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McCall puts out the call to tech workers in Seattle and San Francisco

McCall’s Payette Lake waterfront draws thousands of visitors to the small Valley County city every summer. Area officials are trying to attract new residents who would work remotely from McCall and the surrounding area. Photo by Fiona Montagne.

McCall wants to inspire high-salary San Francisco and Seattle residents to do their remote jobs from the West Central Mountains.

A Facebook advertising campaign starting in the first week or two of August will encourage people who work at certain large tech companies, such as Amazon or Oracle, to consider moving to McCall, said Andrew Mentzer, executive director of the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council.

“We want to attract people with equity in homes and good paying jobs,” he said.

The Idaho Travel Council is paying $3,000 toward the campaign.

“We want to get people to stay here three or four days from those markets,” Mentzer said. “We want to attract heads in beds. We’d like to see several hundred bed nights with the caveat to have them move here. Maybe we can attract 10 to 15 to 20 people to take a solid look at moving here.”

McCall is a rural resort town about 100 miles north of Boise that draws thousands of visitors each year with a ski resort, lake, and mountains. Its permanent population is 3,200, and officials in the city and surrounding areas have been trying to attract more jobs and economic development to the region.

The McCall plan sprouted from a program in Vermont that is aimed at attracting visitors who might stay to work. The program, called Stay to Stay program, includes designated weekends with networking receptions, employer visits, and assistance to move to Vermont.

“The Vermont thing created an environment for our discussion to move forward,” Mentzer said.

Starting Jan. 1, a separate Vermont program is offering $10,000 to people who move to Vermont and work remotely for companies elsewhere. The money will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until the budgeted $125,000 is exhausted.

McCall similarly wants to attract people in the culinary arts and construction trades to move to McCall, Mentzer said.

If the Facebook campaign proves successful, the economic development council might expand its advertising to Instagram and LinkedIn, he said.

The West Central Mountain Economic Development Council drafted the Facebook advertising proposal and the McCall Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will execute it, Mentzer said.

 

 

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.

7 comments

  1. If they want to expand they might first try getting state government to build roads and highways capable of handling the people already here….Let alone even greater numbers!

  2. I think we’re seeing a trend here with these comments–a very high percentage of people disagree with this idea. Would love to see this initiative put to a vote in Valley County before these resources earmarked for out of state individuals are actually spent.

  3. Please light the No Vacancy sign, Idaho.

  4. Great idea? C’mon Tim! Get a grip! What McCall needs is a tangible industry, not just more people who require service. How’s that going to play out when the community gets inundated with non-mountain people who are used to 24-hour conveniences and related services? It’s also going to price out the locals who are currently barely able to make a living. It’s going to create a false economy and a false community, neither of which will benefit McCall.

  5. McCall & Valley County needs to fix its cellular and internet provider capabilities before it looks at these markets. Just attracting people to the area won’t help when you can’t service their technological needs. The current infrastructure doesn’t support the locals let alone when the tourists come to town.

  6. What a great idea. We have a great quality of life here in McCall and the more the better especially our outdoor life.

  7. plastinograves@gmail.com

    Oh great. Let’s muck up McCall like we have Boise. McCall, you have something special to offer–the small town, the mountains, the lake. Don’t turn it in to Every-Town USA.