A campaign to get visitors into Otter Tail County and get people to shop locally made a couple of its final stops on Friday, Oct. 9, visiting New York Mills and Perham.

“We wanted to help the business in Otter Tail County and so we developed a marketing campaign to, number one, promote Otter Tail County as a place to visit and, number two, to actually get some dollars back into the local businesses,” Otter Tail County Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator Erik Osberg said.

The Otter Tail on Us campaign is part of the Otter Tail County Rural Rebound Initiative which is under Otter Tail County Economic Development. Osberg says the campaign has traveled across Minnesota and into North Dakota and is now in its final leg in the county stage. “We’ve put on over 2,000 miles,” he said.

To get people to spend money in Otter Tail County, the county is footing the bill by giving away 200 $500 gift cards to be spent anywhere in Otter Tail County, Osberg said. The first 20 people who showed up on Oct. 9 were given $20 to be spent anywhere in Otter Tail County. He said that people can register for the $500 gift cards’ drawing online and that registration will be open till Oct. 16

In addition to the gift cards, coffee cups, T-shirts, and swag bags filled with a tiny stuffed otter, first aid kit, sunscreen, an Otter Tail County magazine, and a floaty keychain have been given away during the tour.

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“We’ve run out of a lot of stuff. Those might be our last two coffee cups,” Osberg said.

The tour as a whole has been successful, according to Osberg. The tour started in St. Cloud, “we didn’t know how people were going to respond so we planned to give away maybe 20 or 30 swag bags at each stop,” he said. “We gave away 106 swag bags on our first stop.” He said that people have responded well to the event, turned out, and made it fun.

So far the county part of the campaign has gone to Fergus Falls, Vergas, Pelican Rapids, New York Mills, and Perham, according to Osberg. He said next Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15 and 16, the event will be in Battle Lake, Parkers Prairie, and Henning.

“It’s a way not only to promote Otter Tail County to visitors but to get some dollars into the hands of the folks who live here and visitors here and help them spend it,” Osberg said. “It’s all on us, we’re picking up the tab for those $500 gift card winners.”

He said that so far about 2,500 people have registered for the gift card drawing.

For more information on the $500 gift card drawing visit ottertaillakescountry.com/win