Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative Positions Harney County for Economic Recovery with Virtual Tour

13 Jul 2020

Visitors Can Explore Their Next Vacation Destination, Business Venture, or Family Relocation With PlaceVR Technology

BAKER CITY, OR -- Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is making sure that Harney County is one of the choices that people remember when travel restrictions due to COVID-19 relax. They’ve just launched a 360-degree video that lets people explore the area and consider Northeastern Oregon for their next vacation destination, business venture, or family relocation.

When viewed on the web, people can take in the scenes by looking all around them. When viewed through virtual reality goggles, viewers get an immersive experience that motivates action such as booking a trip to visit in person.

The main goal for the video is to promote the business and recreation opportunities, along with the unique frontier lifestyle that is found in this remote area of Northeastern Oregon. Now that the COID-19 public health crisis has created concerns about travel, the video is especially timely.

“When we first started talking to Harney County organizations about this video, people were surprised that the Cooperative is involved in economic development,” said Lea Gettle, Manager of Administration and Strategic Services for Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC). “Everyone was really enthusiastic, and many new conversations were sparked with our members that allowed us to learn more about each others goals so we can align and accomplish more together.”

The use of 360-degree video and virtual reality media is a big jump up from what is currently used to promote their region but the Cooperative chose this format to show that they’re innovative and they wanted to utilize the type of technology that appeals to younger generations for learning experiences.

“Experiencing the FAM tour with virtual reality goggles is an intense experience. The goggles put the viewer inside the message, so to speak, and stimulates rich brain activity,” said Aaron Brossoit, CEO of Golden Shovel Agency. “Because the viewer’s brain thinks they’re really at the place in the video, they have much better retention of information, and that important when you want to stand out in a sea of information.”

Harney County Familiarization (FAM) tour is one of a series of 360-degree videos produced in collaboration with Golden Shovel Agency. Golden Shovel Agency’s PlaceVR division is the pioneer in the use of 360-degree video and virtual reality for economic development.

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative partnered with numerous Harney County businesses and organizations to create the video.

The video is available to view online here: https://vimeo.com/377713572/789cabee6b

OREGON TRAIL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (OTEC) is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves over 31,000 homes and businesses in four counties in Eastern Oregon. Headquartered in Baker City, OTEC has district offices in Burns, John Day, and La Grande. Learn more at https://otec.coop/

GOLDEN SHOVEL AGENCY is a Minnesota-based full-service economic development firm specializing in workforce attraction for economic and community development. ?The Economic Gateway Web system includes an expandable and on-demand content management system (CMS) and a robust social media implementation strategy. Learn how you can bring VR technology to your organization at http://www.goldenshovelagency.com