The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

County joins charm trail


Kathy Ursprung, Gorge News Reports

CHARMING COLLECTION: Shopping for business charms to put on a charm bracelet has become popular. This is the bracelet for the Sunsational Charm Trail in The Dalles.

The Greater Goldendale Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the start of the "Golden Charm Trail" program for area businesses. The program is being launched in other areas of the county through the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce and is already under way in parts of the Gorge.

In a charm trail program, shoppers visit participating businesses to acquire a charm related to that business as a souvenir to put on a bracelet specifically for the purpose of collecting all the charms from all the area businesses.

The program has proven very successful in The Dalles, eastern Oregon, and areas around the country, as shoppers get into the habit of collecting attractive charms.

In announcing the program for the Goldendale area, the Chamber sent out letters of invitation to businesses to participate. The letter stated, "This promotion encourages visitors and residents to visit various attractions and stores that choose to participate in the promotion, thus extending their visit and increasing the foot traffic and sales in the stores."

The 2014 Golden Charm Trail program launches today, and registration can be submitted through March 1. All supplies for participating businesses will be ordered by May 1.

Participating Chamber members can purchase a charm unique to them that depicts an aspect of their business or the community .; the Chamber will obtain the pewter charms and sell them to participating members. The Chamber will coordinate and track the charms chosen by each member. Those unique charms will not be available at any other location on the charm trail. Collectors will purchase starter bracelets and trailhead charms at the Chamber or other designated "trailheads" during regular business hours, and any participating "trailhead" needs to have Saturday hours. Any visitor who wishes can get a map of where all the charms are located, and they hit the trail to round them all up. They buy the charms from the business, which can make a profit on them and hopefully pick up some additional sales while the collector is in the store.

The initial investment for businesses to participate is $175, which includes an initial participation fee of $100 and 100 charms at .75 each. The charms are typically sold for $2, and if all are sold, the business ends up with a positive return on investment and increased foot traffic and peripheral sales.

For more information and to join the program, visit the Chamber office at 903 E. Broadway in Goldendale or call the office at 773-3400.


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