About

The mission of McKenzie County Tourism / Visit Watford City

Our mission at McKenzie County Tourism is to build a positive public image of Watford City and McKenzie County as a dynamic place to visit, live and work. We do this by showcasing area attractions and amenities and focusing our marketing efforts on inspiring people to visit and enjoy all of the unique destinations and experiences McKenzie County has to offer.

Beyond attracting visitors, we are also dedicated to informing and helping our residents enjoy the events, attractions and recreational opportunities that are available to them, making our community a more enjoyable place for our citizens to live. In addition we also serve to help tell the story about the quality of life available in McKenzie County and Watford City to people who might consider moving here to take one of the thousands of jobs available in Western North Dakota.

Our Services

Our marketing/communication budget is funded solely by a percentage of the community lodging tax.  McKenzie County Tourism works to increase local economic development by focusing on marketing to attract visitors and along with meeting planners to Watford City and McKenzie County.   Tourism serves as a point of contact and support for tourists, new residents, meeting and convention planners and local event planners.

Marketing and promotion of McKenzie County

  • Creation and execution of tourism marketing plan focused on attracting out of town, out of state and out of country visitors. This includes, but is not limited to hard copy ads, Visitors Guides, email campaigns, social media campaigns, promotional videos, social media influencer relationships, the Experience Watford City App and visitwatfordcity.com and watfordcityevents.com website.
  • Creation and execution of a tourism marketing plan that is focused on informing our local residents about local events, attractions and opportunities in the area that will enhance their quality of life. This includes, but is not limited to hard copy ads, social media campaigns, promotional videos, social media influencer relationships, the Experience Watford City App and visitwatfordcity.com and watfordcityevents.com website.
  • We work closely with North Dakota Tourism to stay on brand and target with statewide messaging and utilize their resources and expertise as a point of contact and reference for potential visitors who are looking for what McKenzie County has to offer.  Our work with ND Tourism helps maximize our investment by complimenting their marketing strategy
  • Work closely with Watford City and McKenzie County Economic Development to provide promotional material and messaging that helps tell the story of our community and our quality of life with the mission to attract workforce and residents.
  • Participation in industry conferences, professional development and trade shows to promote visits or relocation to the community.
  • Management of the visitwatfordcity.com website and brand, as well as Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube presence.

Event & Meeting Support

McKenzie County Tourism provides a supportive role to area events, sporting events, expos and conferences. Support can come by ways of:
  • Assisting with community funding requests (Rough Rider Fund, Lodging Tax)
  • Assist or provide guidance on grant writing
  • Assist in connecting event planners with reputable event service companies or organizations
  • Listing of events on appropriate community, regional or statewide platforms, including social media, watfordcityevents.com, visitors guides, publications and/or the North Dakota Tourism website or publications when applicable.
  • Provide supplemental marketing material for events: Dining Guide, Shopping Guide, Hotel Guide, Visitor Guide and Maps
  • Provide giveaway items: pens, lapel pins, note books, etc.
  • Create special activities for an event (Pub Crawl, park tour, facility tours, etc.)
  • Create an email highlight for the event featuring the community’s hotels, dining and
  • attractions.
  • Provide Electronic Enhancements (Future): Online Coupon/Scavenger Hunt and the Experience Watford City App
  • Provide Online Agenda for Event (Future): Experience Watford City App

Our Team

McKenzie County Tourism believes in teamwork to help successfully tell our story and connect our guests and residents with the best possible resources for their experience. Our team works closely with the following community organizations and businesses to help fulfill our mission.
  • McKenzie County and Watford City Economic Development
  • Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Long X Arts Foundation
  • McKenzie County Job Development Authority
  • Watford City Parks and Recreation
  • McKenzie County School District #1
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • McKenzie County 4-H and Extension
  • Area Hospitality Organizations:  hotels, community meeting spaces and facilities, museums, event and sporting event planners, retail, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and tourism- related businesses, local non-profit/service organizations.

Who Are We?

McKenzie County Tourism:

Doug Bolken, Attractions and Promotions
701-570-2551
info@visitwatfordcity.com

Jessie Scofield, Arts and Events
701-770-8661
longxart@gmail.com

Callie Thorne, Economic Development Special Projects
701-770-1351
thorneleadership@gmail.com

Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce:

Mary Gumke, Director
701-570-5084
wcchamber@ruggedwest.com

Rough Rider Events Center:

Pat Bertagnolli, Community Enhancement Director
701-842-3665 ext. 1136
pbertagnolli@nd.gov

Asha Kirkland, Assistant Event Coordinator
701-842-3665
ashak@roughridercenter.com

Shelly Hopkins, Assistant Event Coordinator
701-842-3665
shellyh@roughridercenter.com