The Chron Loves Humboldt (With a Little Help From the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau)

Press release from the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau:

The San Francisco Chronicle, the largest circulation daily newspaper in Northern California, devoted its entire travel section to Humboldt County on Sunday, an editorial milestone in large part due to assistance from the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau.

The eight-page spread, which includes a trek to a hidden grove of giant redwoods, a tour of oyster farms in Humboldt Bay, a stay at the Carter House Inns, camping in state parks and a ride on the Madaket, generated the equivalent of more than $455,000 in advertising value, according to

Most of the stories and images were the direct result of work by the bureau. The anchor story about Hyperion, a tree of record height at 379 feet, came about from editorial pitch years ago made to the writer, an L.A.-based freelancer who publishes in many national media outlets.

“The genesis goes way back to a conversation with the bureau during my National Geographic Adventure days. PR is a long game,” Robert Earl Howells said.

With assistance from Fly Humboldt and United Airlines, the bureau arranged for Howells to visit Humboldt and ensured that he could see Hyperion, whose exact location remains a closely guarded secret in Redwood National Park.

Moreover, the bureau arranged for one of the best outdoor photographers in the area, Drew Hyland, to accompany him, ensuring that the Chronicle had striking imagery to go along with the story, titled “The Government Doesn’t Want You To See This Tree.”

Howells pitched the story to Chronicle travel editor Greg Thomas, who contacted the bureau for more background. After a series of conversations, the piece evolved into an entire section that included many features of Humboldt travel. “[The section] is gorgeous. Thanks again for all the intel!” Thomas said.

In fact, Thomas liked a second Humboldt pitch so much that he agreed to have Richard Stenger, the bureau media & marketing director, a sometimes travel freelancer, write the story “Everything you need to know about the oyster capital of California.”

To round out the section, the Chronicle included a lodging review of the Carter House Inns, the top ten campsites on the Redwood Coast, and an insider’s look at Humboldt Bay spotlighting Captain Zippo of the Madaket, another piece by Howells.

Favorable mentions of many businesses in Eureka and environs were sprinkled throughout the entire Sunday section of the Chronicle, which in print and online has a readership of an estimated one million.

Moreover, the overall readership should expand greatly in the months ahead, as other news outlets reprint the content. Already, the New York Times’s California Today posted to the main story.

“That’s what we want to help our local economy,” said Tony Smithers, executive director of the bureau. “No matter what people do here, they need places to stay, eat and shop. We are pleased so many businesses were highlighted, and so many people will read about them.”

NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the height of Hyperion.



  • Tourism is our best bet at this point to pull our now falling economy up a bit. Thanks to those who worked so hard on this.
    Lets just not let our area become like the Hamptons, a nice small town that was taken over by and basically now exists to serve the mega-rich.
    Lets attract people who love the outdoors, art, good food and a certain quirkiness that runs through our county 🙂

  • The Entropic Empath


    How charming!

    Humboldt attracts tourists from all over the world, and many of them know nothing about the Cannabis “thing”…

    One hopes that eventually, the “failing economy” will be replaced by a community devoted to taking care of seniors, delivering healthcare, mental health services, and other needed services to the citizens.

    I predict expanded Hospitals, affordable housing, centralized corporate Cannabis processing and distribution for those who choose to stay in Northern CA and continue to farm Cannabis, and I predict the fallout of Environmental atrocities will be mitigated by increased government intervention and attendant taxation and regulation.

    I also predict that there will be an overall increase in the quality of life in Humboldt, and eventually, Humboldt County may begin to look like an option attractive to retirees, sportspersons and investors.

    Despair over change will get you nowhere! Get moving, evolve, and move forward to a brighter future!

    • Lack of top quality medical care and a good airport are serious problems if you’re looking to attract retirees. California taxes are another.

      • You’re not wrong, but everywhere has its own issues. And at least HumCo can start getting some actual monies again.

  • I like stars too!

    The most serious problem faced in Humboldt County is entrenched corrupt incompetent incumbents in the Government and public agencies. The second most serious problem is the fear of change itself!

    Go Steve Madrone, you proved it is possible to work change!

    • Veteran's friend

      100% agree

    • Those jobs must be ( for the most part) so mind numbing. Only certain people will pursue them& so it is what it is. Why don’t you try to do one of those jobs& bring more positive actions? You might be a true inspiration for change.

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