GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Montana retailers are turning commemorations
of the Lewis and Clark Expedition into business opportunities.
Three Great Falls agencies -- Davidson Travel plus branches of
Flathead Travel and Morris Murdock Travel -- joined forces to work
as an inbound operator. Michael Morrison, president of Davidson,
said the team expects to have basic package components available by
mid-September, to be found at the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce
Web site at www.greatfallschamber.org, and the group later will
offer more inclusive options, as well.
The aim, Morrison said, is to be "ready to roll" with packages
that will be operated next summer. They will focus heavily on the
Lewis and Clark anniversary, but some programs will highlight other
Montana attractions, he said. For 2005, packages also will
encompass the monthlong (June 1 to July 4) Lewis and Clark
signature event in Great Falls.
The initial focus is on selling direct; however, packages will
be commissionable, and Morrison -- a traditional retailer himself
-- said he hoped other agents will help with sales.
Meanwhile, Billie Ruff, owner of Billings-based Travel Cafe,
actively is involved in the city's bicentennial events. She was a
partner supporting Billings' first annual Capt. Clark Signature
Days festival in late July. The annual mid-July event will overlap
with Billings' signature event in July 2006.
The county bicentennial commission issued Travel Cafe a letter
of recommendation and will do the same for other agencies "that
work as hard," a spokeswoman said. -- N.G.
For more details on this article, see:
• Tracking Lewis and Clark: 2003 is only the
• Region's accommodations include historic