This Popular Montana Slogan Has More Than One Meaning
This slogan has helped the tourism industry in Montana thrive, but many locals are using the slogan differently.
Montana has many small or resort towns that depend on tourism every summer to bring in all the money to help them make it through the winter when business slows down to a crawl. Places like Gardiner, Polson, Columbia Falls, and more need tourists to come in and spend their money.
One slogan that has helped tourism in Montana grow is Get Lost. Get Lost(in Montana) was first used by the Montana Department of Commerce in 2012 and has become synonymous with shirts, bumper stickers, and more.
Get Lost's original meaning was to portray to tourists that wherever you are in Montana, go somewhere and enjoy your surroundings. Explore what's around you, from hiking trails to businesses you have never experienced.
The slogan worked and has brought a massive amount of money to Montana. In recent years though, many Montanans have been using the slogan differently.
Many local Montanans have been using Get Lost towards tourists, asking them to leave the state. In places with a high number of tourists, like Bozeman, locals are sick and tired of the way outsiders treat Montana and want them to, as the slogan says, Get Lost.
This past summer was brutal with tourists in Montana. I heard tourists asking locals when the cowboys are coming into town and where they can pet a grizzly bear. It's like folks don't research anything before coming to Montana, and it shows.
The Get Lost slogan was used when Montana tourism was declining, and the Department of Commerce needed something to inspire folks to visit our state. Get Lost was a perfect slogan to help people understand what makes Montana great.
Maybe one day, tourists will get a clue and appreciate Montana the way locals do.