Roan Mountain Visitors’ Bureau: ‘We’ll See Ya When You Get Here!’

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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“We’ll See Ya When You Get Here!” is the motto that the Roan Mountain Visitors’ Bureau have adopted in a new promotional video.
The video was launched a week ago, and has over 9,000 views, and 15,000 interactions. It is part of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership’s, or NeTREP, “Virtual AT Hike,” which is featuring the hard hit trail towns in the region.
Mike Hill, bureau chief, said the goal of making these videos is in response to COVID. Many festivals in the region have been cancelled due to the virus, as well as restricted tourism.
“I just sat down at the station and ideated with the ownership there and some of the folks that were involved in planning our festival,” he said. “I was like, you know this isn’t going to last forever. I wanted to put the message out that we’ll be here when they get here.”
Hill discussed some of the backlash the area faced in regards to people hiking during the pandemic. Some were upset that the community continued to serve hikers who didn’t come off the trail.
“You can say the trail is closed all you want to, but it’s not really enforceable, and there are people out there that would still get just as lost, just as hungry, just as in need of a resupply and shelter, I mean is it fair to turn your back on them?” he said.
Hill said he was proud of Roan Mountain for being on the fine line, with preventing exposure and also continuing to help people.
He said he is proud of the video.
“We’re so proud of it, we can’t stand it,” he said.
Hill said that the video provides a friendly message of seeing individuals when they get there, as there will be an expected season. He thinks this conveys a message that lets people know they will be taken care of.
In addition to the message, he also feels that the video is a great way to bring in new people in the future to the area as well.
“It turned out incredibly well I think,” he said. “We weren’t going to unveil it until the NeTREP, but we decided to field test it.”
Footage was shot with Sam Taylor Photography, and as Hill describes, shows a nice view of what one might see on a trip. The video also shows small businesses one may see along the way. Messages were sent out before the video to see who would participate. Some were closed during the filming of the video, and Hill hopes to do another in the future with them.
He said the video has had a very positive response from viewers.
“I’ve gotten messages, email, text, whatever from people who have said they never would’ve come to Roan Mountain or Carter County, and after seeing this, we will probably see them now,” he said.
This video, which was made at the request at NeTREP, ties in perfectly with Hill’s TVA/Mountain Electric Economic Grant. Other elements include the “Tennessee’s Outdoor Playground” brochure, which just hit 28,000 households across western North Carolina and east Tennessee. Likewise, as they finish the campaign, Roan Mountain and Carter County have been added to the visitor market in the High Country North Carolina, that includes Grandfather, Beech and Sugar Mountains, for an “overall mountain experience.”
“I think our biggest attractor is our people,” he said. “It showed our people.”

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