About

In July, Washington became the only state in the nation with no state-funded tourism office. Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in Washington – in 2010, travelers spent over $15 billion in the state* generating $1 billion in tax revenue. So while everyone laments the loss of The Washington State Tourism Office and its annual $1.8 million budget, I consider this recent turn of events as a temporary speed bump, and not a stop sign for WA State tourism.

Since I’m a think-big-and-make-things-happen kind of gal, I want to seize this opportunity to create a brand new website and modern media platform to connect the best of WA State with its travelers. GoWAState.com will be the definitive online travel guide for WA State visitors and locals with wanderlust.

GoWAState.com will be a highly interactive travel guide, much different than its informational only state-run predecessor. This will be a comprehensive resource for travelers, created and curated by experts and travelers – independent of bureaucratic organizations, member-run chambers and paid content.

The project will be spearheaded by Charyn Pfeuffer, a Seattle-based food, travel and lifestyle journalist, and social media and marketing maven who lives, loves and knows WA State, understands the resources people need to travel, and has the professional credibility and connections to make it happen. From the best hotels, hiking trails and most innovative restaurants, to cool events, must-have services and places to shop, GoWAState.com’s rule of thumb is this: If we wouldn't recommend something to our friends, we won’t put it on the site. We want to help create great in the know WA State travel memories for travelers instead of catering to meeting planners, travel operators and  industry stakeholders. Readers can trust my journalistic integrity, knowing there will never be pay-for-play content on the site.

I’m not proposing a $1.8 million marketing campaign to woo big business, nor am I trying to replace the tourism board.  My interest in WA State tourism is based in my belief WA State is the greatest place to live, play and explore in the U.S. and I want to share its diversity with visitors and  local weekend warriors via an engaging new resource.

I plan to assemble a small team of travel experts and enthusiasts from around the state to create a frequently updated, dynamic travel community where people can share their WA travel experiences and visuals, post topic suggestions and engage in online conversations, both on the GoWAState.com website and via its social media networks. GoWAState.com will be an unbiased, user-friendly resource that promotes the best WA State has to offer, creates community and conversation, and ultimately, amazing travel experiences for our visitors.

GoWAState.com will include the following:

PROFILES OF WA STATE CITIES AND REGIONS

SEE, DO, EAT, STAY, GO – We will create a comprehensive directory of these usual travel planning suspects around the state, but supplement the database with recommendations from our statewide stringers.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE – This weekly Q&A will profile colorful characters and experts from around the state.

TRAVEL PLANNING TOOLS AND ITINERARIES – From planning a weekend with the kids to a romantic getaway in wine country or taking on WA State’s countless hiking trails, this section will include itinerary suggestions, as well as itineraries our travel experts, enthusiasts and stringers have taken and recommend.

MAPS

EVENT CALENDARS

COMMUNITY BOARDS – I envision a format similar to Chowhound.com, where users can post new topics and the community can comment. All responses will be archived for future keyword searches.

MONTHLY E-NEWSLETTER (website and subscription based)

WEEKEND HOT LIST (website and subscription based) – This round-up will make its way into inboxes first thing Thursday mornings and will include hot picks from around the state on what to See, Do, Eat, Stay and Go. This thoughtfully culled list of recommendations will provide weekend travel inspiration for both visitors and locals alike.

WEB DEALS (subscription) I want to offer limited time, last minute travel deals and discounts for subscribers.

GIVEAWAYS AND CONTESTS (via website and social media networks)

FREQUENTLY UPDATED CONTENT – Including “Where I’ve Been” blogs by myself and guest bloggers, which will give readers an insider’s/locals perspective.

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

SOCIAL MEDIA – I will have an active and engaging social media presence. I have registered @GoWAState on Twitter and GoWAState on Facebook. I also plan to set up a You Tube channel and Flickr account where people can share visuals from their WA travels.

Full disclaimer: GoWAState.com will never accept payment for favorable editorial/reviews and material connections will always be disclosed.

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?A minimum of  $50,000 in funding will enable me to design, create and curate original content and photography for GoWAState.com and allow me to dedicate myself fulltime to the website until it is financially sustainable (via paid advertisements, sponsored giveaways of products, tickets, etc., and sponsored web deals).  If I exceed funding goals, I’ll explore appropriate print and online advertising options (for the site), as well as creating a mobile WA travel application. There is an immediate need for a resource like GoWAState.com and I’m ready to fully commit to its success if the project is funded.

WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?If GoWAState.com is successfully funded, the website will launch spring 2012, before peak summer tourism season.

HOW WILL GOWASTATE.COM SUSTAIN ITSELF?GoWAState.com plans to be a financially sustainable website via:

Paid advertisements, sponsored giveaways of products, tickets, etc. and sponsored web deals.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my project and thank you in advance for your support. Please feel free to ask me any questions. I want to hear what travelers want to see on GoWAState.com, afterall, this website is being created with your wanderlusting needs in mind.

All Backer Rewards are from EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA. EcoBrander Promos specializes in eco-friendly and recycled promotional products.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Classified Ads. You know the drill. 100 words for $10. This is the place to promote job listings, real estate, equipment for sale, you name it. These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
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    Recycled Plastic Luggage Tag with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    Bamboo Barrel Pen with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    Corn Plastic Golf Tee Pack with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    24 oz. Biodegradable Water Bottle with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    16oz. Biodegradable Coffee Tumbler with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    Lightweight Recycled Cotton Tote Bag with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    Evergreen Tree Seeding with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    6 x 9” Recycled Lined and Grid Notebook with GoWAState.com logo. From EcoBrander Promos in Puyallup, WA., which specializes in eco-friendly and recycled products.

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    Tier Two Sections Advertisement - 125 x 125 single vertical line sidebar advertisement on tier two section page (maximum of four per page). These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
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    Weekly E-Newsletter Advertisement - 125 x 125 single vertical line sidebar advertisement on home page (maximum of four per page). These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Home Page Advertisement – 125 x 125 single vertical line sidebar advertisement on home page (maximum of four per page).
    These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Home Page Advertisement -- 160 X 600 skyscraper advertisement on home page (maximum of one per page). These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Tier Two Sections Advertisement -- 160 X 600 skyscraper advertisement on tier two section page (maximum of one per page). These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Daily Web Deals. Everyone likes to save money and here’s the place to offer screaming deals. We will feature one “Daily Web Deal” per day, which will be promoted on GoWAState.com and via social media networks throughout the designated day of the deal. If you have a Twitter account, we’ll @mention it in the tweets. In addition to all that, you’ll be able to multiply the effectiveness of the web deal even further by promoting it to your own email, blog, and social media audiences. The “Daily Web Deal” will be designated as a sponsored web deal. GoWAState.com will post the deal and link back to the sponsor for visitors to complete the transaction via a promotion code. Think 2-for-1 offers, last minute savings, etc. These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Giveaways. Everyone likes free stuff, but even more importantly, everyone likes to win stuff. We will feature one “Giveaway” per day, which will be promoted on GoWAState.com and via social media networks throughout the designated day of the deal. If you have a Twitter account, we’ll @mention it in the tweets. After the drawing, we’ll announce the winner with another round of Facebook and Twitter updates. In addition to all that, you’ll be able to multiply the effectiveness of the giveaway even further by promoting it to your own email, blog, and social media audiences. The “Giveaway” will be designated as a sponsored giveaway. Think products, tickets, gift certificates, hotel stays, etc. The value of the total value of the products or services being given away must be at least $50. These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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    Sponsored Email. We will occasionally send out sponsored emails that are paid for by generous sponsors (no more than once a week). These emails will always say “Sponsored Email” in the subject line. A “Sponsored Email” includes: Text of the Subject field for your Sponsored Email (maximum of 50 alphanumeric characters). Graphic display ad, which will be primary content of the email, in JPG format (maximum of 585 pixels wide). You may also supply a PDF file of the correct dimensions, and we will convert it to a JPG for you. URL to which you would like your graphic to link when a reader clicks on your Sponsored Email (e.g., http://www.yoursitename.com). We recommend that your graphic include a call-to-action such as "Click here for more information" to drive traffic to your site. Optional: Body text of the email. If you wish to link specific portions of text to the web, please provide basic HTML code.These rates are only good for those people who help fund this GoWAState.com Kickstarter project. Once this project is funded, rates will increase. We need help getting this website launched and want to reward those who want to be part of creating real change for Washington State travelers. GoWAState.com (publisher) reserves the right to refuse any advertising requests. If we find an advertisement not suitable for our website, we will refund your pledge. Advertisements related to adult material and gambling will not be accepted. All advertisements being offered here are for one week only. It is possible to purchase multiple backer rewards and have them run for consecutive weeks.
    All advertisements purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will run within 6 months of the launch of GoWAState.com. GoWAState.com will position advertisements at our discretion.

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Funding period

- (60 days)