Give us Moore

July 09, 2003 12:00 am

Baker County needs to clone yo-yo champion Tommy Moore, but not for his ability to walk the dog and go around the world.

Moore does a fine job sharing those tricks with adults and children alike by himself.

But Moore's latest feat should be replicated: over 50 of his University of Oregon fraternity brothers and their spouses spent more than a week in Northeastern Oregon, touring our communities while celebrating a 40th reunion.

Their itinerary included bus tours of Sumpter, Granite, Haines, Joseph and Baker City; a jet boat ride in Hells Canyon; the local museums and attractions — in short, some of the best of what our communities have to offer visitors.

This is where Baker County Unlimited or an enterprising tour company should take note. Short of the yo-yo demonstration Moore made at South Baker Elementary and a private affair at a Baker Valley home, the reunion's itinerary is one available to any group of visitors, any time during the summer.

Packaging popular Baker County activities together for one price — per individual, or group — could entice other reunion or professional groups looking for a unique retreat.

It would also make it easier to capitalize on the Port of Portland's new relationship with German air carrier Lufthansa.

Five hours is a long trip from the Portland airport for Germans interested in the Old West and the Oregon Trail. Magazine ads and brochures won't tap this market.

But a well-assembled tour package could make believers of tour retailers in the U.S. and abroad.