ET didn’t phone home he called NDOT. I have it from a reliable source that the Nevada Department of Transportation has been pressured into allowing the ET Highway cache series to return. The local businesses saw a material impact to their business as a result of the influx of geocachers.
While the ET Highway series are not my favourite kind of geocache I find it very interesting that geocaching can have a meaningful impact in a local economy. I did some research last year and one community that was part of a geocaching trail saw a $250,000 direct impact as a result of the geocaching trail.
It will not be long now before geocaching is used by local economic development departments as a way to drive visitors. The key will be to place quality caches. The temptation to do it cheaply or without the proper experience will be very strong. There is no doubt that organizations will be placing caches for their own purposes. I just hope these organizations hire an experienced geocaching consultant.
If there are any tourism or economic development departments out there I’ll be happy to discuss your project with you 😉