The ultimate marketing strategy is love – if they fall in love with your community or region, they will return again and again, and price will be secondary.

What assets do you have that you can add value to?  What can you do to entice people to fall in love with your community?