Ambassador Profile: Jeda Higgs #helpatourist
Promoting tourism in Fremont County is everyone’s responsibility. We’re all ambassadors for this great community. To ensure that we’re all equipped with the stories of Wind River Country that make our culture fascinating and unique, the Wind River Visitors Council has sponsored this #helpatourist content series.
“You never know when a chance meeting will result in a lifelong friend, or at the very least, some great conversation (and a safety meeting)!” reflects Jeda Higgs, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dubois.
As an example, Higgs has insisted on sending her own spare can of bear spray with a Continental Divide Trail hiker after feeding him a warm meal.
“His backpack was full of candy wrappers!” she chuckled over her #helpatourist memory.
She has also seen travelers fall in love with Dubois, return as residents, and step into the roles that make Dubois the town it is, which Higgs describes as having “a sleepy, Old West vibe, with all sorts of historical nuggets threaded through its history, a weird pronunciation of the name ‘Do-boyz,’ and natural beauty that is unmatched.”
Those travelers who fell in love with Dubois so deeply that they came back and made it home often join forces with the likes of Higgs as volunteers, putting on the many community events that keep locals and visitors entertained year-round.
In turn, travelers contribute to the wellbeing of the town of Dubois. Truly, when you help a tourist, you help your town.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of our remote community,” she explained. “Our residents depend on the constant flow of tourists all year round, even if visitors are simply attending a very cool event.”
The myriad events, more often than not, are designed to support the town’s countless nonprofit organizations while amusing guests.
“It’s a tiny town with a huge heart,” Higgs declared with pride.
According to her, Dubois is in a transitional period regarding the travel and tourism industry. Certainly the first town to greet Yellowstone-weary travelers following the Togwotee Pass Scenic Byway is on the upswing.
This increase in traffic—and subsequent local expenditures and collections in sales and lodging taxes—is a rise from the literal ashes of the late 2014 fire that leveled a section of the historic main street. This summer, businesses started moving back into the shops, a clear demonstration of the revival and development of tourism in Dubois.
The success of these businesses, increased public services, and well-attended events, all of which serve travelers and residents alike, demonstrate the mutually beneficial relationship between travelers and locals in Higgs’ home of Dubois.
About the Wind River Visitors Council
The Wind River Visitors Council’s mission is to stimulate tourism by increasing awareness of, and encouraging visitation to, the unique destinations, activities and events in Fremont County/Wind River Country, Wyoming. The Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) is a Lodging Tax Board responsible for promoting the travel and tourism industry in Wind River Country through expenditures of the Lodging Tax. WRVC Board members represent our communities and the county and are appointed by local City Councils and the Fremont County Commissioners. Learn more at windriver.org.