Tourism strategy moving ahead

By Jami Makan

A new tourism strategy to promote Blaine to outside visitors is moving ahead.

The city of Blaine has retained BounceBox SPC, a communication design and branding studio based in Enumclaw and Seattle, to help come up with ideas to promote Blaine as a tourism destination.

The firm gave a presentation on Tuesday, February 19 at the Blaine public library highlighting some of its work, which represents the city’s first significant tourism branding effort in the last 20 years.

Many of the firm’s ideas focus on Blaine’s distinct advantage of being by the sea. These ideas highlight Blaine’s two marinas and fishing fleet, its position as the northernmost U.S. mainland city on the Salish Sea, its canning heritage and the successful restoration of Drayton Harbor.

The firm believes “there is ample opportunity to establish Blaine as a key player within the emergent nautical tourism sector,” according to materials prepared by the firm and shared with The Northern Light.

As part of its work, the firm will help the city create a new website,, which would be separate from the city of Blaine’s official website. Unlike the city’s official website, which is focused on connecting residents with their government, the tourism website would be focused on connecting the city with outside visitors.

The firm will also devise a new “tourism identity” for the city, inspired by nautical flags. Nautical flags could be incorporated into the city’s downtown street signs, for example.

The firm has also proposed several “low cost, high impact” ideas that the city can implement to make itself more approachable to tourists. This includes painting city benches, providing trash cans wrapped in historic canning labels, covering blank walls with murals and filling empty storefronts with nautical-themed decorations.

  1. This sounds vaguely familiar… oh, now I remember! This is almost the same idea that I proposed in this newspaper 18 months ago! But in a community that won’t even consider changing its name to promote its location near the sea (Blaine Harbor), I question how much “tourism identity” will be spread by painting benches and trash cans.

  2. Benn Brechnitz March 4, 2019, 8:38 am

    Two different fonts on a logo? Big no no=Graphic design 101. Who found this company, who approved it and who thinks a website and flags are going to make Blaine a “destination” tourism spot? Sheesh!

  3. Y’all should take a look at what Madawaska Maine did with their 4 corners park.
    Being the starting point for my 12,000mi journey around the entire USA; A 4 corners park would be great for Blaine

  4. Sieneke Stevenson March 6, 2019, 5:03 am

    How about filling empty store fronts with actual stores? What can be done to entice more shops to open downtown? Are any incentives or supports going to be offered to entice retail businesses to come here?


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