President's Column

By John L. Beath
In early November, I spent two and a half days in Santa Barbara, Calif., at the Alaska Media Road Show. The event brought together media from around the country and tourism providers from around the state. The event provided me with some awesome story ideas and allowed me to let everyone know that OWAA will hold its 2012 conference in Alaska.
The Alaska tourism partners enthusiastically welcomed news of our conference and expressed interest in supporting OWAA. They also said they looked forward to working with Karen Lundquist, from the Fairbanks CVB and local chair, Chris Batin. After meeting with the travel partners I have no doubt that this conference will have a plethora of pre- and post-conference trips. Just getting to the event could provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially to those who have never visited Alaska. Once there, members will have the chance to view fall colors, fish for chrome coho, crimson rainbow trout, hunt or enjoy Alaska’s National Park system.
For those with enough time, please consider the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) from Bellingham, Wash. or Prince Rupert B.C., and then drive to Fairbanks. Or choose an inside passage cruise aboard a Holland America or Princess Cruises cruise ship. Grayline of Alaska and the Alaska Railroad is another option for members to find their way from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Adventure-seekers might want to plan their conference trip around multiple stops combining any of these travel methods.
Anchorage also has a large fleet of RVs for rent. Make your way to Anchorage, rent an RV and then choose your route to and from conference. From your rented RV, you’ll find hundreds of fishing locales and thousands of scenic vistas to fill up digital camera memory cards. You can also rent a car and tent camp or stay at hotels along the way.
Thankfully we have lots of time to save for the 2012 conference at Chena Hot Springs, plan travel methods, stories and adventures. In late July 2012, I’m towing my boat aboard an Alaska Ferry in Bellingham and getting off at several stops along the route, fishing my way to conference. After conference I’ll head south to Whittier, Alaska, to catch a ferry to Cordova, Alaska – one of the best coho fishing locales in the state. I sincerely hope to see you in Alaska. Be sure to watch for updates about the 2012 conference and all of the great trips.
And don’t forget about our next conference in Rochester, Minn., and the 2011 conference at Utah’s Snowbird Mtn. Resort. ◊
JohnBeath-clr2008-thumbnailJohn L. Beath is OWAA president and owner of Pacific Lure Communications. He is a writer/photographer and owner/editor of 14 Web sites and 10 online stores. He is also an Internet marketing consultant for several businesses. For more information about getting connected on the Internet, visit his site at


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