Peter’s Bank of Ideas

by P. F. Reiter

Nadine Bolz, Diamond Sales realtor, Hardisty, commented, “Peter Kenyon showed that little towns with tiny populations have been very successful so we should be able to accomplish something with a town of 760, with even more in our market area.”

County of Flagstaff’s Intermunicipal Partnership (FIP) organized a one day seminar in Killam last week.  Brent Hoyland, Assistant CAO for Flagstaff  told us that our presenter had travelled 38 hours to get to us. Over 100 county and town administrators, business people, farmers, community volunteers and organization members were glad he did!
Peter Kenyon, Director for the Bank of I.D.E.A.S., from Kalamunda, Western Australia brought a whole day of ideas, stories, quotes and motivation to help us “build our communities from the inside out”.

Peter talked about several very small towns – their success stories and their basic customer service strategies.  Quite often in towns with populations of only 43, 98, 300 or 400 he observed “it only takes one business to start a significant economic improvement”.
In Lena Creek, Queensland, population 42, Jose and Margurite bought an abandoned property with a burnt out castle.  In 1993, they had 8,000 visitors with a 0.5 paid staff position and $80,000 in revenue.  
By  2009, the business grew to 140,000 visitors,  40 staff and $3.15 million in revenue.
Tourists flock to see the Australian skies full of stars and the floodlit tour of the old castle and grounds. They are met and greeted in the parking lot with whatever you might need: an umbrella, insect repellant,  ice water, driving service or even dogsitting.
Queensland has more tourist attractions than any other state, and Paronella Park’s “burnt out castle” has become one of the must sees!  
This proves the quote Peter brought from Zig Ziglar “If you bend over backwards, you won’t fall on your face”.  Peter’s website has information, strategies, forms and motivation for your community.  
And it is all “copyleft” which means it can be copied, used, and adapted anyway that will be useful.

Cliff Brown, Czar, owner of Mistahiya Lodge on the Battle River , complimented “Flagstaff County’s initiative in bringing such an inspirational speaker… we have a Music Festival in August, and this has given us lots of ideas.”

Marilyn O’Brien, O’Brien’s Autobody-Killam observed that a community’s youth are an important resource and “we realized today that we have to consciously get them more involved in their community, and proud of it”.

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