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How can tourism in Toppenish as well as nearby towns such as Granger, Zillah and Wapato become more successful in making the valley more attactive to tourist? What do tourist want when they come to visit? What kind of activities would they like to participate in? What are tourist willing to spend money on? What kind of lodging are they looking for? What kind of food do tourist crave and are attracted to? What can make this area a successful tourism community?

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1. Re: Tourism

I am retired from the Tourism industry and spent 24 years planning and escorting tours. I have been to Toppenish many times. Your murals are a perfect attraction - and I enjoyed the Hop Museum. The Horse drawn tour is also excellent. My suggestions would include - more wide-spread publicity as many people just don't know about the attractions. Publish a walking tour brochure. I've often felt that you need a good parking lot in the center of town so people can get out and stop in the shops easier. You have several good motels on the outskirts of town. I don't consider that you have an accommodations problem.Your big lack is for restaurants. Too much emphasis on Mexican food - I don't like the taste of jalapena - so prefer other food. Several restaurants have not had very good food and have had indifferant service. Have something to do at night - If you want people to stay there - everything rolls up at night.

Tie in your publicity with the Yakama museum and Casino so people know that they are in Toppenish and not Yakima. The food at the casino is good and the museum is excellent. Perhaps a native feast (fry bread, etc) and dancing show on the weekends.

Marketing is needed here - note Leavenworth as an example. They have four festivals a year - in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Your town is known in the state of Washington - but not very far beyond that. Advertise - I know that it is expensive - but get on the brochure request list for Sunset magazine and other publications.

Granger is small town America - worth a short stop for the kids to play on the dinosaurs in the park. Zillah dosen't have much you can work with - but I loved stopping at the church and seeing the dino float - "GodZillah"

I haven't been wine-tasting in your area - but you are close to the Yakima Valley to Prosser area. The Creamery at Sunnyside is another good stop - and perhaps an area brochere that expands on the Yakima Valley brochure. Since you have a hops museum - what about a beer tasting weekend -? Use the horse carriages or shuttle on a run between the motels and the festival grounds to avoid driving & beer together.

Tourist will spend money on anything they enjoy - Perk up the friendly attitudes in town - make people feel welcome.

You have a good foundation to make this a good tourist area - it just needs better packaging.

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2. Re: Tourism

nailalila, are you writing for a tourist publication ?

What I have heard about Toppenish, is that it is small and the stores are mostly mom and pop for locals..I would think any successful town for the locals to be happy & safe to live in , would be the first step to being a town where visitors would be happy.

How are the gang/crime statistics?

Restaurant choices?

What sort of lodging is already available and is it adequate?

It might help if you were able to let us know why you ask and how the answers will help.

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3. Re: Tourism


Thanks for the input. Let me tell you a bit more about myself and why I ask these questions. I just finshed 1 year at the UW and I have no knowledge in marketing or tourism. I grew up in toppenish and I'm back for the summer for an internship with the UW- Yakima Valley Community Partnership at Heritage University. I came into this internship as an amature and am learning as I go along, its called Promoting Tourism working with the newly created "

Rattlesnake Hills Tourist Trail". My job is to learn mofe about the Yakima Valley buisness owner needs, available attractions,and help better market the four cities including the Yakama Nation by developing marketing plans and websites for buisnesses. This is a three year project and my focus will be primarily in the city of Toppenish. I appreciate all input, I asked these questions to help me get started.

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4. Re: Tourism

Hi Nailalila

I think the previous posts had some excellent suggestions. It might be nice to tie in to the upper valley, Yakima River Canyon, river floats, fishing. It's my feeling that the WHOLE valley is best presented as one package. With the lower valley maybe a farm tour of some kind with petting zoo for kids, pony riding? U-pick fruit, berries, peppers? Love the smell of mint out by Labee's; there are some old train cars in Harrah, don't know if they do anything with them or not...it would be really cool if they'd offer rides, maybe with dinner, in the cool of the evening with the smell of mint in the air...more emphasis on different cultural heritage, native, hispanic, fillipino; I'm thinking some live Mexican and/or native music at restaraunts; there is some of the best Mexican food to be had in the valley. I'm not a wine drinker, but seems like with all that drinking and driving it might be nice to have an air conditioned coach tour of some kind, maybe with some teaching about different varieties of wine along the way; it could be done quite tastefully. As far as lodging I think the best bet would be a focus on moderately priced as an extra selling point to come to the area.

Good luck with your project!

5. Re: Tourism

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