Failure To Promote
Stagnates Newberry Springs
San Bernardino county Third District Supervisor James Ramos
provides some opening remarks at the start of the DiscoverIE Tourism Summit at the San Manuel
Village in Highland, California.
September 24, 2013
Where is Newberry Springs?
Newberry Springs is a forgotten spot
in the vast Mojave Desert that most motorists can't get through... and leave
behind... fast enough.
There is little promotion by the community; and little to
The only true promotional entity that the community has is the Newberry
Springs Chamber of Commerce and that has nearly flat-lined. The Chamber in the past has
shared a booth at the county Fair Grounds in Victorville with the property owners association
and the pistachio farmers and has given out free pistachios (grown in California's Central
Valley). Unfortunately, that public relations gesture is like trying to sell one's
homemade cookies to the Girl Scouts. It's aimed at the wrong market and it doesn't
produce beneficial results.
The joint venture of the Newberry Springs pistachio farmers,
Chamber, and the property owners association to promote Newberry Springs at the county fair
grounds in 2012, included the giveaway of free bags of pistachios (shown above). Most of
California's pistachios are grown in the Central Valley, and the giveaway was of pistachios from
there. Newberry Springs pistachios were apparently not distributed. What are we
ashamed of? Click on above illustration for enlargement.
The Newberry Springs-Harvard Real Property Owners Association has
been ineffective and has nearly collapsed. It is rumored that it currently has only
about 15 paid members and that at its last monthly meeting in September there were no board
members for over half-an-hour until Brittian was called in.
New businesses in communities like Newberry Springs must be earned;
they don't just appear. Cities like Barstow and Victorville and most others are
actively promoting themselves to developers. Communities that don't promote
themselves get ignored and left behind.
Newberry Springs is a part of the Inland Empire. On Wednesday,
September 18, 2013, there was an excellent Inland Empire Tourism Council summit held at the
San Manuel Village that had highly qualified speakers discussing the promotion of one's
community or business as a tourist destination. Over 100 people from the IE were
in attendance to learn how to get the edge in promoting their community or business.
Needless to say, the local Newberry Chamber wasn't there
because it doesn't emphasize outside networking. Rather, it is involved with
Newberry Springs social events which isn't the traditional business model of a chamber.
The local chamber seems to have a reach-in rather than a promotional reach-out philosophy.
Affirmative, there is the Pistachio Festival in November; but that is
largely promoting pistachios to the locals and Barstow. No jobs have been created
nor businesses attracted to the community over the years of the event.
Newberry Springs lacks pride. It has allowed itself to become
a dumping site for what others won't accept. Be it solar plants or sludge, dump it in
Newberry Springs. Relay towers, high radiation cell towers, build them unopposed in
Newberry. Want to grade a large parcel of land and operate a rail siding for the temporary
storage and distribution of huge wind turbines and blades without acquiring any of
the necessary permits, come to Newberry. The list goes on.
None of these has brought us jobs; but they do degrade the
Newberry landscape, increase the residents' health hazards, and continue to make Newberry
a less desirable place to live or establish a new business.
Newberry Springs needs basic small businesses; such as a laundromat
and a small produce market that could handle staples like fresh milk. Most other small
communities have these things because they display more pride. Like getting up in
the morning, they take the effort to put on some makeup to better present themselves.
The Community Alliance is criticized regularly by several people for not
being more uplifting about Newberry Springs. They want inspiring, perky, feel good stories.
These citizens fail to recogize that some organizations that we blog about are failing the
community. While it is recognized that these groups are doing some very good work,
they are missing important core benchmarks; and the community is continuing to decline.
The national economy is believed to be improving. Travel is
increasing. And Newberry Springs has an opportunity to establish itself as a gateway
destination for recreation. Newberry is surrounded by natural resources; however,
it lacks the business infrastructure that can be acquired by targeted planning and promotion.
The Pistachio Festival, for instance, could take advantage of itself
and promote off-site private excursions for its visitors to independently explore the community.
Perhaps have an Open House at a pistachio plant where visitors can see how pistachios are grown,
harvested, selected, cleaned, roasted, flavored, and bagged; with a simple pistachio tasting bar
to allow visitors an opportunity to sample the many delicious favors and purchase.
Or promote a Koi farm; or a ski lake.
Tours can be arranged to a mining operation or perhaps a processing plant
like Elementis. Have a guided tour day at Fort Cady with the history of the Mojave
Trail and learn about folklore heroes like Jedediah Smith. Perhaps establish 4-wheel
drive desert safari excursions to get tourists into the backcounty to the mines behind
Calico or the Newberry Mountains. With knowledgeable guides, the tours can be
fascinating and profitable.
Simple one-day boot camps on desert nature studies will draw visitors
and employ our locals.
These examples and many others can be featured throughout
the year and expanded over time. There are tourists Web sites that will promote
these events for Newberry Springs for free.
Far greater possibilities are known for Newberry Springs but the
community needs to first grasp and demonstrate that it will embrace the seedlings.
Tourists from the Northern Hemisphere and around the world are
visiting the Mojave Desert for its beauty and rich western history. They want to see
and experience what is in our backyard that we take for granted. Tourists create 917,000
tourism related jobs in California and $6.6-billion in state and local taxes.
An increase of 20-million more California visitors are expected in the next 5-years.
Doesn't Newberry Springs want to benefit from this? Just stop and sniff the air for
the smell of green!
For decades the Newberry Community Service District has been missing
the boat on many possibilities that it can do to improve Newberry Springs. Nothing is
going to happen unless people roll out-of-bed and do it.
San Bernardino Sun story on Tourism Summit.
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