Treasure Hunt begins on Reagan Trail

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118477941029526.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.elvenforge.com‘, ‘A typical cache is a small, waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure.” Participants are called geocachers. By using GPS quadrants, the geocacher locates the treasure box and then can use the various coupons inside to visit businesses in the Reagan Trail Communities. ‘);

The Reagan Trail Association rolled out one of its 2007 promotions Saturday, June 30, as President Amy Trimble and her husband Karl spent the afternoon placing “Cache Treasure Boxes” in three communities along the trail.

The program, which was unveiled in January, is an effort to bring visitors to the individual communities by placing treasure boxes in various locations that have information in them about the Ronald Reagan Trail as well as coupons from business partners. Visitors find the boxes by using Global Positioning Systems, the Internet and the ever-growing popularity of a pastime called “geocaching.”

Geocaching is an outdoor sport that involves the use of a Global Positioning System (“GPS”) receiver to find a “geocache” (or “cache”) placed anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small, waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure.” Participants are called geocachers. By using GPS quadrants, the geocacher locates the treasure box and then can use the various coupons inside to visit businesses in the Reagan Trail Communities. “Not only are we getting people to move along the trail, but by working with sponsors, we are creating an incentive for those visitors to spend money in the Trail Communities, which provides an economic impact for the entire region,” Trimble indicated.

The first three communities kicking off the GeoCache program are Dixon, Tampico and Walnut. Sponsors include the clothing store Tangibles and the gift store Of the Prairie in Dixon, as well as the Quality Inn & Suites and Comfort Inn. Walnut has three sponsors, Avanti Foods, DeWaele’s Dairy Dreams and the Walnut House. All of the sponsors are providing a special offer to the geocachers. Treasure boxes in Tampico include a coupon for a free Reagan Trail gift.

GeoCaches will also be hidden in Princeton and Walnut by the end of July 2007; remaining communities will be added next summer, giving visitors an incentive to come back to the area several times.

The trail will be creating a Web page to add to www.ronaldreagantrail.net that will include geocaching quadrants for a site in each Trail Community. Trimble said the Web site is up and running and features a special incentive for geocachers to visit more than one Reagan Trail Community. “Participants who visit three or more cities will receive a special Reagan Trail brass coin that has the Reagan Association logo on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other side. We felt that this unique collectable would encourage more movement and hopefully more spending along the trail,” said Trimble.

The Trail Association board felt this would be an excellent way to introduce people to the trail and encourage them to visit other portions of the trail, either during their initial visit or to come back another time.

The Ronald Reagan Trail Association continues to be driven in its efforts to create economic opportunities for the Trail Communities through tourism and to educate children about Reagan’s Illinois Legacy. To find out more about the Association, visit the Web site at www.ronaldreagantrail.net.

from the July 18-24, 2007, issue

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