Taking cues from history, four local heritage museums have created a way to come together for visitors, the community and the economy by launching a joint admission ticket, The Absolutely Heritage Ticket.
A one-stop shop for all things heritage, the “ticket” creates a touring experience that encompasses the deep-rooted history of Salem. Participating museums include the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill, Bush House Museum, Historic Deepwood Estate and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
“Salem is rich in heritage, be it the Native art at Hallie Ford, the historical legacy of the Bush family, the Victorian charm of Deepwood, or the raw industrial power of the Industrial Age as it came to Oregon,” said Peter Booth, executive director of the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill.
Enthusiastic about the project, Booth added, “This ticket makes it easier for the visitors and residents alike to discover the cultural treasures here within our community.”
In general, historical sites and museums rank as a strong reason tourists come to Salem.
“We hope for an increase in visitors because of the effort,” Booth said. “If we were doing this on our own it wouldn’t go anywhere, but with working with our regional tourism office (Travel Salem), this has a strong possibility of being effective. Together we have a better chance of promoting Salem as a destination than we do individually.”
One such destination is the Bush House, an Oregon pioneer homestead that is a large part of Salem’s history.
“Bush House hopes to be able to interact more with tourists and give them an easier way to find us,” said Meaghan McGraw, marketing coordinator for Salem Art Association, which has been around for 93 years. “We do hear a lot of people find us in travel books, but for people who do not plan, this is a great way to scoop up that drop-by business – and educate visitors about our Salem heritage.”
The Absolutely Heritage Ticket takes a museum admission and turns it into a planned day trip for visitors.
“Each museum is unique,” Booth said. “All four of us would like to let individuals know of other opportunities in Salem. For us to be able to promote Salem as a destination to heritage tourists, we need to show greater cooperation and be able to provide the best possible product for those tourists. A joint ticket is a wonderful way to do just that!”
We are pleased to be part of the Absolutely Heritage Pass that features Salem’s cultural treasures, said Andrea Foust, Membership and Public Relations Manager
Hallie Ford Museum of Art “This agreement reflects the museum’s commitment to supporting Northwest contemporary basketry as a lively, vibrant dimension of contemporary Native American life today.”
According to Lois Cole, executive director at Deepwood Estates, heritage tourists tend to spend more dollars in the community. Last year, tourism in general attracted 224 million in direct dollars spent in Marion County, two-thirds of which were spent in Salem.
“Our hope is that with this ticket, tourists will spend dollars in the community between visits,” Cole said.
So for all involved, it’s a winning ticket!
For more information, visit:
Hallie Ford Museum of Art: http://www.willamette.edu/arts/hfma/index.html
Historic Deepwood Estate: http://www.historicdeepwoodestate.org/
Bush House Museum http://salemart.org/?page_id=152
Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill http://www.willametteheritage.org/
Ready to Tour? The Absolutely Heritage Ticket can be purchased at Travel Salem (181 High St. NE, Salem) or through AbsolutelyTix.com.