Mandan News

Old Red Trail named tourism organization of the year

(l-r) Terri Thiel, of Dickinson, and Marlo Anderson, of Mandan, members of the Old Red Trail Scenic Byway Committee, hold up the plaque awarding the committee of being named this year's tourism organization of the year. Submitted photo

(l-r) Terri Thiel, of Dickinson, and Marlo Anderson, of Mandan, members of the Old Red Trail Scenic Byway Committee, hold up the plaque awarding the committee of being named this year’s tourism organization of the year. Submitted photo

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman have announced this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Travel and Tourism Awards. Nine outstanding leaders in North Dakota’s tourism industry were recognized at the 2013 North Dakota Travel Conference in Grand Forks on April 17.

Among them was the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway, which was named the Tourism Organization of the Year. In 2012, volunteers from Morton and Stark Counties joined forces to create the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway Committee. Together, they created and launched a multi-faceted tourism project that has had a positive impact on towns along the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway. The ambitious project included a marketing plan and self-guided tour along the scenic byway to attract visitors to the communities of Mandan, Almont, New Salem, Glen Ullin, Hebron, Richardton, Taylor, Gladstone and Dickinson.

The initiatives by this all-volunteer-committee have motivated visitors from all over the U.S. to get off the Interstate and visit these rural North Dakota communities, thereby increasing customers at local businesses.

Officially launched the first weekend of June 2012 with a 100-mile garage sale along the Old Red Trail, which is now an annual event the first Saturday of June, the project includes a new, interactive website, print materials, updated museums in some of the cities along the trail, and a “talking trail,” which features 40 points of interest along the Old Red Trail.  Each point of interest is marked by a specially-designed sign, with telephone numbers to call to hear a brief narrative of the highlights for each city and attraction.