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Region honored by True West Magazine
December 19, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Scotts Bluff County has made the top 10 list for true western living. Editors of True West Magazine listed Scottsbluff, Neb. eighth on its 2015 Top Western Towns to be featured in their February 2015 issue, which will be on newsstands January 6, 2015.

Although Scottsbluff was listed among well-known western towns including top three Durango, Colo., Great Falls, Mont. and Dodge City, Kan., Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brenda Leisy said the information submitted for the honor encompassed all of Scotts Bluff County, not just Scottsbluff.

“The honor is for the entire region,” Leisy said. “Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau filled out the application. We used attractions throughout the entire county, including Chimney Rock, to get the honor.”

This is the tenth year True West has presented this annual award. Editors base their selection on criteria demonstrating how each town has preserved its history through old buildings, museums and other institutions, events and promotions of historic resources.

Leisy explained that Scotts Bluff County Tourism started advertising in True West Magazine years ago when Kevin Howard served as director. She said the advertising has benefited the region with “tons of leads from them for people interested in seeing the Old West first hand.”
Leisy said she received an email from True West over the summer asking for submissions as one of their True West Towns.

“As I read it, I realized there were some different criteria and I couldn’t promote the area based solely on Scottsbluff and Gering,” she said. “Our bureau represents everyone in the county and surrounding areas.”

In addition to promoting Scotts Bluff County and all its communities, Leisy’s bureau also promotes Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Sioux County and Chimney Rock in Morrill County.

“I needed to think outside the box and use all the other communities in order to meet the magazine’s criteria,” she said. “I knew because we were all about Oregon Trail history, we could get them to consider our application.”

In September, True West contacted Leisy with the news the area had been named No. 8 on their top 10 list.

“All of our attractions were mentioned in the application because they all offer something unique,” she said. “I wrote about the Horse Creek Treaty site because that’s a huge part of history. I also wrote about the Wildcat Hills, Robidoux Trading Post, Fort Mitchell and other sites which are a part of Scotts Bluff County and not a specific town.”

She added the criteria True West uses included how the town has preserved its history through old buildings and museums, events and promotions of historic resources.

“True West has a huge following and it’s all the type of people who like history,” Leisy said. “That’s what we have to share. So we have a captive audience to let them know what we have.”

Leisy said she will include the designation as part of the promotion when the Nebraska Travel Commission sets up an information booth at the National Western Stock Show in Denver during the month of January.
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